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What does nslookup do?

Posted on 2008-11-14
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Last Modified: 2013-12-25
I just bought a domain name and hosting my website on my own server with static ip. I configured the host record in doamin provider's nameserver to point to my ip (76.10.*.*).

When I run nslookup abc.com
Server:  resolver1.opendns.com
Address:  208.67.222.222

Non-authoritative answer:
Name:    abc.com
Address:  76.10.*.*
------------------------------------------------------

Why the name here under Non-authoritative answer is my domain name not the name server hosting the record? so how do I find out the nameserer hosting my record? Isn't nslookup suppose to show nameserver?
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Question by:wuitsung
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by:
omarfarid earned 800 total points
ID: 22962426
nslookup will resolve names to ip addresses from dns servers. by default it resolves A records.

if you other info like dns servers serving a domain, then

nslookup> set type=ns

nslookup> yourdomain.com
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Assisted Solution

by:dfxdeimos
dfxdeimos earned 400 total points
ID: 22962429
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/200525

"The first time a query is made for a remote name, the answer is authoritative, but subsequent queries are nonauthoritative. The first time a remote host is queried, the local DNS server contacts the DNS server that is authoritative for that domain. The local DNS server will then cache that information, so that subsequent queries are answered nonauthoritatively out of the local server's cache. "
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Author Comment

by:wuitsung
ID: 22962522
Thanx!! So if I just type nslookup abc.com, it just return the A record... so it's just same as I do ping abc.com ?!! no difference right?

Second question.... when is the time expert must use nslookup to troubleshoot problem? Since I can use ping....
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Expert Comment

by:dfxdeimos
ID: 22962543
you can use it to make sure that the appropriate name server is hosting the record.... use it to determine different record types (MX, CNAME, etc) in domains.

It isn't the same as a ping, because the ping... well... pings. NSLookup doesn't. It is (as it's name implies) for looking up record based on name server.
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Expert Comment

by:omarfarid
ID: 22962570
yes it is same as ping except nslookup will give you all ips of a name while ping will pick one only, and nslookup can give you more info that ping can not tell
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Author Comment

by:wuitsung
ID: 22962704
Thank you all. I have a question regarding the term "NSLOOKUP"
it mean "Name server lookup" right?
When I type nslookup , I got:
Default Server:  resolver1.opendns.com
Address:  208.67.222.222

But I check my TCP/IP setting,I have to DNS sever entered there why here just showing one?

And  resolver1.opendns.com, it's my DNS service, why it's a name server?
From my understanding, Name server is not a server hosting records? (A records, MX...). But resolver1.opendns.com is just resolver right? kind of confused here...
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Expert Comment

by:omarfarid
ID: 22962738
because it will select one of them to send queries to.

All applications using dns are clients ans all replying to queries are servers
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Author Comment

by:wuitsung
ID: 22962787
so do you mean resolver1.opendns.com is also called "Name server" ?
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Expert Comment

by:dfxdeimos
ID: 22962832
Because the secondary DNS server is only used if the first is unavailable.

Name Srver is a generic term.
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by:omarfarid
omarfarid earned 800 total points
ID: 22962852
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Author Comment

by:wuitsung
ID: 22963137
So I think just as dfxdeimos said, Name Srver is a generic term.
Some nameservers offer hosting of records and resolver and some just work as resolver right?
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Expert Comment

by:dfxdeimos
ID: 22963209
Correct me if I am wrong, but a name server is just a term for a server that holds the authoratative record for something.
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Author Comment

by:wuitsung
ID: 22964149
Hi dfxdeimos... I am getting confused again...
How do you call the server that just perform the resolving DNS?
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