host is a DNS lookup utility.
host [-aCdlriTwv] [-c class] [-N ndots] [-t type] [-W time] [-R number] [-m flag] hostname [server]
- -4, -6
- The -4 option forces host to only use IPv4 query transport. The -6 option forces host to only use IPv6 query transport.
- The -a (all) option is equivalent to setting the -v option and asking host to make a query of type ANY.
- -c class
- The -c option instructs to make a DNS query of class "class". This can be used to lookup Hesiod or Chaosnet class resource records. The default class is IN (Internet).
- When the -C option is used, host will attempt to display the SOA records for zone name from all the listed authoritative name servers for that zone. The list of name servers is defined by the NS records that are found for the zone.
- Verbose mode. Equivalent to -v. They have been provided for backwards compatibility. In previous versions, the -d option switched on debugging traces and -v enabled verbose output.
- The -i option specifies that reverse lookups of IPv6 addresses should use the IP6.INT domain as defined in RFC1886. The default is to use IP6.ARPA.
- List mode is selected by the -l option. This makes host perform a zone transfer for zone name. Transfer the zone printing out the NS, PTR and address records (A/AAAA). If combined with -a all records will be printed.
- -m flag
- The -m can be used to set the memory usage debugging flags record, usage and trace.
- -N ndots
- The -N option sets the number of dots that have to be in name for it to be considered absolute. The default value is that defined using the ndots statement in /etc/resolv.conf, or 1 if no ndots statement is present. Names with fewer dots are interpreted as relative names and will be searched for in the domains listed in the search or domain directive in /etc/resolv.conf.
- Non-recursive queries can be made via the -r option. Setting this option clears the RD — recursion desired — bit in the query which host makes. This should mean that the name server receiving the query will not attempt to resolve name. The -r option enables host to mimic the behavior of a name server by making non-recursive queries and expecting to receive answers to those queries that are usually referrals to other name servers.
- -R number
- The number of UDP retries for a lookup can be changed with the -R option. "number" indicates how many times host will repeat a query that does not get answered. The default number of retries is 1. If number is negative or zero, the number of retries will default to 1.
- The -s option tells host not to send the query to the next nameserver if any server responds with a SERVFAIL response, which is the reverse of normal stub resolver behavior.
- -t type
- The -t option is used to select the query type. "type" can be any recognized query type: CNAME, NS, SOA, SIG, KEY, AXFR, etc. When no query type is specified, host automatically selects an appropriate query type. By default, it looks for A, AAAA, and MX records, but if the -C option was given, queries will be made for SOA records, and if name is a dotted-decimal IPv4 address or colon-delimited IPv6 address, host will query for PTR records. If a query type of IXFR is chosen the starting serial number can be specified by appending an equal followed by the starting serial number (e.g. -t IXFR=12345678).
- By default, host uses UDP when making queries. The -T option makes it use a TCP connection when querying the name server. TCP will be automatically selected for queries that require it, such as zone transfer (AXFR) requests.
- Verbose mode
- -W sec, -w
- The time to wait for a reply can be controlled through the -W and -w options. The -W option makes host wait for "sec" seconds. If "sec" is less than one, the wait interval is set to one second. When the -w option is used, host will effectively wait forever for a reply. The time to wait for a response will be set to the number of seconds given by the hardware’s maximum value for an integer quantity.