Skip to Content

A stick figure smiling

Here's a preview from my zine, How DNS Works! If you want to see more comics like this, sign up for my saturday comics newsletter or browse more comics!

Image of a comic. To read the full HTML alt text, click "read the transcript".

browse more comics! get the zine!
read the transcript!

Let’s meet the cast and see how they communicate with each other!

browser: where’s (function call)!

function: where’s (DNS query)!

resolver: where’s (DNS query)!

authoritative nameservers


Your browser uses DNS to look up IP addresses every time it visits a domain, like
The browser has a DNS cache.


Your operating system provides a function to do DNS lookups. On Linux and Mac it’s getaddrinfo.
Your operating system also might have a DNS cache.


The function sends requests to a server called a resolver which knows how to find the authoritative nameservers.
The resolver has a DNS cache.

authoritative nameservers

The authoritative nameservers are the servers where the DNS records are actually stored.
They’re wearing crowns because they’re In Charge.

Saturday Morning Comics!

Want another comic like this in your email every Saturday? Sign up here!

I'll send you one of my favourite comics from my archives every Saturday.
© Julia Evans 2024 | All rights reserved (see the FAQ for notes about licensing)