shellinfo tips

DIG – dnsutils

In the world of networking, understanding how to retrieve information about domain names is crucial. One tool that makes this task easier is ‘dig’, a powerful command-line utility available on Unix-based systems like Linux and macOS.

‘Dig’ stands for ‘Domain Information Groper’. It is a flexible tool for interrogating DNS (Domain Name System) name servers. It performs DNS lookups and displays the answers that are returned from the name server(s) that were queried.

How to Use the ‘dig’ Command

The basic syntax of the ‘dig’ command is straightforward:
dig [name] [type]

Here, ‘name’ is the name of the resource record that is to be looked up, and ‘type’ indicates the type of query. If no type argument is supplied, ‘dig’ will perform a lookup for an A record.

For example, to find the IP address associated with a domain, you would use:

This command will return a variety of information, including the ‘ANSWER SECTION’, which contains the A record for ‘‘ (i.e., its IP address).

Using ‘dig’ with Different Query Types

You can use ‘dig’ to query different types of records.

  1. MX (Mail Exchange) Records: These records are used in routing email. To query MX records, you would use:

dig MX

This command will return the MX records for ‘’, showing you the mail servers that are set up to receive email for that domain.

  1. NS (Name Server) Records: These records indicate which DNS servers are authoritative for a domain. To query NS records, use:

dig NS

This command will return the NS records for ‘’, showing you which name servers are responsible for information about the domain.

  1. TXT (Text) Records: These records are often used to hold machine-readable data, such as SPF data to combat email spoofing or DKIM data for email validation. To query TXT records, use:

dig TXT

This command will return the TXT records for ‘’, which could include various types of information depending on what the domain uses TXT records for.

  1. CNAME (Canonical Name) Records: These records are used to alias one name to another. To query CNAME records, use:


This command will return the CNAME record for ‘‘, if one exists, showing you what domain name ‘‘ is an alias for.

  1. SOA (Start of Authority) Records: These records provide authoritative information about a DNS zone, including the primary name server, the email of the domain administrator, the domain serial number, and several timers relating to refreshing the zone. To query SOA records, use:

dig SOA

This command will return the SOA record for ‘’, providing a wealth of information about how the domain is configured.


The ‘dig’ command is a versatile tool for anyone who needs to work with DNS. Whether you’re a system administrator troubleshooting network issues or a web developer setting up a new domain, ‘dig’ offers a quick and reliable way to query DNS records.