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 nslookup(1)                                                     nslookup(1)

 NAME    [Toc]    [Back]
      nslookup - query name servers interactively

 SYNOPSIS    [Toc]    [Back]
      nslookup [-option ...] host-to-find [server]

      nslookup [-option ...] [- [server]]

 DESCRIPTION    [Toc]    [Back]
      nslookup is a program to query Internet domain name servers.  nslookup
      has been extended to follow the configured name resolution algorithm
      of the host and to query NIS, as well as, DNS and host tables.

      Both an interactive and non-interactive mode are available with
      nslookup.  Interactive mode allows the user to query a name server for
      information about various hosts and domains, or print a list of hosts
      in the domain.  Non-interactive mode is used to query a name server
      for information about one host or domain.

      By default, nslookup accesses name services for name and address
      resolution based on the policy information obtained from the switch
      configuration file /etc/nsswitch.conf.  When the policy is set to use
      NIS or /etc/hosts first, or when DNS is first but unavailable, then
      nslookup will only provide a limited command set (a help command while
      in this situation will show what actions are possible when querying
      NIS or /etc/hosts).  To override the switch policy and query DNS
      servers directly, the server command can be used to specify a
      nameserver.  This same overriding of the switch policy can also be
      done by providing a nameserver as the second argument on the command
      line.  In this case, nslookup will ignore the switch policy and
      directly query nameservers, until a reset command is issued.  Whenever
      an action is taken that causes the switch policy to be overridden, a
      warning message is displayed.

      Note, NIS+ is not supported by nslookup.  If the hosts source nisplus
      is found in the /etc/nsswitch.conf file, it will be ignored.

 ARGUMENTS    [Toc]    [Back]
      Interactive mode is entered in the following cases:

           +  No arguments are given.

           +  The first argument is a hyphen (-).  The optional second
              argument is a host name or Internet (IP) address of a name

      Non-interactive mode is used when the name of the host to be looked up
      is given as the first argument.  The optional second argument is a
      host name or Internet address of a name server.

 Hewlett-Packard Company            - 1 -   HP-UX 11i Version 2: August 2003

 nslookup(1)                                                     nslookup(1)

      Options listed under the set command below can be specified one per
      line in the .nslookuprc file in the user's home directory.
      Alternatively, these options may be specified on the command line by
      prefixing them with a hyphen and they must precede other command line
      arguments.  For example, to change the default query type to host
      information, and the initial timeout to 10 seconds, type:

           nslookup -query=hinfo -timeout=10

      The command line option -swdebug may be used to debug syntactic errors
      in the switch configuration file. This option turns on tracing during
      initialization, causing the switch module to print out a trace of the
      scan and parse actions on the "hosts" entry (see nsswitch.conf(4)) in
      the /etc/nsswitch.conf file.

    Interactive Commands    [Toc]    [Back]
      Commands can be interrupted at any time by using the interrupt
      character.  To exit, type a Ctrl-D (EOF) or type exit.  To treat a
      built-in command as a host name, precede it with an escape character
      (\).  When using NIS or the host table, only host names and Internet
      addresses are allowed as commands.  An unrecognized command is
      interpreted as a host name.

      host [server]  Look up information for host using the current default
                     server or using server if specified.  If host is an
                     Internet address and the query type is A or PTR, the
                     name of the host is returned.  If host is a name and
                     does not have a trailing period, one or more domains
                     are appended to the name (this behavior depends on the
                     state of the set options domain, srchlist, defname, and
                     search).  Answers from a name server's cache are
                     labeled ``non-authoritative.''

      server domain
      lserver domain Change the default server to domain.  lserver uses the
                     initial server to look up information about domain
                     while server uses the current default server.  When
                     server is used while the current name service being
                     pointed to is either NIS or /etc/hosts, then the switch
                     policy will be overridden until a reset is issued.

      root           Changes the default server to the server for the root
                     of the domain name space.  Currently, the host
                     ns.nic.ddn.mil is used (this command is a synonym for
                     lserverns.nic.ddn.mil).  The name of the root server
                     can be changed with the set root command.

      policy         Prints out the policy read from the switch
                     configuration file. The number of name services
                     specified in the file are shown, as well as the order
                     and criteria on how the name services are to be used.

 Hewlett-Packard Company            - 2 -   HP-UX 11i Version 2: August 2003

 nslookup(1)                                                     nslookup(1)

                     The four statuses of the criteria are represented by
                     the four positions within the square brackets. The
                     order of the statuses are: SUCCESS, NOTFOUND, UNAVAIL
                     and TRYAGAIN. The two actions of the criteria are
                     represented by the two possible letters used in the
                     four status positions: R for return and C for continue.
                     However, if no criteria is specified between two
                     sources, then the default actions are assigned to the
                          SUCCESS=        return
                          NOTFOUND=       continue
                          UNAVAIL=        continue
                          TRYAGAIN=       continue

      finger [name] [> filename]
      finger [name] [>> filename]
                     Connects with the finger server on the current host.
                     The current host is defined when a previous lookup for
                     a host was successful and returned address information
                     (see the set querytype=A command).  name is optional.
                     > and >> can be used to redirect output in the usual

      ls [option] domain [> filename]
      ls [option] domain [>> filename]
                     List the information available for domain, optionally
                     creating or appending to filename.  The default output
                     contains host names and their Internet addresses.
                     option can be one of the following:

                     -t querytype   lists all records of the specified type
                                    (see querytype below).

                     -a             lists aliases of hosts in the domain
                                    (synonym for -t CNAME).

                     -d             lists all records for the domain
                                    (synonym for -t ANY).

                     -h             lists CPU and operating system
                                    information for the domain (synonym for
                                    -t HINFO).

                     -s             lists well-known services of hosts in
                                    the domain (synonym for -t WKS).

                     When output is directed to a file, # characters are
                     printed for every 50 records received from the server.

      view filename  Sorts and lists the output of previous ls command(s)
                     using more (see more(1)).

 Hewlett-Packard Company            - 3 -   HP-UX 11i Version 2: August 2003

 nslookup(1)                                                     nslookup(1)

      ?              Prints a brief summary of commands.

      exit           Exits the program.

      reset          Returns to the use of the configured name service
                     switch policy and resets to use the original

      set keyword[=value]
                     This command is used to change state information that
                     affects the lookups.  Valid keywords are:

                     all            Prints the current values of the various
                                    options to set.  Information about the
                                    current default server and host is also

                     cl[ass]=value  Change the query class to one of:

                                    IN        the Internet class.

                                    CHAOS     the Chaos class.

                                    HESIOD    the MIT Athena Hesiod class.

                                    ANY       wildcard (any of the above).

                                    The class specifies the protocol group
                                    of the information.  (Default = IN)

                     [no]deb[ug]    Turn debugging mode on.  More
                                    information is printed about the packet
                                    sent to the server and the resulting
                                    answer.  (Default = nodebug)

                     [no]d2         Turn exhaustive debugging mode on.
                                    Essentially all fields of every packet
                                    are printed.  (Default = nod2)

                     [no]def[name]  If set, append the default domain name
                                    to a single-component lookup request
                                    (i.e., one that does not contain a
                                    period character).  (Default = defname)

                     do[main]=name  Change the default domain name to name.
                                    The default domain name is appended to a
                                    lookup request, depending on the state
                                    of the defname and search options.  The
                                    domain search list contains the parents
                                    of the default domain if it has at least

 Hewlett-Packard Company            - 4 -   HP-UX 11i Version 2: August 2003

 nslookup(1)                                                     nslookup(1)

                                    two components in its name.  For
                                    example, if the default domain is
                                    CC.Berkeley.EDU, the search list is
                                    CC.Berkeley.EDU and Berkeley.EDU.  Use
                                    the set srchlist command to specify a
                                    different list.  Use the set all command
                                    to display the list.  (Default = value
                                    from hostname, /etc/resolv.conf or

                     [no]ig[nore]   Ignore truncation errors.  (Default =

                     ty[pe]=value   Change the type of information returned
                                    from a query to one of:

                                    A           Host's IPv4 address

                                    AAAA        Host's IPv6 address

                                    ANY         All types of data

                                    CNAME       Canonical name for an alias

                                    GID         Group ID

                                    HINFO       Host CPU and operating
                                                system type

                                    MB          Mailbox domain name

                                    MG          Mail group member

                                    MINFO       Mailbox or mail list

                                    MR          Mail rename domain name

                                    MX          Mail exchanger

                                    NS          Name server for the named

                                    PTR         Host name if the query is an
                                                Internet address, otherwise
                                                the pointer to other

                                    SOA         Start of authority record

 Hewlett-Packard Company            - 5 -   HP-UX 11i Version 2: August 2003

 nslookup(1)                                                     nslookup(1)

                                    TXT         Text information

                                    UID         User ID

                                    UINFO       User information

                                    WKS         Well-known service

                     po[rt]=value   Change the default TCP/UDP name server
                                    port to value.  (Default = 53)

                     [no]rec[urse]  Tell the name server to query other
                                    servers if it does not have the
                                    information.  (Default = recurse)

                     ret[ry]=number Set the number of retries to number.
                                    When a reply to a request is not
                                    received within a certain amount of time
                                    (changed with set timeout), the timeout
                                    period is doubled and the request is
                                    resent.  The retry value controls how
                                    many times a request is resent before
                                    giving up.  (Default = 4)

                     ro[ot]=host    Change the name of the root server to
                                    host.  This affects the root command.
                                    (Default = ns.nic.ddn.mil)

                     [no]sea[rch]   If the lookup request contains at least
                                    one period but doesn't end with a
                                    trailing period, append the domain names
                                    in the domain search list to the request
                                    until an answer is received.  See
                                    hostname(5).  (Default = search)

                                    Change the default domain name to name1
                                    and the domain search list to name1,
                                    name2, etc.  A maximum of 6 names
                                    separated by slashes (/) can be
                                    specified.  For example,

                                    set srchlist=lcs.MIT.EDU/ai.MIT.EDU/MIT.EDU

                                    sets the domain to lcs.MIT.EDU and the
                                    search list to the three names.  This
                                    command overrides the default domain
                                    name and search list of the set domain
                                    command.  Use the set all command to
                                    display the list.  (Default = value

 Hewlett-Packard Company            - 6 -   HP-UX 11i Version 2: August 2003

 nslookup(1)                                                     nslookup(1)

                                    based on hostname, /etc/resolv.conf or

                     [no]swtr[ace]  When set, this flag causes nslookup to
                                    print out information about the sources
                                    used for resolving a name or an address
                                    lookup. This flag traces the behavior
                                    generated by the switch policy.
                                    (Default = noswtrace)

                                    Change the initial timeout interval for
                                    waiting for a reply to number seconds.
                                    Each retry doubles the timeout period.
                                    (Default = 5 seconds)

                     [no]v[c]       Always use a virtual circuit when
                                    sending requests to the server.
                                    (Default = novc)

      The default behaviour of nslookup in the absence of hosts entry in the
      /etc/nsswitch.conf file or in the absence of the /etc/nsswitch.conf
      file is as follows:

           hosts:    dns nis files

 DIAGNOSTICS    [Toc]    [Back]
      If the lookup request was not successful, an error message is printed.
      Possible errors are:

           Time-out    [Toc]    [Back]
                The server did not respond to a request after a certain
                amount of time (changed with set timeout=value) and a
                certain number of retries (changed with set retry=value).

           No response from server    [Toc]    [Back]
                No name server is running on the server machine.

           No records    [Toc]    [Back]
                The server does not have resource records of the current
                query type for the host, although the host name is valid.
                The query type is specified with the set querytype command.

           Non-existent domain    [Toc]    [Back]
                The host or domain name does not exist.

           Connection refused    [Toc]    [Back]
           Network is unreachable
                The connection to the name server could not be made at the
                present time.

 Hewlett-Packard Company            - 7 -   HP-UX 11i Version 2: August 2003

 nslookup(1)                                                     nslookup(1)

           Server failure    [Toc]    [Back]
                The name server found an internal inconsistency in its
                database and could not return a valid answer.

           Refused    [Toc]    [Back]
                The name server refused to service the request.

           Format error    [Toc]    [Back]
                The name server found that the request packet was not in the
                proper format.

 AUTHOR    [Toc]    [Back]
      nslookup was developed by the University of California, Berkeley.

 FILES    [Toc]    [Back]
      /etc/resolv.conf              Initial domain name and name server
      $HOME/.nslookuprc             User's initial options

 SEE ALSO    [Toc]    [Back]
      named(1M), resolver(3N), resolver(4), nsswitch.conf(4), hostname(5),

      RFC1034, RFC1035

 Hewlett-Packard Company            - 8 -   HP-UX 11i Version 2: August 2003
[ Back ]
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