whois – Internet domain name and network number directory service
whois [-adgprR] [-h host] name …
Whois looks up records in the databases maintained by several Network In-
formation Centers (NICs).
The options are as follows:
-a Use the American Registry for Internet Numbers (ARIN) database.
It contains network numbers used in those parts of the world cov-
ered neither by APNIC nor by RIPE.
-d Use the US Department of Defense database. It contains points of
contact for subdomains of .MIL.
-g Use the US non-military federal government database, which con-
tains points of contact for subdomains of .GOV.
Use the specified host instead of the default NIC (whois.inter-
nic.net). Either a host name or an IP address may be specified.
-p Use the Asia/Pacific Network Information Center (APNIC) database.
It contains network numbers used in East Asia, Australia, New
Zealand, and the Pacific islands.
-r Use the R’eseaux IP Europ’eens (RIPE) database. It contains net-
work numbers and domain contact information for Europe.
-R Use the Russia Network Information Center (RIPN) database. It
contains network numbers and domain contact information for sub-
domains of .RU.
The operands specified to whois are concatenated together (separated by
white-space) and presented to the whois server.
The default action, unless directed otherwise with a special name, is to
do a very broad search, looking for matches to name in all types of
records and most fields (name, nicknames, hostname, net address, etc.) in
the database. For more information as to what name operands have special
meaning, and how to guide the search, use the special name “help”.
Ken Harrenstien, and Vic White, NICNAME/WHOIS, 1 March 1982, RFC 812.
The whois command appeared in 4.3BSD.