nslookup [-option...] [host_to_find | - [server ]]

Queries Internet domain name servers. nslookup has two modes: interactive and noninteractive. Interactive mode allows the user to query name servers for information about various hosts and domains or to print a list of hosts in a domain. Interactive mode is entered when either no arguments are provided (the default name server will be used), or the first argument is a hyphen and the second argument is the hostname or Internet address of a name server. Noninteractive mode is used to print just the name and requested information for a host or domain. It is used when the name of the host to be looked up is given as the first argument. Any of the keyword=value pairs listed under the interactive set command can be used as an option on the command line by prefacing the keyword with a -. The optional second argument specifies a name server.


All options under the set interactive command can be entered on the command line, with the syntax - keyword[= value].

Interactive commands


Exit nslookup.

finger [name] [>|>> filename]

Connect to finger server on current host, optionally creating or appending to filename.

help, ?

Print a brief summary of commands.

host [server]

Look up information for host using the current default server or using server if specified.

ls -[adhs] -[t querytype] domain [>|>> filename]

List information available for domain, optionally creating or appending to filename. The -a option lists aliases ...

Get Mac OS X Panther in a Nutshell, 2nd Edition now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.