dig – DNS lookup utility
dig [ @server ] [ -b address ] [ -c class ] [ -f filename ] [ -k filename ] [ -p port# ] [ -t type ] [ -x addr ] [ -y name:key ] [ name ] [ type ] [ class ] [ queryopt… ]
dig (domain information groper) is a flexible tool for interrogating DNS name servers. It performs DNS lookups and displays the answers that are returned from the name server(s) that were queried. Most DNS administrators use dig to troubleshoot DNS problems because of its flexibility, ease of use and clarity of output. Other lookup tools tend to have less functionality than dig.
Although dig is normally used with command-line arguments, it also has a batch mode of operation for reading lookup requests from a file. A brief summary of its command-line arguments and options is printed when the -h option is given. Unlike earlier versions, the BIND9 implementation of dig allows multiple lookups to be issued from the command line.
Unless it is told to query a specific name server, dig will try each of the servers listed in /etc/resolv.conf.
When no command line arguments or options are given, will perform an NS query for “.” (the root).
A typical invocation of dig looks like:
dig @server name type
server is the name or IP address of the name server to query. This can be an IPv4 address in dotted-decimal notation or an IPv6 address in colon-delimited notation. When the supplied server argument is a hostname, dig resolves that name before querying that name server. If no server argument is provided, dig consults /etc/resolv.conf and queries the name servers listed there. The reply from the name server that responds is displayed.
name is the name of the resource record that is to be looked up.
type indicates what type of query is required — ANY, A, MX, SIG, etc. type can be any valid query type. If no type argument is supplied, dig will perform a lookup for an A record.
The -b option sets the source IP address of the query to address. This must be a valid address on one of the host’s network interfaces.
The default query class (IN for internet) is overridden by the -c option. class is any valid class, such as HS for Hesiod records or CH for CHAOSNET records.
The -f option makes dig operate in batch mode by reading a list of lookup requests to process from the file filename. The file contains a number of queries, one per line. Each entry in the file should be organised in the same way they would be presented as queries to dig using the command-line interface.
If a non-standard port number is to be queried, the -p option is used. port# is the port number that dig will send its queries instead of the standard DNS port number 53. This option would be used to test a name server that has been configured to listen for queries on a non-standard port number.
The -t option sets the query type to type. It can be any valid query type which is supported in BIND9. The default query type “A”, unless the -x option is supplied to indicate a reverse lookup. A zone transfer can be requested by specifying a type of AXFR. When an incremental zone transfer (IXFR) is required, type is set to ixfr=N. The incremental zone transfer will contain the changes made to the zone since the serial number in the zone’s SOA record was N.
Reverse lookups – mapping addresses to names – are simplified by the -x option. addr is an IPv4 address in dotted-decimal notation, or a colon-delimited IPv6 address. When this option is used, there is no need to provide the name, class and type arguments. dig automatically performs a lookup for a name like 126.96.36.199.in-addr.arpa and sets the query type and class to PTR and IN respectively. By default, IPv6 addresses are looked up using the IP6.ARPA domain and binary labels as defined in RFC2874. To use the older RFC1886 method using the IP6.INT domain and “nibble” labels, specify the -n (nibble) option.
To sign the DNS queries sent by dig and their responses using transaction signatures (TSIG), specify a TSIG key file using the -k option. You can also specify the TSIG key itself on the command line using the -y option; name is the name of the TSIG key and key is the actual key. The key is a base-64 encoded string, typically generated by dnssec-keygen(8). Caution should be taken when using the -y option on multi-user systems as the key can be visible in the output from ps(1) or in the shell’s history file. When using TSIG authentication with dig, the name server that is queried needs to know the key and algorithm that is being used. In BIND, this is done by providing appropriate key and server statements in named.conf.
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