Linux / Unix: Find Out DNS Server IP Address / Names

Posted on in Categories , , last updated October 3, 2012

How do I find out my DNS server IP address assiged my my ISP under Unix or Linux operating system using command prompt? How do I find preferred dns server under Debian / Ubuntu / Fedora Linux desktop system?

Under Unix or Linux operating systems the resolver is used (set of routines in the C library) that provide access to the Internet Domain Name System (DNS). The resolver configuration file is located at /etc/resolv.conf location and it contains information that is read by the resolver routines the first time they are invoked by a process. Use the cat command or grep command to find out your dns server addresses as follows:

cat /etc/resolv.conf

Sample outputs:

# Generated by NetworkManager

In this example my dns server address are and in dot notation that the resolver should query. Currently name servers may be listed, one per keyword. If there are multiple servers, the resolver library queries them in the order listed. If no nameserver entries are present, the default is to use the name server on the local machine. The grep command can be used as follows:
$ grep --color nameserver /etc/resolv.conf
Sample outputs:

Linux / Unix: Ffind Preferred Dns Server Command
Fig.01: Linux / Unix: Find Preferred Dns Server Command

Posted by: Vivek Gite

The author is the creator of nixCraft and a seasoned sysadmin and a trainer for the Linux operating system/Unix shell scripting. He has worked with global clients and in various industries, including IT, education, defense and space research, and the nonprofit sector. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+.

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  1. For the cynical, who might think, “That is what the configuration file is telling the system to do, how can I be sure what it *is* doing, you can find out how your system resolves any given name using dig

    $ dig

    ; <> DiG 9.8.1-P1 <>
    ;; global options: +cmd
    ;; Got answer:
    ;; ->>HEADER<<- opcode: QUERY, status: NOERROR, id: 46538
    ;; flags: qr rd ra; QUERY: 1, ANSWER: 2, AUTHORITY: 0, ADDITIONAL: 0

    ; IN A


    ;; Query time: 870 msec
    ;; SERVER:
    ;; WHEN: Thu Oct 4 01:26:31 2012
    ;; MSG SIZE rcvd: 80

  2. Can someone help to explain to how use the color option but without using the case sensitive requirement like for example:

    grep –color hostname /etc/sysconfig/network
    no data output

    grep –color HOSTNAME /etc/sysconfig/network

    is there a way in grep to get it to display regardless of case sensitive?

    any help/advice would be great

  3. man grep
    that will give you -i, –ignore-case
    Ignore case distinctions in both the PATTERN and the input files. (-i is specified by POSIX.)

    man pages are your friend.


    Joe B

  4. $ man grep

    … … ..

    -i, –ignore-case
    Ignore case distinctions in both the PATTERN and the input
    files. (-i is specified by POSIX.)

    … … …

    Is that what you wanted?
    $ grep -i PEAFOWL hosts peafowl
    $ grep -i peafowl hosts peafowl

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