whois - Internet domain name and network number directory
whois [-6AadgilmQRr] [-c country-code | -h host] [-p port]
The whois utility looks up records in the databases maintained by several
Network Information Centers (NICs).
The options are as follows:
-6 Use the IPv6 Resource Center (6bone) database. It
names and addresses for the IPv6 network.
-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.
-a Use the American Registry for Internet Numbers
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
end with "-ARIN".)
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,
points of contact for subdomains of .GOV.
Use the specified host instead of the default NIC
(whois.crsnic.net). Either a host name or an IP address may be
By default whois constructs the name of a whois
server to use
from the top-level domain (TLD) of the supplied
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
will default to the American Registry for Internet
(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. Historically, it contained
network numbers and domain contact information for most of
.COM, .NET, .ORG and .EDU domains. However, the
these domains is now done by a number of independent
registrars and this database holds no information on the domains
registered by organizations other than Network
Inc. Also, note that the InterNIC database
is no longer handled by Network Solutions, Inc. For
(Hint: Contact information, identified by the term
handle, can be
looked up by prefixing "!" or "handle " to the NIC
handle in the
-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
route policy specifications for a large number of
Connect to the whois server on port. If this option
is not specified,
whois defaults to the ``whois'' port listed
/etc/services (port 43).
-Q Do a quick lookup. This means that whois will not
lookup the name in the authoritative whois server
(if one is
listed) nor will it contact InterNic if a lookup
flag has no effect when combined with any other
-R Use the Russia Network Information Center (RIPN)
contains network numbers and domain contact information for subdomains
of .RU. This option is deprecated; use the
with an argument of "RU" instead.
-r Use the R'eseaux IP Europ'eens (RIPE) database. It
numbers and domain contact information for Europe.
The default action, unless directed otherwise with a special
name, is to
do a very broad search, looking for matches to name in all
records and most fields (name, nicknames, hostname, net address, etc.) in
the database. For more information as to what name operands
meaning, and how to guide the search, use the special name
Special cases [Toc] [Back]
Queries beginning with an exclamation point `!' are assumed
to be NSI
contact handles. Unless a host or domain is specified on
line, (whois.networksolutions.com) will be used as the whois
Similarly, queries beginning with ``COCO-'' are assumed to
be CORE contact
handles. Unless a host or domain is specified on the
(whois.corenic.net) will be used as the whois database.
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
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
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
``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,
The whois command appeared in 4.3BSD.
OpenBSD 3.6 January 6, 2003
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