[dns-operations] Official WHOIS redirector for TLDs

Joe Abley jabley at hopcount.ca
Tue Mar 25 08:11:21 UTC 2014

On 24 Mar 2014, at 21:46, Leo Vandewoestijne <dnsoperations at dns-lab.com> wrote:

> Not exactly official, but the same binairy is using "whois-servers.net",
> for anything it doesn't know.

I sent a patch to OpenBSD's whois.c that Theo committed in OPENBSD_2_6 at the end of 1999 that made use of Rodney's whois-servers.net. Semi-automagic selection of whois servers subsequently appeared in other BSDs; there may well have been Linux whois variants that did it earlier. But anyway, this kind of behaviour has been around for a while.

> So for some ccTLD's I've requested for an update of missing CNAME entries,
> that were listed in whois.iana.org, but not yet working in whois-servers.net.
> They now work to, but I'm curious how much they will keep up with the nTLD's.

Rodney has always been supremely responsive to any suggestions I have sent his way. The new gTLDs have requirements in their contracts that the whois server is always found at whois.nic.TLD, I think, which ought to make it easy to keep up to date.

A nice feature of looking this stuff up in the DNS is that the namespace easily accommodates different servers at different levels, for the bits that feature that kind of structure.

[walrus:~]% host co.uk.whois-servers.net
co.uk.whois-servers.net is an alias for whois.nic.uk.
whois.nic.uk has address
whois.nic.uk has IPv6 address 2a01:618:8009::92d:f97:4c90:2b79
[walrus:~]% host ac.uk.whois-servers.net
ac.uk.whois-servers.net is an alias for whois.ja.net.
whois.ja.net has address
whois.ja.net mail is handled by 1 rimmer.ja.net.
whois.ja.net mail is handled by 2 kryten.ja.net.


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