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host command in Linux with examples

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host command in Linux system is used for DNS (Domain Name System) lookup operations. In simple words, this command is used to find the IP address of a particular domain name or if you want to find out the domain name of a particular IP address the host command becomes handy. You can also find more specific details of a domain by specifying the corresponding option along with the domain name.


host [-aCdlriTWV] [-c class] [-N ndots] [-t type] [-W time]
     [-R number] [-m flag] hostname [server]

host command without any option: It will print the general syntax of the command along with the various options that can be used with the host command as well as gives a brief description about each option.


Different options with the host command:

  • host domain_name: This will print the IP address details of the specified domain.



  • host IP_Address: This will display the domain details of the specified IP Address.



  • -a or -v: It used to specify the query type or enables the verbose output.


    host -a 

  • -t : It is used to specify the type of query.

    Example 1:

    host -t ns  

    Example 2: To print SOA record

    host -t SOA  

    Example 3: To print txt record

    host -t txt  

  • -C : In order to compare the SOA records on authoritative nameservers.


    host -C 

  • -R : In order to specify the number of retries you can do in case one try fails. If anyone try succeeds then the command stops.


    host -R 3 

  • -l :In order to list all hosts in a domain.For this command to work you need to be either an admin or a node server.


    host -l 
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Last Updated : 21 May, 2019
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