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dig on RHEL6 has a different behavior than in RHEL5, related to the @server syntax:

root@rhel6# dig any
dig: couldn't get address for '': not found

It seems it doesn't try to revolve the parameter for the specified dns server. Any idea why is that? Is it to avoid making another dns request?

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This is normal behavior: If dig can't find the address of the nameserver you specified (using the nameservers listed in /etc/resolv.conf) it will tell you it "couldn't get address for" your requested server.

Either you typo'd the DNS server name or your local DNS can't map the name to an IP -- Try specifying the nameserver by IP address instead?

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You can test what dig would get when it tries to do the lookup of by using the command getent hosts See the manual page for getent(1). You may want to use getent ahosts ... instead. – Cameron Kerr Apr 15 '15 at 10:53

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