How to install whois on RHEL 8 / CentOS 8

I deployed RHEL 8 in the cloud server. However, I am unable to find the whois command on my newly created RHEL 8 Linux server. It says ‘-bash: whois: command not found‘ I tried yum install whois, but it failed too. How do I install whois command on RHEL/CentOS 8 Linux using the command line?

whois command searches for an object in an RFC 3912 database. For example, you can find out who is the owner of an IP address or domain name. It is useful to report spam or other issues. However, whois client removed from RHEL 8 and CentOS 8 Linux system. This page explains how to install the whois client on a CentOS/RHEL 8 based system. The following commands also works on older version such as CentOS/RHEL 7.x.

How to install whois on RHEL 8

Procedure to install whois as follows on a CentOS/RHEL (Red Hat Enterprise Linux) version 8:

  1. Open the terminal app on CentOS 8. For remote RHEL 8 server login using ssh user@server-ip-here command
  2. Enable EPEL repo on CentOS 8 (see how to enable EPEL repo on RHEL 8). :
  3. Install whois client, execute: sudo yum install whois
  4. Test it: whois public-ipv4-here OR whois cyberciti.biz

Let us see all examples and commands in details.

Update: We can install the whois client on the latest version of CentOS or RHEL 8 without using the EPEL repo. So all you have to do is type:
sudo yum install whois
OR
sudo dnf install whois

Install whois on a CentOS 8 Linux box

Turn on EPEL repo on CentOS 8, run the following yum commands:
sudo yum install epel-release
sudo yum config-manager --set-enabled PowerTools
sudo yum repolist


Search for the package:
sudo yum search whois
Sample outputs:

Last metadata expiration check: 0:49:29 ago on Mon Nov 23 11:43:58 2020.
Available Packages
Name         : whois
Version      : 5.5.1
Release      : 2.el8
Architecture : x86_64
Size         : 78 k
Source       : whois-5.5.1-2.el8.src.rpm
Repository   : AppStream
Summary      : Improved WHOIS client
URL          : http://www.linux.it/~md/software/
License      : GPLv2+
Description  : Searches for an object in a RFC 3912 database.
             : 
             : This version of the WHOIS client tries to guess the right server to ask for
             : the specified object. If no guess can be made it will connect to
             : whois.networksolutions.com for NIC handles or whois.arin.net for IPv4
             : addresses and network names.

Let us install whois client:
sudo yum install whois
Sample outputs:

Last metadata expiration check: 1:34:15 ago on Tuesday 01 October 2019 05:36:22 PM UTC.
Dependencies resolved.
================================================================================
 Package            Arch            Version                 Repository     Size
================================================================================
Installing:
 whois              x86_64          5.5.1-1.el8             epel           77 k
Installing dependencies:
 whois-nls          noarch          5.5.1-1.el8             epel           37 k
 
Transaction Summary
================================================================================
Install  2 Packages
 
Total download size: 114 k
Installed size: 343 k
Is this ok [y/N]: y
Downloading Packages:
(1/2): whois-nls-5.5.1-1.el8.noarch.rpm         362 kB/s |  37 kB     00:00    
(2/2): whois-5.5.1-1.el8.x86_64.rpm             744 kB/s |  77 kB     00:00    
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Total                                            65 kB/s | 114 kB     00:01     
Running transaction check
Transaction check succeeded.
Running transaction test
Transaction test succeeded.
Running transaction
  Preparing        :                                                        1/1 
  Installing       : whois-nls-5.5.1-1.el8.noarch                           1/2 
  Installing       : whois-5.5.1-1.el8.x86_64                               2/2 
  Running scriptlet: whois-5.5.1-1.el8.x86_64                               2/2 
  Verifying        : whois-5.5.1-1.el8.x86_64                               1/2 
  Verifying        : whois-nls-5.5.1-1.el8.noarch                           2/2 
 
Installed:
  whois-5.5.1-1.el8.x86_64             whois-nls-5.5.1-1.el8.noarch            
 
Complete!

Installing whois on an RHEL 8 Linux server

First enable on EPEL repo on RHEL 8, execute the following commands:
$ sudo yum install https://dl.fedoraproject.org/pub/epel/epel-release-latest-8.noarch.rpm
$ sudo subscription-manager repos --enable "codeready-builder-for-rhel-8-*-rpms"
$ sudo yum repolist


Install it:
sudo yum search whois
sudo yum install whois

How do I use whois client?

whois is a useful command for Linux and Unix users if you want to find out the following info:

  • Find out the names of the DNS servers for a domain
  • Obtain the name of the administrative contact for a domain including the name of a company or organization whose domain name you know
  • Contact IP or domain owner to report abuse or misconfiguration issues and more.

The syntax is:
whois IP-address
whois domain-name
whois [options] objects
whois cyberciti.biz
whois 69.164.200.202

Conclusion

You learned how to install whois client on a CentOS or RHEL (Red Hat Enterprise Linux) version 8 server. See whois command examples.

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