Most frequently used DNS commands

These DNS commands are the most commonly used when we are talking about DNS troubleshooting. This is because they are easy to use and can provide you information about your DNS records and how your network is operating. It doesn’t matter if you are a Linux, Windows, or macOS user. You have multiple commands included in your OS. So let’s see which are the most frequently practiced DNS commands and how you can use them.

Nslookup command

The NSLookup command is one of the frequently used DNS diagnostic commands. The beneficial thing about it is that it is present on all of the popular operating systems (OS). With it, you are able to see all kinds of DNS records. Also, it includes various options.

Use the NSLookup to see all the available DNS records. In the command line, write: 

$ nslookup -type=any

It is going to show you all of the available DNS records for the particular domain. If you want to see a specific DNS record, change the type to NS, A, AAAA, MX, SOA, etc. After the DNS type, you can put another domain name or IP address.

Learn everything about the Nslookup command!

Dig command

Dig command is already built-in on macOS. For Linux and Windows, you can easily install the command. It is a very useful DNS diagnostic tool. This command can show you all types of DNS records. Also, you can probe your nameservers, traceroute both IPv4 and IPv6, or check a specific port. Troubleshooting with the Dig command is quick and simple. 

If you want to see all the available information about a domain, in the command line, write:

$ dig any 

You can simply replace the domain name with another one or an IP address. The Dig command is excellent because it provides complete information about the query you requested. If you want to receive a more specific result, you can use the many options that the Dig command has.

Host command

The functionality of the Host commands is very similar to the Dig command. So, with it, you can also see the available DNS records and apply it for DNS troubleshooting. Also, check an IP address or domain name, perform reverse lookup or see the domain’s nameservers or modify the DNS queries with several options. On Linux, the Host command is also built-in, like the Dig command. So, you are free to choose which one you want to use.

If you want to see all the available information about a domain, in the command line, write:

$ host -a

Google Admin Toolbox Dig

An excellent solution for DNS troubleshooting is also an online tool. For example, there is an online version of the Dig command from Google. You can easily check various types of records, such as A, AAAA, MX, CNAME, PTR, etc. There you can perform DNS lookup by only inserting a domain name you wish to view.


Use the suggested tools whenever you want to. For sure, they are capable of providing you the information you need.