Mastering the dig Command: A Comprehensive Tutorial

Mastering the dig Command: A Comprehensive Tutorial
Photo by Alina Grubnyak / Unsplash

The dig command is a powerful DNS (Domain Name System) tool that allows you to query DNS servers for various types of DNS records.

It's an essential tool for network administrators, web developers, and anyone dealing with DNS-related tasks.

In this tutorial, we'll cover the basics of using dig and explore more advanced features to help you become a dig expert.

Checking A Domain's A Record

To query the A record (IPv4 address) of a domain, use the following syntax:


This will return information about the A record for

Querying Different Record Types

You can query different types of DNS records by specifying the record type with the -t flag. For example, to query the MX (Mail Exchange) records of a domain:

dig -t MX

Specifying DNS Server

By default, dig queries the DNS server configured on your system. You can specify a different DNS server using the @ symbol. For instance, to query using Google's public DNS server:

dig @

Reverse DNS Lookup

Perform a reverse DNS lookup to find the domain associated with an IP address:

dig -x

Debugging DNS Issues

Use the +debug option to get additional debugging information:

dig +debug

Tracing DNS Queries

Trace the full DNS resolution process by using the +trace option. This shows each DNS server's response along the path:

dig +trace

Changing Output Format

The default output format is verbose. You can change it to a more concise format using the +short option:

dig +short

Limiting the Number of Responses

To limit the number of responses when querying multiple records, use the +n option followed by the desired number:

dig +n 5

This limits the response to the first 5 records.

Using dig with DNSSEC

dig can be used to check if DNSSEC (DNS Security Extensions) is enabled for a domain:

dig +dnssec

This will display DNSSEC-related information if available.

Tips and Tricks

  • Use +short to get concise output for scripting or automation.
  • Combine options for more specific queries, e.g., dig +trace +short
  • Save the output to a file with redirection, e.g., dig > output.txt.
  • Check DNS records for subdomains, e.g., dig

With this tutorial, you have the foundation to master the dig command. Remember that dig is a versatile tool, and practice is key to becoming proficient. Explore different scenarios and record types to become a DNS expert using dig.