host command in Linux with examples

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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