Exercise: Looking At DNS Response Messages and Resource Records

In this lesson, we'll use command-line tools to look at DNS response messages and resource records!

Revisiting Nslookup

nslookup -type=A educative.io

nslookup is a versatile tool for DNS lookups. The type flag determines the type of RR that you want to look into!


nslookup can be used to look at DNS records. In this example, we looked up educative.io.

Here’s what the output may look like:


Non-authoritative answer:
Name:	educative.io
Name:	educative.io
  • The first two lines are the IP address of the local DNS server which is in our case.
  • The last few lines return the type A RR that maps educative.io to the IP address It says ‘non-authoritative’ because the answer is coming from a local DNS server’s cache, and not from Educative’s authoritative DNS server.

If you’re wondering what TTL values look like, run the following command. The value in the TTL field is in seconds, so a value of 279 is 4 minutes and 39 seconds.

nslookup -debug educative.io

Looking At Real DNS Response Messages With dig

dig educative.io

dig is a command-line tool used to query DNS servers. dig stands for domain information groper, and it displays the actual messages that were received from DNS servers. You can decipher the output for yourself now that you know what a DNS message looks like.

As always, we encourage you to read the dig manpage and explore the command for yourself!

We have now studied the Internet’s directory in detail. Let’s move on to another protocol. See you in the next lesson!