Update NextDNS with a Scala CLI script

| 3 minutes | Comments

Today I was reminded how awesome Scala is for scripting, via Scala CLI. And it goes beyond having “batteries included”.

Problem: I have a NextDNS account, as my DNS provider, for privacy and for blocking ads. My work computer has VPN software on it, that overrides the Wi-Fi’s DNS servers in order to access internal company resources. But I still want to configure NextDNS in my browser, and the problem is that my Chromium browser doesn’t fall back to the system DNS when I configure DNS-over-HTTPS.

Solution: a Scala script that updates the NextDNS configuration with overrides for the internal resources that I care about, as NextDNS has an HTTP API that I can use.

The following script uses Scala 3, with 4-spaces for significant indentation. It’s executable, and running it requires just having Scala CLI installed.

#!/usr/bin/env -S scala-cli shebang

//> using scala "3.3.1"
//> using toolkit latest
//> using lib "com.monovore::decline:2.4.1"

import cats.syntax.all.given
import com.monovore.decline.*
import sttp.client4.quick.*
import upickle.default.*
import java.net.InetAddress

val domainsToCleanUp = List(

val toUpdate = List(

def run(apiKey: String, profileId: String, dryRun: Boolean) =
    case class GetResponse(data: List[Map[String, String]])
        derives ReadWriter

    lazy val getProfile =
        val resp = quickRequest
            .header("X-Api-Key", apiKey)

    def post(name: String, content: String) =
        println(s"Adding $name (ip: $content)")
        if (!dryRun) then quickRequest
            .header("X-Api-Key", apiKey)
            .header("Content-Type", "application/json")
                    "name" -> name,
                    "content" -> content

    def patch(id: String, name: String, content: String) =
        println(s"Updating $name (ip: $content)")
        if dryRun then quickRequest
            .header("X-Api-Key", apiKey)
            .header("Content-Type", "application/json")
                    "content" -> content

    def delete(id: String, name: String) =
        println(s"Deleting $name")
        if !dryRun then quickRequest
            .header("X-Api-Key", apiKey)

    def skip(name: String, content: String) =
        println(s"Skipping $name (ip: $content)")

    for name <- toUpdate do
        val address = InetAddress.getByName(name)
        val ip = address.getHostAddress.nn

        getProfile.data.find: entry =>
        case None =>
            post(name, ip)
        case Some(entry) if !entry.get("content").contains(ip) =>
            patch(entry("id"), name, ip)
        case Some(_) =>
            skip(name, ip)

    for domain <- domainsToCleanUp do
        val toDelete = getProfile.data.filter: entry =>
            entry.getOrElse("name", "").endsWith(domain) &&
        for entry <- toDelete do
            delete(entry("id"), entry("name"))

object Main extends CommandApp(
    name = "nextdns-vpn-update",
    header = "Update NextDNS's rewrites based on the current DNS (corporate VPN)",
    main =
        val apiKey = Opts
            .option[String]("api-key", help = "NextDNS API key")
            .orElse(Opts.env[String]("NEXTDNS_API_KEY", help = "NextDNS API key"))
        val profileId = Opts
            .option[String]("profile-id", help = "NextDNS profile ID")
            .orElse(Opts.env[String]("NEXTDNS_PROFILE_ID", help = "NextDNS profile ID"))
        val dryRun = Opts
            .flag("dry-run", help = "Dry run").orFalse

        (apiKey, profileId, dryRun).mapN(run)

Of note, the requirements for such a script:

  • Doing HTTP requests;
  • Composing and parsing JSON documents;
  • Parsing command-line arguments.

My script depends on Scala Toolkit, which is a set of libraries that can take care of doing HTTP requests (via sttp) and parsing JSON (via upickle). The script also depends on decline, my favorite library for parsing command line arguments. I don’t need to install these separately, as Scala CLI takes care of managing these dependencies (unlike some of the popular scripting languages).

The script can be executed directly, if you have Scala CLI installed, as it includes a shebang. Just paste the above in a file on your PATH, like ~/bin/nextdns-vpn-update.scala. Then make it executable:

chmod +x ~/bin/nextdns-vpn-update.scala

And Scala’s Metals, which I use with VS Code, is just wonderful for such scripts, with auto-completion, GH Copilot and everything. It took me at most 15 minutes to write and test this.

Python and Ruby are definitely dethroned for all my future scripting needs.

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Tags: CLI | Scala | Shell | Snippet