nslookup is a network administration command-line tool available for many computer operating systems.
The main use of nslookup is for troubleshooting DNS related problems.
Nslookup can be use in interactive and non-interactive mode.
To use in interactive mode type nslookup at the command line and hit return.
You should get an nslookup command prompt.
To use in non-interactive mode type nslookup options at the command prompt.
To illustrate the use of nslookup we are going to use it to:
- Find the IP address of a host.
- Find the domain name of an IP address.
- Find mail servers for a domain.
These are probably the most common usage scenarios.
Finding The IP Address of an Host-
To find the ip address of a host e.g. www.steves-internet-guide.com type:
at a command prompt.
for an interactive lookup:
Reverse Lookup IP address to domain name
Type nslookup IP address
Find Mail Servers for a Domain
Type nslookup -querytype=mx domain name
General Usage Notes:
- By default nslookup will use the domain server that is currently configured for your system.
You can switch DNS servers using server name or server IP address option.
To switch to using the open dns server address 126.96.36.199 then go to an interactive prompt and type:
2. You may notice that you get non authoritative answers.
This is nothing to worry about as all it means is that the DNS server has already recently resolved this query.
It can retrieve the results from cache, and doesn’t need to contact the authoritative name server.
You can find out which name servers are responsible (authoritative) for a domain by setting the query type to NS and entering the domain name as shown below:
Q- Can I use dig instead of Nslookup?
A– Yes Dig was initially meant to replace nslookup but didn’t. See Wiki – Dig isn’t found on Windows.
Nslookup is a very handy tool for troubleshooting DNS related network problems.
It is available on all of the main Operating systems and can be used in interactive and command line mode.
DNS and Bind Book – The definitive guide. This has an entire section on Nslookup.
- Beginners guide to DNS
- Understanding the Domain Name structure
- DNS Lookups Explained
- Understanding and Using the Hosts File