Internationalized Domain Names

IETF idn working group Web site

Table of contents

Purpose of the working group

Excerpt from the working group charter:

The goal of the group is to specify the requirements for internationalized access to domain names and to specify a standards track protocol based on the requirements.

The scope of the group is to investigate the possible means of doing this and what methods are feasible given the technical impact they will have on the use of such names by humans as well as application programs, as well as the impact on other users and administrators of the domain name system.

A fundamental requirement in this work is to not disturb the current use and operation of the domain name system, and for the DNS to continue to allow any system anywhere to resolve any domain name.

The group will not address the question of what, if any, body should administer or control usage of names that use this functionality.

The group must identify consequences to the current deployed DNS infrastructure, the protocols and the applications as well as transition scenarios, where applicable.

The WG will actively ensure good communication with interested groups who are studying the problem of internationalized access to domain names.

The Action Item(s) for the Working Group are:

1. An Informational RFC specifying the requirements for providing Internationalized access to domain names. The document should provide guidance for development solutions to this problem, taking localized (e.g. writing order) and related operational issues into consideration.

2. An Informational RFC or RFC's documenting the various proposals and Implementations of Internationalization (i18n) of Domain Names. The document(s) should also provide a technical evaluation of the proposals by the Working Group.

3. A standards track specification on access to internationalized domain names including specifying any transition issues.

Mailing List

To subscribe to the idn wg mailing list, send a message to with the single word subscribe in the body of the message. To unsubscribe from the list, use that same address with the single word unsubscribe in the body of the message.

There is a complete archive of the mailing list. You can also access the entire archive under idn*. Please read through the archive before posting to the mailing list, since many topics of interest have already been discussed.

Working group work



August 2001: idn wg meeting at IETF51 in London, UK

March 2001: idn wg meeting at IETF50 in Minneapolis, USA

December 2000: idn wg meeting at IETF49 in San Diego, USA

August 2000: idn wg meeting at IETF48 in Pittsburg, USA

March 2000: idn wg meeting at IETF47 in Adelaide, Australia

November 1999: idn BOF at IETF46 in Washington, DC, USA

Working Group Registry

The working group have a registry of prefixes for ACEs to help the testing. Please note that these prefixes will be changed if an ACE is chosen as the standard. This registry is only for testing purposes.


Working Group Document Pool

The working group is temporarily using document pools to help reach concensus. Document pool W is composed of documents who have demonstrated a core of interest (minimum of 7 people supporting it). Document pool T is composed of documents that cannot be put in document pool W. July 14th 2001, all documents of pool T will be considered non wg documents and authors would have to resubmit them as individual documents.

  • Document pool T (i.e. documents that do not _yet_ demonstrated a core of interest)

  • IETF Documents

    idn working group documents

    IAB documents about idn

    Other documents about internationalized domain names

    Patent claims about idn

    Other working groups of interest to idn

    Non-IETF Information


    Revision info: last update: 2019-08-21.
    This web site is maintained by Marc Blanchet, co-chair of the idn wg. Please report all omissions/errors to the maintainer. No warranty on content is provided. A lot of info was stolen (with permission) from Paul Hoffman IMC web site on idn: thanks Paul.