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Every time I use dig I get a vague feeling that I'm not really sure whether it's giving me correct data.

Now I've used it like this:

# dig

; <<>> DiG 9.8.4-rpz2+rl005.12-P1 <<>>
;; global options: +cmd
;; Got answer:
;; ->>HEADER<<- opcode: QUERY, status: NOERROR, id: 35289
;; flags: qr rd ra; QUERY: 1, ANSWER: 0, AUTHORITY: 1, ADDITIONAL: 0

;     IN      A

;; AUTHORITY SECTION: 1799 IN      SOA 2002050701 10800 3600 604800 3600

;; Query time: 121 msec
;; WHEN: Thu May 22 14:01:03 2014
;; MSG SIZE  rcvd: 103

As you can see, there is no ANSWER section, despite the fact that there's a working website on that domain.


I'd really like a program that simply shows all the DNS records in the most non-confusing manner.

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up vote 10 down vote accepted

Your query is incorrect, or to put it differently - no, there is no entry for Dig is telling you about the problem.

The domain works in the browser, because it will helpfully try and add the www. prefix, and lo and behold:

... 1783 IN  CNAME

If you are looking for a tool that will somehow show you the complete zone - I think you're out of luck.

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Could you please explain what you mean by a "complete zone"? – SpaghettiCat May 27 '14 at 16:16

I just checked, that domain doesn't have an A record, so your dig output is correct. The website is located under, i.e., which again points (two chained CNAMEs) to

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Getting NOERROR and yet no ANSWER SECTION is telling you that the domain name does exist, but has no records of the specified type. In fact a domain name can exist without having any records at all, and that is different from returning NXDOMAIN, though in many cases applications will treat them the same.

In both cases a SOA record is included such that the client will know how long that answer may be cached.

A domain with no records at all can have subdomains, which do have records.

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It says it all in the dig output:

status: NOERROR

No errors, you did 1 query, there were no answers, the response was from an authoritative nameserver.

If you search for all records for that zone, you will find more information:

PS C:\Users\Administrator> nslookup -type=all
Server:  UnKnown
Address:  fe80::1

Non-authoritative answer:       MX preference = 5, mail exchanger =       MX preference = 5, mail exchanger =       MX preference = 5, mail exchanger =
        primary name server =
        responsible mail addr =
        serial  = 2002050701
        refresh = 10800 (3 hours)
        retry   = 3600 (1 hour)
        expire  = 604800 (7 days)
        default TTL = 3600 (1 hour)       nameserver =       nameserver =       nameserver =       nameserver =       nameserver =       nameserver =       nameserver =       nameserver =       nameserver =       nameserver =  internet address =  internet address =  internet address =  internet address =  internet address =
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