- NetBSD Manual Pages
WHOIS(1) NetBSD General Commands Manual WHOIS(1)
Powered by man-cgi (2021-06-01).
Maintained for NetBSD
by Kimmo Suominen.
Based on man-cgi by Panagiotis Christias.
whois -- Internet domain name and network number directory service
whois [-AadfgIilmPQRr] [-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 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 (ARIN) database.
It contains network numbers used in those parts of the world cov-
ered neither by AfriNIC, APNIC, LACNIC, nor by RIPE.
(Hint: All point of contact handles in the ARIN whois database
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.
-f Use the African Network Information Center (AfriNIC) database.
It contains network numbers used in Africa.
-g Use the US non-military federal government database, which con-
tains 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 (single) argu-
ment. For newer generic domains (gTLDs), a lookup for
whois.nic.tld is attempted. For other TLDs, or if this lookup
fails, ".whois-servers.net" is appended to the TLD. This effec-
tively allows a suitable whois server to be selected automati-
cally 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 AfriNIC, APNIC, LACNIC, or
RIPE, that server will be queried also, provided that the -Q
option is not specified.
If the query is not a domain name or IP address, whois will fall
back to whois.crsnic.net.
-I Use the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (whois.iana.org) root
zone database. It contains information about top-level domains.
-i Use the Network Solutions Registry for Internet Numbers
(whois.networksolutions.com) database. Historically, it con-
tained network numbers and domain contact information for most of
.COM, .NET, .ORG and .EDU domains. However, the registration of
these domains is now done by a number of independent and compet-
ing 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
(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 contains
route policy specifications for a large number of operators' net-
-P Use the PeeringDB database of AS numbers. It contains details
about presence at internet peering points for many network opera-
Connect to the whois server on port. If this option is not spec-
ified, whois defaults to the ``whois'' port listed in
/etc/services (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) nor will it contact InterNic if a lookup fails. This
flag has no effect when combined with any other flag.
-R Use the Russia Network Information Center (RIPN) database. It
contains network numbers and domain contact information for sub-
domains of .RU. This option is deprecated; use the -c option
with an argument of "RU" instead.
-r Use the RŽeseaux IP EuropŽeens (RIPE) database. It contains net-
work 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 types of
records and most fields (name, nicknames, hostname, net address, etc.) in
the database. For more information as to what name operands have special
meaning, and how to guide the search, use the special name ``help''.
Queries beginning with an exclamation point `!' are assumed to be NSI
contact handles. Unless a host or domain is specified on the command
line, (whois.networksolutions.com) will be used as the whois database.
Similarly, queries beginning with ``COCO-'' are assumed to be CORE con-
tact handles. Unless a host or domain is specified on the command line,
(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 Rus-
sian TLD domain "RU", use the -c option as shown in the following exam-
ple, 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 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
K. Harrenstien, M. Stahl, and E. Feinler, NICNAME/WHOIS, RFC 954, October
L. Daigle, WHOIS Protocol Specification, RFC 3912, September 2004.
The whois command appeared in 4.3BSD.
NetBSD 9.99 March 1, 2020 NetBSD 9.99