Updated: 2021/Apr/14


WHOIS(1)                    General Commands Manual                   WHOIS(1)

NAME
     whois - Internet domain name and network number directory service

SYNOPSIS
     whois [-AadfgIilmPQRr] [-c country-code | -h host] [-p port] name ...

DESCRIPTION
     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
             covered neither by AfriNIC, APNIC, LACNIC, nor by RIPE.

             (Hint: All point of contact handles in the ARIN whois database
             end with "-ARIN".)

     -c country-code
             This is the equivalent of using the -h option with an argument of
             "country-code.whois-servers.net".

     -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
             contains points of contact for subdomains of .GOV.

     -h host
             Use the specified host instead of the default NIC
             (whois.crsnic.net).  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.  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
             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 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
             contained 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
             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 "!" or "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.

     -P      Use the PeeringDB database of AS numbers.  It contains details
             about presence at internet peering points for many network
             operators.

     -p port
             Connect to the whois server on port.  If this option is not
             specified, 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
             subdomains of .RU.  This option is deprecated; use the -c option
             with an argument of "RU" instead.

     -r      Use the R'eseaux IP Europ'eens (RIPE) database.  It contains
             network 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".

   Special cases
     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 contact
     handles.  Unless a host or domain is specified on the command line,
     (whois.corenic.net) will be used as the whois database.

EXAMPLES
     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 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

STANDARDS
     K. Harrenstien, M. Stahl, and E. Feinler, NICNAME/WHOIS, RFC 954, October
     1985.

     L. Daigle, WHOIS Protocol Specification, RFC 3912, September 2004.

HISTORY
     The whois command appeared in 4.3BSD.

NetBSD 9.99                      March 1, 2020                     NetBSD 9.99