whois -- Internet domain name and network number directory service
whois [-aAdgilmQrR6] [-c country-code | -h host] [-p port] name ...
The whois utility looks up records in the databases maintained by several
Network Information Centers (NICs).
The options are as follows:
-a Use the American Registry for Internet Numbers (ARIN) database.
It contains network numbers used in those parts of the world covered
neither by APNIC nor by RIPE.
(Hint: All point of contact handles in the ARIN whois database
end with "-ARIN".)
-A Use the Asia/Pacific Network Information Center (APNIC) database.
It contains network numbers used in East Asia, Australia, New
Zealand, and the Pacific islands.
This is the equivalent of using the -h option with an argument of
-d Use the US Department of Defense database. It contains points of
contact for subdomains of .MIL.
-g Use the US non-military federal government database, which contains
points of contact for subdomains of .GOV.
Use the specified host instead of the default variant. Either a
host name or an IP address may be specified.
By default whois constructs the name of a whois server to use
from the top-level domain (TLD) of the supplied (single) argument,
and appending ".whois-servers.net". This effectively
allows a suitable whois server to be selected automatically for a
large number of TLDs.
In the event that an IP address is specified, the whois server
will default to the American Registry for Internet Numbers
(ARIN). If a query to ARIN references APNIC, LACNIC, or RIPE,
that server will be queried also, provided that the -Q option is
If the query is not a domain name or IP address, whois will fall
back to whois.crsnic.net.
-i Use the Network Solutions Registry for Internet Numbers
(whois.networksolutions.com) database. It contains network numbers
and domain contact information for most of .COM, .NET, .ORG
and .EDU domains.
NOTE! The registration of these domains is now done by a number
of independent and competing registrars and this database holds
no information on the domains registered by organizations other
than Network Solutions, Inc. Also, note that the InterNIC database
(whois.internic.net) is no longer handled by Network Solutions,
Inc. For details, see http://www.internic.net/.
(Hint: Contact information, identified by the term handle, can be
looked up by prefixing "handle " to the NIC handle in the query.)
-l Use the Latin American and Caribbean IP address Regional Registry
(LACNIC) database. It contains network numbers used in much of
Latin America and the Caribbean.
-m Use the Route Arbiter Database (RADB) database. It contains
route policy specifications for a large number of operators' networks.
Connect to the whois server on port. If this option is not specified,
whois defaults to port 43.
-Q Do a quick lookup. This means that whois will not attempt to
lookup the name in the authoritative whois server (if one is
listed). This option has no effect when combined with any other
-r Use the R'eseaux IP Europ'eens (RIPE) database. It contains network
numbers and domain contact information for Europe.
-R Use the Russia Network Information Center (RIPN) database. It
contains network numbers and domain contact information for subdomains
of .RU. This option is deprecated; use the -c option
with an argument of "RU" instead.
-6 Use the IPv6 Resource Center (6bone) database. It contains network
names and addresses for the IPv6 network.
The operands specified to whois are treated independently and may be used
as queries on different whois servers.
Most types of data, such as domain names and IP addresses, can be used as
arguments to whois without any options, and whois will choose the correct
whois server to query. Some exceptions, where whois will not be able to
handle data correctly, are detailed below.
To obtain contact information about an administrator located in the Russian
TLD domain "RU", use the -c option as shown in the following example,
where CONTACT-ID is substituted with the actual contact identifier.
whois -c RU CONTACT-ID
(Note: This example is specific to the TLD "RU", but other TLDs can be
queried by using a similar syntax.)
The following example demonstrates how to obtain information about an
IPv6 address or hostname using the -6 option, which directs the query to
whois -6 IPv6-IP-Address
The following example demonstrates how to query a whois server using a
non-standard port, where ``query-data'' is the query to be sent to
``whois.example.com'' on port ``rwhois'' (written numerically as 4321).
whois -h whois.example.com -p rwhois query-data
Ken Harrenstien and Vic White, NICNAME/WHOIS, 1 March 1982, RFC 812.
The whois command appeared in 4.3BSD.
FreeBSD 5.2.1 December 15, 2001 FreeBSD 5.2.1 [ Back ]