Developer(s)Internet Systems Consortium, Andrew Cherenson, IBM, Microsoft, Lucas Suggs
Operating systemUnix, Unix-like, OS/2, Microsoft Windows, ReactOS
LicenseMicrosoft Windows, IBM OS/2: Proprietary commercial software
ReactOS: GNU General Public License

nslookup (from "name server lookup") is a network administration command-line tool for querying the Domain Name System (DNS) to obtain the mapping between domain name and IP address, or other DNS records.


nslookup was a member of the BIND name server software. Early[when?] in the development of BIND 9, the Internet Systems Consortium planned to deprecate nslookup in favor of host and dig. This decision was reversed in 2004 with the release of BIND 9.3[1] and nslookup has been fully supported since then.

Unlike dig, nslookup does not use the operating system's local Domain Name System resolver library to perform its queries, and thus may behave differently. Additionally, vendor-provided versions may include output of other sources of name information, such as host files, and Network Information Service. Some behaviors of nslookup may be modified by the contents of resolv.conf.[2]

The Linux version of nslookup was written by Andrew Cherenson.[3]

The ReactOS version was developed by Lucas Suggs and is licensed under the GPL.[4]


nslookup operates in interactive or non-interactive mode. When used interactively by invoking it without arguments or when the first argument is - (minus sign) and the second argument is a hostname or Internet address of a name server, the user issues parameter configurations or requests when presented with the nslookup prompt (>). When no arguments are given, then the command queries the default server. The - (minus sign) invokes subcommands which are specified on the command line and should precede nslookup commands. In non-interactive mode, i.e. when the first argument is a name or Internet address of the host being searched, parameters and the query are specified as command line arguments in the invocation of the program. The non interactive mode searches the information for a specified host using the default name server.[5]

See also


  1. ^ "BIND 9.3.0 is now available". Isc.org. 2004-09-23. Retrieved 2015-01-13.
  2. ^ "DNS and BIND, Fourth Edition: Chapter 12. nslookup and dig". O'Reilly. Retrieved 20 July 2010.
  3. ^ "nslookup(1) - Linux man page". linux.die.net.
  4. ^ "reactos/reactos". GitHub. 3 January 2022.
  5. ^ "pSeries and AIX Information Center". Publib.boulder.ibm.com. Archived from the original on 2013-01-03. Retrieved 2012-09-05.

Further reading

Microsoft Windows

Unix-like OSs