host [options] name [server]

System administration command. Print information about hosts or zones in DNS. Hosts may be IP addresses or hostnames; host converts IP addresses to hostnames by default and appends the local domain to hosts without a trailing dot. Default servers are determined in /etc/resolv.conf. For more information about hosts and zones, read Chapter 1 and Chapter 2 of Paul Albitz’s and Cricket Liu’s DNS and BIND (O’Reilly).



Same as -t ANY.

-c class

Search for specified resource record class (IN, CH, CHAOS, HS, HESIOD, or ANY). Default is IN.


Verbose output. Same as -v.


List mode. This also performs a zone transfer for the named zone. Same as -t AXFR.


Perform reverse lookups for IPv6 addresses using IP6.INT domain and “nibble” labels instead of IP6.ARPA and binary labels.


Do not ask contacted server to query other servers, but require only the information that it has cached.


Stop querying nameservers upon receiving a SERVFAIL response.

-t type

Look for type entries in the resource record. type may be any recognized query type, such as A, AXFR, CNAME, NS, SOA, SIG, or ANY. If name is a hostname, host will look for A records by default. If name is an IPv4 or IPv6 address, it will look for PTR records.


Verbose. Include all fields from resource record, even time-to-live and class, as well as “additional information” and “authoritative nameservers” (provided by the remote nameserver).


Never give up on queried server.


Display SOA records from ...

Get Linux in a Nutshell, 6th Edition now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience books, live events, courses curated by job role, and more from O’Reilly and nearly 200 top publishers.