I'm trying to move 2 web-servers (with German and Russian domain names) from one hoster to another one (where I can create/maintain own DNS zones).

Before changing anything, I'd like to fetch and save the current zone file (sp?) for future reference.

On my CentOS 6 machine (not the web server to be moved) I've installed jwois packet and then I'm trying:

   whois mysite-1.ru


   whois mysite-2.de

but it returns some free-formatted (and differently-formatted) text. How do I fetch the zone file or whatever it is called (sorry, I have knowledge gaps there)?


You do not use whois to perform zone transfers.

If zone transfers are permitted on name server for the current domain, then you could use a command like host -t axfr mysite-1.ru ns1.mysite-1.ru where ns1 is an authoritative name servers that permit zone transfers.

  • FYI - host is considered obsolete by its authors. – Alnitak Nov 3 '11 at 18:11
  • @Alnitak, which fork? AFAIK, there are at least two separate forks of host. – Zoredache Nov 3 '11 at 18:53
  • @Zorecache the official ISC version. Serious DNS heads use 'dig' :) – Alnitak Nov 4 '11 at 8:22

You likely can't do zone transfers from the current DNS hosts - most don't permit it.

However given that you ought to know what names actually exist in your own zones, why not just ask for them?

 % dig mysite-1.ru. a       ; for 'bare' web site address
 % dig mysite-1.ru. mx      ; for email servers
 % dig www.mysite-1.ru. a   ; for www web site address

Repeat for any other names you happen to have, but the above would cover 99% of configurations.

There'll be SOA and NS records too, but you don't need to copy those - they'd be automatically set up by the new DNS host.

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