Who is?

WHOIS is a query and response protocol that is widely used for querying databases that store the registered users or assignees of an Internet resource, such as a domain name, an IP address block, or an autonomous system, but is also used for a wider range of other information. The WHOIS protocol is documented in RFC 3912. – more on wiki.

How to use it

> Open a terminal and issue the following command:

whois com –h whois.iana.org

To get an answer like this:

% IANA WHOIS server
% for more information on IANA, visit http://www.iana.org
% This query returned 1 object
 
domain:       COM
 
organisation: VeriSign Global Registry Services
address:      12061 Bluemont Way
address:      Reston Virginia 20190
address:      United States
 
contact:      administrative
name:         Registry Customer Service
organisation: VeriSign Global Registry Services
address:      12061 Bluemont Way
address:      Reston Virginia 20190
..
..

Other options:

Usage: whois [OPTION]... OBJECT...
 
-l                     one level less specific lookup [RPSL only]
-L                     find all Less specific matches
-m                     find first level more specific matches
-M                     find all More specific matches
-c                     find the smallest match containing a mnt-irt attribute
-x                     exact match [RPSL only]
-d                     return DNS reverse delegation objects too [RPSL only]
-i ATTR[,ATTR]...      do an inverse lookup for specified ATTRibutes
-T TYPE[,TYPE]...      only look for objects of TYPE
-K                     only primary keys are returned [RPSL only]
-r                     turn off recursive lookups for contact information
-R                     force to show local copy of the domain object even
                       if it contains referral
-a                     search all databases
-s SOURCE[,SOURCE]...  search the database from SOURCE
-g SOURCE:FIRST-LAST   find updates from SOURCE from serial FIRST to LAST
-t TYPE                request template for object of TYPE
-v TYPE                request verbose template for object of TYPE
-q [version|sources|types]  query specified server info [RPSL only]
-F                     fast raw output (implies -r)
-h HOST                connect to server HOST
-p PORT                connect to PORT
-H                     hide legal disclaimers
      --verbose        explain what is being done
      --help           display this help and exit
      --version        output version information and exit

Happy quering! 😉

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