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What's going on with "whois"?

I used to type whois whatever and get a detailed answer, but now I only get an answer like: the so-so name is registered by Network Solutions and then some standard info, that is usually the same for any name I type.

Anybody knows how do we get the full info now?

Thanks, Giorgio
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I don't have a concrete answer. I think you can try to contact Network Solutions directly, but good luck getting through their phone lines. Basically, the information provided to whois is "owned" by Network Solutions, Inc. and others. They've had a lot of problems with keeping the information accurate, and many more problems keeping spammers from using it against everyone that owns a domain name. There's the privacy issue, and liability, etc. Personally, I think it's just an implementation issue.

Disappointing, isn't it? These are the growing pains of the internet.

-debug
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I used to type whois whatever and get a detailed answer, but now I only get an answer like: the so-so name is registered by Network Solutions and then some standard info, that is usually the same for any name I type.

It used to be that Network Solutions (NSI) was the only registrar out there, so all queries could be funnelled through them. Now that domain name registration has turned into a free-for-all, you have to go and track down the registrar for the domain in question in order to obtain the whois information.

For example, whois linux.org now indicates

Whois Server: whois.networksolutions.com
Referral URL: www.networksolutions.com

So you should go to that URL for more information. Indeed, NSI has a link (near the top of the page) that will give a form for you to complete the query.

This annoyance will probably be fixed/simplified in the near future, by adding stuff to the whois client to automagically go to the relevant whois server. Your whois client may allow you to specify the whois server you want, so you don't have to bring up a browser, etc. Mine doesn't have this feature. :P
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What's going on with "whois"?

I used to type whois whatever and get a detailed answer, but now I only get an
answer like: the so-so name is registered by Network Solutions and then some
standard info, that is usually the same for any name I type.

Anybody knows how do we get the full info now?


I never used whois until now. I get:

[~]$ whois fool.com
[rs.internic.net]

Whois Server Version 1.1

Domain names in the .com, .net, and .org domains can now be registered
with many different competing registrars. Go to http://www.internic.net
for detailed information.

Domain Name: FOOL.COM
Registrar: NETWORK SOLUTIONS, INC.
Whois Server: whois.networksolutions.com
Referral URL: www.networksolutions.com
Name Server: NAME.PHX.FRONTIERNET.NET
Name Server: NAME.ROC.FRONTIERNET.NET
Updated Date: 26-jun-1999


>>> Last update of whois database: Fri, 21 Jan 00 01:42:08 EST <<<

The Registry database contains ONLY .COM, .NET, .ORG, .EDU domains and
Registrars.

[~]$

Is this "full information", or is it "an answer like: the so-so name is registered by Network Solutions and then some standard info, that is usually the same for any name I type."?
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JeanDavid:

What you showed was not the full info. Had you run whois fool.com a few months earlier, you would have gotten something like:

Registrant:
The Motley Fool (FOOL3-DOM)
123 N. Pitt St.
Alexandria, VA 22314
US

Domain Name: FOOL.COM

Administrative Contact:
Gibbs, Dwight (DG410) dwightg@FOOL.COM
703-838-3665 (FAX) 703-684-3603
Technical Contact, Zone Contact:
Benack, Donald (DB14976) donb@FOOL.COM
703.838.8369 (FAX) 703.838.8351
Billing Contact:
Billing Department,Motley Fool (BD2518-ORG) carleenm@FOOL.COM
703.535.5616
Fax- 703.684.3603

Record last updated on 14-Oct-1999.
Record created on 26-Jun-1995.
Database last updated on 21-Jan-2000 15:24:23 EST.

Domain servers in listed order:

NAME.ROC.FRONTIERNET.NET 209.130.187.10
NAME.PHX.FRONTIERNET.NET 206.165.6.10

which is what you see now when you go to the referral URL with your browser and do a whois query from there. And you're right; the current response from InterNIC is a canned one.
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JeanDavid:

What you showed was not the full info. Had you run whois fool.com a few months
earlier, you would have gotten something like:

Registrant:
The Motley Fool (FOOL3-DOM)
123 N. Pitt St.
Alexandria, VA 22314
US
Domain Name: FOOL.COM
Administrative Contact:
Gibbs, Dwight (DG410) dwightg@FOOL.COM
703-838-3665 (FAX) 703-684-3603
[snip]


You are right about the linux whois command. If I go to http://www.networksolutions.com/cgi-bin/whois/whois with a web browser, however, and fill in the obvious line, I do get what you posted. Perhaps the url that the linux whois command uses is out-of-date or something? I suppose one could examine the source for whois and see. And, since this is open source, even fix it.
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"Anybody knows how do we get the full info now?"

With the ICANN-ICANNT-NetworkSolutions-InterNIC fiasco, NS decided to remove most of the info, God knows why. That IS the official output of whois you're seeing, sadly.

That said, go to freshmeat.net, do a search for "whois.pl". It's a Perl script written by a guy named Bill something (sorry, my memory fails me) that produces the older output. If you like it, check the first line to see if perl exists at that location, then rename it to "whois" and copy it overtop of the old one. Works for me.

Rob Nelson
ronelson@vt.edu
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Ok, here is the answer folks.

Because there are now more than one registrar, you have to do whois as a two-step process.

First,

whois domain.com

Then, from the answer you get from that, take the whois server and tack it onto the whois request:

whois domain.com@whois.networksolutions.com

This will give you the full result. Note that you can't just do this to begin with, as you may need to use whois.register.com or some other whois server.

Note: some whois commands need a different syntax, do a 'man whois' to find the proper syntax if this does not work for you (the whois host may need to be added with some -option instead of an @-sign).

Simon
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Boy, was I misled by my impressions!

Thanks for the clarification. I suppose with multiple domain name registrars this does make more sense.

However, when trying to register a new domain name not too long ago, it appeared that everything was pointing back to NSI anyways. It all seems to be masked by these unnecessary corporate diversions. For an essential service, they could really make things a bit clearer. Coupled with a lot of bad experiences with them in the past, it's all too easy to jump to conclusions.

Thanks, again!

-debug
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Because there are now more than one registrar, you have to do whois as a two-step process.

First,

whois domain.com

Then, from the answer you get from that, take the whois server and tack it onto the whois request:

whois domain.com@whois.networksolutions.com

This will give you the full result. Note that you can't just do this to begin with, as you may need to use whois.register.com or
some other whois server.

Note: some whois commands need a different syntax, do a 'man whois' to find the proper syntax if this does not work for you
(the whois host may need to be added with some -option instead of an @-sign).

Simon


Yes! This one works for me with my 'whois'. Thanks for all the answers.

Giorgio
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NS decided to remove most of the info, God knows why.

NS has taken steps to make it harder to index web domains and create a directory of your own. There have been several efforts to download the NS whois directory via "whois" so now they have neutered it...sux

jbw
zorloc@imperium.org
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NS has taken steps to make it harder to index web domains and create a directory of your own. There have been several
efforts to download the NS whois directory via "whois" so now they have neutered it...sux

jbw
zorloc@imperium.org


zorloc,

In an earlier post the whois was resolved like this: first we do a 'whois domain.name' that will tell us where 'domain.name' is registered, then we do a 'whois domain.name@whois.networksolutions.com' (or whoever else has the registration) That will resolve the complete whois as it used to before.


Giorgio
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try something like this:

whois fool.com@whois.networksolutions.com

or

whois -h whois.networksolutions.com fool.com

with the increase in registrars, it now becomes
necissary to qurery the correct one.. so if you first
use whois domain.name, look at what the whoios server is, and use it with the commands above.
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Hi etmsherman,

Thanks for your answer, actually that question was some months ago, and we've already figured it out :-)

whois name@whois.networksolutions.com or whoever the registrar happens to be, works fine. I guess this started after Network Solutions lost its exclusive holding on the registy.

Giorgio
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