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Linux in a Nutshell

This directory of Linux commands is from Linux in a Nutshell, 5th Edition.

Click on any of the 687 commands below to get a description and list of available options. All links in the command summaries point to the online version of the book on Safari Bookshelf.

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whois[options] query[@server[:port] ] jwhois [options] query[@server[:port] ]

Search a whois database for a domain name, IP address, or NIC name. The information returned varies, but usually contains administrative and technical contacts so that you can find a person to handle problems at that domain. By default, the command returns information on .com, .net, and .edu domains, but other hosts can be queried for other domains using host or the -h option.



Indicate the end of options. A subsequent string that begins with a hyphen on the command line is taken as a query string.

-a, --raw

Do not rewrite query according to configuration before sending to server.

-c file, --config=file

Specify a configuration file to use instead of the default /etc/jwhois.conf.

-d, --disable-cache

Disable reading and writing to the cache.

-f, --force-lookup

Force the lookup query to go to the host, even if it is available from the cache.

-h host, --host=host

Query the whois server on the specified host. Same as host on the command line. By default, queries the server in the environment variable NICNAMESERVER or WHOISSERVER if either is set; otherwise queries


Print help message and exit.

-i, --display-redirections

Display every step in a redirection. The default is to display only the last step.

-n, --no-redirect

Disable redirection from one server to the next.

-p port, --port=port

Connect to the specified port. Same as port on the command line. Default is 43.

-r, --rwhois

Force use of the rwhois protocol, instead of HTTP or whois.


Request receiving rwhois servers to display the results in the specified display instead of the default.


Request receiving rwhois servers to limit the number of matches to the specified limit.

-s, --no-whoisservers

Disable built-in support for


Verbose. Display the query before sending it to the server.


Print version information and exit.

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