From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Developer(s)Pi-hole, LLC[1]
Initial releaseJune 15, 2015; 8 years ago (2015-06-15)
Stable release
5.17.2[2] / 11 October 2023; 45 days ago (11 October 2023)
Written inBash,
C (optional DNS server FTLDNS),
PHP, CSS (optional web console)
Operating systemLinux
LicenceEuropean Union Public Licence
Websitepi-hole.net Edit this at Wikidata

Pi-hole is a Linux network-level advertisement and Internet tracker blocking application[3][4] which acts as a DNS sinkhole[5] and optionally a DHCP server, intended for use on a private network.[1] It is designed for low-power embedded devices with network capability, such as the Raspberry Pi,[3][6] but can be installed on almost any Linux machine.[5][7]

Pi-hole has the ability to block traditional website advertisements as well as advertisements in unconventional places, such as smart TVs and mobile operating system advertisements.[8]


The Pi-hole project was created by Jacob Salmela as an open source alternative to AdTrap[9][10] in 2014[11] and was hosted on GitHub.[12] Since then, several contributors have joined the project.[11]


Pi-hole makes use of a modified dnsmasq called FTLDNS,[13] cURL, lighttpd, PHP and the AdminLTE Dashboard[14] to block DNS requests for known tracking and advertising domains. The application acts as a DNS server for a private network (replacing any pre-existing DNS server provided by another device or the ISP), with the ability to block advertisements and tracking domains for users' devices.[8] It obtains lists of advertisement and tracking domains from a configurable list of predefined sources, and compares DNS queries against them. If a match is found within any of the lists, or a locally configured blacklist, Pi-hole will refuse to resolve the requested domain and respond to the requesting device with a dummy address.[15]

Because Pi-hole blocks domains at the network level, it is able to block advertisements, such as banner advertisements on a webpage, but it can also block advertisements in unconventional locations, such as on Android, iOS and smart TVs.[8]

Using VPN services, Pi-Hole can block domains without using a DNS filter setup in a router. Any device that supports VPN can use Pi-Hole on a cellular network or a home network without having a DNS server configured.[16]

The nature of Pi-hole allows it to also block website domains in general by manually adding the domain name to a blacklist. Likewise, domains can be manually added to a whitelist should a website's function be impaired by domains being blocked. Pi-hole can also function as a network monitoring tool,[17] which can aid in troubleshooting DNS requests and network faults.[7] Pi-hole can also be used to encourage the use of DNS over HTTPS for devices using it as a DNS server with the cloudflared binary provided by Cloudflare.[18]

Difference from traditional advertisement blockers[edit]

Pi-hole functions similarly to a network firewall, meaning that advertisements and tracking domains are blocked for all devices behind it, whereas traditional advertisement blockers only run in a user's browser, and remove advertisements only on the same machine.[7][19]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Pi-hole®: A black hole for Internet advertisements". Pi-hole®: A black hole for Internet advertisements. Retrieved 2018-04-15.
  2. ^ "Release 5.17.2". 11 October 2023. Retrieved 20 October 2023.
  3. ^ a b "Turn A Raspberry Pi Into An Ad Blocker With A Single Command". Lifehacker Australia. 2015-02-17. Retrieved 2018-05-06.
  4. ^ "Adblock Everywhere: The Raspberry Pi-Hole Way". MakeUseOf. Retrieved 2018-05-06.
  5. ^ a b "pi-hole/pi-hole". GitHub. Retrieved 2018-04-15.
  6. ^ "Pi-hole hardware kit". 2018-05-07. Archived from the original on 2019-08-14. Retrieved 2018-05-08.
  7. ^ a b c "Seven Things You May Not Know About Pi-hole". Pi-hole®: A black hole for Internet advertisements. 2017-05-12. Retrieved 2018-05-06.
  8. ^ a b c Pounder, Les (2021-08-01). "How to Block Ads Network-Wide With Pi-hole on Raspberry Pi". Tom's Hardware. Retrieved 2023-05-17.
  9. ^ "Block Millions Of Ads Network-wide With A Raspberry Pi-hole 2.0". Jacob Salmela. 2015-06-16. Retrieved 2018-04-15.
  10. ^ "Pi-hole: A Raspberry Pi Ad-Blocker with DNS Caching (Ultra-fast)". Jacob Salmela. 2014-06-11. Retrieved 2018-05-06.
  11. ^ a b "pi-hole/pi-hole; Contributors". GitHub. Retrieved 2018-05-06.
  12. ^ Jeffries, Adrianne (2018-05-10). "Inside the Brotherhood of the Ad Blockers". Bloomberg.
  13. ^ telekrmor (2018-02-22). "FTLDNS: Pi-hole's Own DNS/DHCP server". Pi-hole®: A black hole for Internet advertisements. Retrieved 2019-11-10.
  14. ^ "pi-hole/pi-hole; The Origin Of Pi-hole". GitHub. Retrieved 2018-04-15.
  15. ^ "How does Pi-hole work?". Pi-hole Userspace. 14 May 2017. Retrieved 2018-05-06.
  16. ^ "Overview - Pi-hole documentation". docs.pi-hole.net. Retrieved 2019-08-11.
  17. ^ "What Really Happens On Your Network? Find Out With Pi-hole". Pi-hole®: A black hole for Internet advertisements. 2017-02-22. Retrieved 2018-05-06.
  18. ^ "Configuring DNS-Over-HTTPS on Pi-hole - Pi-hole documentation". docs.pi-hole.net. Retrieved 2020-11-01.
  19. ^ "Enjoy The Rio Olympics Ad-free With Pi-hole". Pi-hole®: A black hole for Internet advertisements. 2016-08-11. Retrieved 2018-05-06.

External links[edit]