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dig is my favourite tool for investigating DNS issues

I find its default output unnecessarily confusing, but it’s the only standard tool I know that will give you all the details.

tiny guide to dig’s full output

$ dig
; <<>> DiG 9.16.24 <<>> +all 
;; global options: +cmd
;; Got answer:
;; ->>HEADER<<- opcode: QUERY, status: NOERROR, id: 27580
;; flags: qr rd ra ad; QUERY: 1, ANSWER: 1, AUTHORITY: 0, ADDITIONAL: 1

; EDNS: version: 0, flags:; udp: 1232
; IN  A

;; Query time: 0 msec
;; WHEN: Wed Jan 26 11:32:03 EST 2022 
;; MSG SIZE rcvd: 56

NOERROR is the response code 86400 IN A is the answer to our DNS query. The “.” at the end means that isn’t a subdomain of some other domain (like it’s not This might seem obvious, but DNS tools like to be unambiguous.

panel 3:

Illustration of a smiling stick figure with curly hair.

person: $ dig +noall +answer means “Just show me the answer section of the DNS response.” It’s a lot less to look at!

panel 4:

$ dig +noall +answer 86400 IN A is the name
86400 is the TTL
IN is the class A is the record type is the content

just the answer! so much less overwhelming!

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