WHOIS(1) Debian GNU/Linux WHOIS(1)
whois - client for the whois directory service
whois [ -h HOST ] [ -p PORT ] [ -aCFHlLMmrRSVx ]
[ -g SOURCE:FIRST-LAST ] [ -i ATTR ] [ -S SOURCE ] [ -T TYPE ] object
whois [ -t ] [ -v ] template whois [ -q ] keyword
whois searches for an object in a RFC 3912 database.
This version of the whois client tries to guess the right server to ask
for the specified object. If no guess can be made it will connect to
whois.networksolutions.com for NIC handles or whois.arin.net for IPv4
addresses and network names.
-h HOST Connect to HOST.
-H Do not display the legal disclaimers some registries like to
-p PORT Connect to PORT.
--help Display online help.
Other options are flags understood by RIPE-like servers.
Please remember that whois.networksolutions.com by default will only
search in the domains database. If you want to search for NIC handles
you have to prepend a ! character. When you do this, the default server
When querying whois.nic.mil for AS numbers, the program will automati
cally convert the request in the appropriate format, inserting a space
after the string AS.
If the program is compiled with IDN support, when querying
whois.denic.de for domain names it will automatically add the flags -T
dn,ace -C US-ASCII if no flags have been specified by the user. The
domain name will always be IDN-encoded.
When querying whois.corenic.net, the program will automatically request
RIPE-specific command line options are ignored when querying non-RIPE
servers. This may or may not be the behaviour intended by the user.
When querying a non-standard server, command line options which are not
to be interpreted by the client should always follow the -- separator
(which marks the beginning of the query string).
If the /etc/whois.conf config file exists, it will be consulted to find
a server before applying the normal rules. Each line of the file should
contain a regular expression to be matched against the query text and
the whois server to use, separated by white space.
Command line arguments will always be interpreted accordingly to the
current system locale and converted to the IDN ASCII Compatible Encod
LANG When querying whois.nic.ad.jp and whois.jprs.jp english text is
requested unless the LANG environment variable specifies a
This server will be queried if the program cannot guess where
some kind of objects are located. If the variable does not exist
then whois.arin.net will be queried.
If this variable is defined, legal disclaimers will be hidden
even if the -H flag is not used.
RFC 3912: WHOIS Protocol Specification
RIPE-223: RIPE NCC Database Documentation
Detailed help on available flags can be found in RIPE-223 or in the
help file which can be obtained with the command:
whois -h whois.ripe.net HELP
The program has many buffer overflows when parsing the command line
parameters: be sure to not pass untrusted data to it. It will be
rewritten to use a dynamic strings library.
This program closely tracks the user interface of the whois client
developed at RIPE by Ambrose Magee and others on the base of the origi
nal BSD client. I also added support for the protocol extensions
developed by David Kessens of QWest for the 6bone server.
Whois and this man page were written by Marco dItri and
are licensed under the terms of the GNU General Public License.
Marco dItri 4 March 2005 WHOIS(1)