Linux host command, troubleshot your DNS

Today we will add one more handy DNS tool – host command on Linux. For the purpose, we will use the latest Linux Mint 19.1 (based on Ubuntu Linux). For those of you who are used to Windows, Linux host command is very similar to nslookup, but a bit more advanced. Host command replaced the nslookup on Linux-based operating systems.  You can use it to check different types of DNS records.

Host command syntax

If you want to see the syntax of the host command and the options that it has, you can simply write “host” and press “Enter.”

host [-aCdlnrsTwv] [-c class] [-N ndots] [-R number] [-t type] [-W time] [-m flag] [-4] [-6] hostname [server]

host command syntax

Host command Options

Here you can see all the available options. Whenever you forgot them, just write “host” in the Terminal.

options for the command

Host command examples

For all the cases we will use Google.com. You can change Google.com with your domain or whichever else domain that you are interested in. We will give you several examples that can be useful for your work.

Search for the IP address of the domain.

host google.com

You will get IPv4 and IPv6 results for the domain.

host google.com

SOA Record

See the Start of Authority records with this command.

host –C google.com

SOA record

Check the name servers of the domain

host –t ns google.com

It will display the name servers of the host. The –t, we use to specify the type of query.

host ns record

Check a particular name server

You want, for example, to review the ns1, so you type:

host google.com ns1.google.com

particular name server

 CNAME record

host –t cname mail.google.com

You can use it to find CNAME record

host cname

MX record

Check the incoming mail server with this query

host –n –t mx google.com

mx record host command

TXT Record

You can also check TXT records

host –t txt google.com

txt host command

Decide the Waiting time for a query

You can use –w to wait forever or –W and time in seconds to decide how long to wait for a reply.

host –T –W 10 google.com

select time for host command

Reverse lookup

You can also check the IP and see the host

host 216.58.194.142

reverse dns lookup with host command

Host command to see all of the DNS records for a domain

host –a google.com

You will get information about various types of records – NS, AAAA, MX, etc.

all records host command

Conclusion:

This was the host command. Now you have one more way to troubleshoot your DNS. If you are interested in DNS diagnostic we recommend you the following articles too: Dig command, Nslookup, Traceroute and Ping. They will expand your knowledge in DNS diagnostic.

DNS_PROBE_FINISHED_NXDOMAIN

DNS_PROBE_FINISHED_NXDOMAIN, now what to do?

Imagine the situation, you are browsing the internet, minding your own business and suddenly you see DNS_PROBE_FINISHED_NXDOMAIN in your Chrome browser! You didn’t enter the page you wanted, you hit refresh and still nothing! Now, what to do?

What is DNS_PROBE_FINISHED_NXDOMAIN?

It is a DNS-related error that shows that the domain that you are trying to reach does not exist (NX means non-existing). The DNS can’t find the corresponding IP address to the domain you just entered.
Most of the times this is a DNS configuration problem, and the problem is in your device, not in the domain itself.

Ok, we said Chrome, but does this happen when you are using other browsers?

We mention Google Chrome, where you get “This site can’t be reached,” but you can get a similar message in any other browser. Mozilla’s Firefox will show you “Hmm. We’re having trouble finding that site”, Microsoft Edge “Hmmm… can’t reach this page”, and almost identical messages on the rest of the browsers.

Ok, so what to do when we see the DNS_PROBE_FINISHED_NXDOMAIN?

There are several ways that you can fix your problem. Let’s explore the possibilities:

1.    Flush the DNS cache

If it is bad-configured DNS, the easiest is to start from zero. Flush the current DNS cache and renew the IP address.

For Windows users, follow these steps:
Open the Command Prompt as an administrator. Click the start menu icon and write “Command Prompt,” then run as administrator. Then type “ipconfig /release” and press Enter on your keyboard. Now you can see your current IP address. After that, write “ipconfig /flushdns” and press Enter. You flushed the cache, “Successfully flushed the DNS Resolver Cache.” Next thing to type in “ipconfig /renew”. And now your IP address has been renewed.

Flush DNS to fix DNS_PROBE_FINISHED_NXDOMAIN

For Mac OS users:
Go to “System Preferences…”, then “Network” and later “Advanced.” When you are there, go to TCP/IP and click the “Renew DHCP.”
You can also delete the DNS cache. First, open the “Utilities” and then the “Terminal.” The command you need to write is “dscacheutil –flushcache” and press Enter. It is ready. There is no confirmation message here.

Mac OS fix DNS_PROBE_FINISHED_NXDOMAIN

For Linux (Linux Mint, Ubuntu):
If you are using Linux Mint or Ubuntu, by default, the DNS cache is disabled. You can check if it is enabled with the following command “ps ax | grep dnsmasq”. In the message that you’ll get check if “cache-size=0”, then it is disabled. If it is enabled, write the following command “udo /etc/init.d/dns-clean restart”. Then type “sudo /etc/init.d/networking force-reload”. Done!

Linux Mint fix DNS_PROBE_FINISHED_NXDOMAIN

2.    Reinitiate the DNS Client Server.

For Windows users, we will use the “Run” to open “services.msc.” Now you will see all the services that run on your computer. Go to DNS Client, stop it and start it again.

Restart DNS client to fix DNS_PROBE_FINISHED_NXDOMAIN

3.    Change the DNS servers

Your internet provider automatically set your IP address, using their DNS servers. But you have the chance to change to another DNS server like Google’s public DNS.

Windows:
Go first to “Control Panel,” then “Network and Internet” and later “Network and Sharing Center.” There click the “Change adapter settings” and select the network that you are using. Go to properties, search for the “Internet Protocol Version 4” and click on the properties. Set the following DNS servers 8.8.8.8 and 8.8.4.4

Mac OS:
“System Preferences,” Network,” and then “Advanced.” Click on DNS and add the same 8.8.8.8 and 8.8.4.4.

Mac OS DNS settings

Linux (Linux Mint, Ubuntu):
Open “System Settings,” “Network.” Then select the network that you are using and choose “Settings.” Go to the “IPv4 Settings,” and there you will see “Additional DNS servers.” add “8.8.8.8, 8.8.4.4”.

Linux Mint DNS settings

4.    Chrome Flags Reset.

Maybe the problem comes from your Chrome browser. Go to your Chrome browser and type “chrome://settings/clearBrowserData” in the address bar. Delete the “Cached images and files,” “Cookie and other site and plugin data” and “Browsing history” from “the beginning of time.”
After that type “chrome://flags/” and a menu will open. Click on the “Reset all to default.” Now restart the browser, and you are ready.

Google Chrome flags reset to default

Conclusion

Next time when you see the DNS_PROBE_FINISHED_NXDOMAIN don’t panic. There are easy solutions to this problem. Just try one of those, and you will be ready is a few minutes.
If the site that shows the error is yours, and after trying nothing is happening, go and check if the domain is correctly redirected. If no, do fix it.