How to Use Dig Command on Linux

Dig Command on Linux

In the dynamic realm of network troubleshooting, the dig command emerges as a stalwart ally, wielding the power to unravel the intricacies of the domain name system (DNS). For Linux aficionados and seasoned system administrators alike, wielding the dig command with finesse can unlock a world of insights and resolutions. This guide is your compass, navigating the terrain of the dig command’s prowess, accompanied by a tangible real-world example to showcase its practical application.

Understanding the Basics of DNS and dig Command

DNS, a bedrock of the internet, transforms human-friendly domain names into IP addresses, facilitating seamless online navigation. Enter the dig command, your trusty DNS detective. It bares the inner workings of DNS, revealing the hidden layers that drive your web connections.

Installation and Setup

  • Checking for dig Installation:

To embark on your dig journey, first, ascertain if it’s already installed by executing:

dig -v

If a version number appears, you’re good to go. If not, onward to installation!

  • Installing dig Using Package Manager:

Rely on your package manager to summon dig to your Linux terminal:

### For Debian/Ubuntu ###

sudo apt install dnsutils

### For Red Hat/Fedora ###

sudo yum install bind-utils

### For openSUSE ###

sudo zypper install bind-utils

Confirm dig has installed your system:

dig -v

Syntax and Usage of the dig Command

Peek behind the curtain of dig‘s syntax and unlock its diverse functions:

  • Basic Query:

Execute a simple query to unveil the IP address of a domain:

  • Customizing Queries:

Tailor your quest with specific query types, such as MX or CNAME records:

dig -t MX
  • Seeking a Specific DNS Server:

Delve into a realm of choice by querying a particular DNS server:

dig @dns_server_ip

Interpreting dig Output:

Descend into the labyrinthine output and decipher its nuances:

  • Analyzing the Answer Section: The “ANSWER SECTION” reveals the domain’s resolved IP address. Absence? Delegation may lurk in the “AUTHORITY SECTION.”
  • Decoding Record Types: Unravel the significance of various record types, like A, AAAA, and TXT.

Advanced dig Techniques

Unveil the arcane aspects of dig:

  • Tracing DNS Delegations:

Follow the breadcrumb trail using +trace:

dig +trace
  • Concise Insights with +short:

Streamline data overload with a succinct overview:

dig +short
  • TCP Queries with +tcp:

Embrace TCP for the exceptional:

dig +tcp

Tips and Best Practices

Navigate the labyrinthine DNS terrain with finesse:

  • Caching and TTL Considerations:

Respect the Time To Live (TTL) or wrestle with cached data.

  • Authoritative Answers Unveiled:

Decode authoritative answers with unwavering precision.

Security Considerations:

Fortify your DNS stronghold:

  • DNSSEC Validation with +dnssec:

Strengthen defenses against data tampering:

dig +dnssec


Mastering the dig command transforms you into a network virtuoso. Beyond syntax and output interpretation, your arsenal expands with advanced techniques and fortified security. Armed with this knowledge, network hitches become mere ripples in your digital odyssey. Embrace dig, and traverse the digital expanse with confidence, armed with the secrets of DNS unraveling.


r00t is a seasoned Linux system administrator with a wealth of experience in the field. Known for his contributions to, r00t has authored numerous tutorials and guides, helping users navigate the complexities of Linux systems. His expertise spans across various Linux distributions, including Ubuntu, CentOS, and Debian. r00t's work is characterized by his ability to simplify complex concepts, making Linux more accessible to users of all skill levels. His dedication to the Linux community and his commitment to sharing knowledge makes him a respected figure in the field.
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