nslookup is probably one of the most commonly used tools to manually perform DNS queries. This tool can emulate both a standard client resolver and a server. Used as a client nslookup can directly query a server for information. Used as a server, nslookup can perform transfers from a primary or master server. There are two modes? noninteractive ( syntax looks like nslookup www.hostname.com) or interactive ( syntax is nslookup and pressing enter without any arguments). Options can be passed to nslookup in both modes and you can read the help paged by typing help or at the command prompt.

A noninteractive use of nslookup looks like the following;

command line syntax

noninteractive nslookup

Notice the Non-authoritative answer which is telling you that this machine is a cached resolution if the server is authoritative this line does not appear. When using command line mode, and you want to enter arguments, discussed later, remember to add them first, and that they can be abbreviated to a point of remaining unique.

Command-line arguments

help (?) Command

The help or command will display the help information and a brief description of the commands.

help command

help argument






exit Command

The exit command will quit nslookup. If you use quit nslookup treats it as a host name and will try to resolve it.

finger Command

The finger command applies to the current host and will resolve the most recent successful lookup performed.

server Command

The server command, similar to the lserver command resolves another name server and sets that server to the default.

lserver Command

The lserver command uses the local name server to perform the lookup on another name server and then sets the newly resolved name server as default.

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