Set up a distributed firewall rule to filter specific domains identified with a fully qualified domain name, for example, *

You must set up a DNS rule first, and then the FQDN allowlist or denylist rule below it. NSX uses time to live (TTL) in the DNS response (coming from DNS server to the virtual machine), for keeping the DNS to IP mapping cache entry for the virtual machine. To override the DNS TTL using a DNS security profile, see Configure DNS Security. For FQDN filtering to be effective, virtual machines need to use a DNS server for domain resolution (no static DNS entries), and also need to honor the TTL received in the DNS response. DNS Snooping is used to obtain a mapping between the IP address and the FQDN.

This feature works at layer 7 and does not cover ICMP. If a user creates a denylist rule for all services on the feature is working as intended if ping responds, but curl does not.

Selecting a wild card FQDN is a best practice because it includes sub domains. For example, selecting *, would include sub domains such as and Using would not include any sub domains. Note that FQDN does not support multilevel sub domains matching against the * wildcard.

FQDN-based rules are retained during vMotion for ESXi hosts.

Note: FQDN filtering is available only with TCP and UDP traffic.


To use a user-defined FQDN, see FQDNs.
Create a DNS rule if it doesn't already exist:
  1. Navigate to Security > Distributed Firewall.
  2. Select the check box next to a policy section, and click Add Rule.
  3. Provide a name for the firewall rule, such as DNS rule, and provide the following details:
    Variable Description
    Name Provide a name for the rule, such as L7 DNS Rule
    Source Any or specific group
    Destination Any or specific group
    Services Click the edit icon, and select the DNS-TCP and DNS-UDP service as applicable to your environment.
    Context Profiles Click the edit icon, and select the DNS context profile. This is system generated context profile, and is available in your deployment by default.
    Applied To Select a group as required.
    Action Select Allow.
  4. Click Publish.


  1. With admin privileges, log in to NSX Manager.
  2. Navigate to Security > Distributed Firewall.
  3. Click Add Rule to set up the FQDN allowlisting or denylisting rule.
  4. Name the rule appropriately, such as, FQDN/URL Allowlist.
  5. Provide the following details:
    Option Description
    Services Click the edit icon and select the service you want to associate with this rule by clicking the checkbox. Click Add, and Apply.
    Context Profiles Click the edit icon, then Add Context Profile and name the profile. In the Attributes column, select Set > Add Attribute > Domain (FQDN) Name . Select the list of Attribute Name/Values from the predefined list, or create a custom FQDN. See Context Profiles for details. Click Add, and Apply.
    Applied To Select DFW or a group as required.
    Action Select Allow, Drop, or Reject.
  6. Click Publish.