.cz and 0.2.4.e164.arpa line WHOIS manual

This document describes mostly general capabilities of the whois server. The whois implementation conforms to RFC 3912, which specifies only on-the-wire protocol. Other documents which influenced our implementation are RFC 954 and ripe database reference manual.

Whois service publishes information about objects stored in whois database. There are several object types:

  • domain
  • nsset
  • contact
  • registrar

An object is defined by its attributes. Attribute is a pair of name and value.

Output format

Comments begin with two letters at the beginning of line: '%' and space character. Each response from server is prefixed by disclaimer followed by server version and current timestamp. All this is a part of comment.

Each object record is a set of attributes, each attribute is on separate line. Attribute's name and value are separated by colon, which immediatelly follows the name. Between the colon and the value may be unspecified number of spaces. If attribute has multiple values, then the attribute is repeated for each value. Blank line denotes end of object record. There may be more objects in one server response if they are relevant to user's query. End of response is marked by two blank lines. The maximal number of objects returned in one response is limited.

If the server encounters a problem, an error message is returned as a query result. The format of an error message is as follows:


where # is the error code and message is a short description of the problem, possibly followed by a more descriptive message, each line of which starts with % followed by a white space and a text.

Object templates

Here we define templates for the objects. Not all attributes of objects must be present in an output. Some of them are optional and some attributes of the contact object may be hiden as a result of registrant's wish. Domain template is used for "ussual domains" as well as for ENUM domains. For ENUM domains is the attribute registrant never displayed (for common domains is this attribute always published) and the attribute validated-to is there only for ENUM domains. The fourth column of templates marks attributes which can be used in search. Primary key unambiguously identifies the object within the scope of one object type. Inverse key can be used for search of object and the name inverse implies that we proceed from bottom to up in a tree representing relationships among objects.

Domain template

domain:       [mandatory]  [single]    [primary key]
registrant:   [optional]   [single]    [inverse key]
admin-c:      [optional]   [multiple]  [inverse key]
temp-c:       [optional]   [multiple]  [inverse key]  
nsset:        [optional]   [single]    [inverse key]
registrar:    [mandatory]  [single]    [ ]
status:       [optional]   [multiple]  [ ]
registered:   [mandatory]  [single]    [ ]
changed:      [optional]   [single]    [ ]
expire:       [mandatory]  [single]    [ ]
validated-to: [optional]   [single]    [ ]

Nsset template

nsset:        [mandatory]  [single]    [primary key]
nserver:      [mandatory]  [multiple]  [inverse key]
tech-c:       [mandatory]  [multiple]  [inverse key]
registrar:    [mandatory]  [single]    [ ]
created:      [mandatory]  [single]    [ ]
changed:      [optional]   [single]    [ ]

Contact template

contact:      [mandatory]  [single]    [primary key]  [not hidable]
org:          [optional]   [single]    [ ]            [not hidable]
name:         [mandatory]  [single]    [ ]            [not hidable]
address:      [mandatory]  [multiple]  [ ]            [not hidable]
phone:        [optional]   [single]    [ ]            [hidable]
fax-no:       [optional]   [single]    [ ]            [hidable]
e-mail:       [mandatory]  [single]    [ ]            [hidable]
registrar:    [mandatory]  [single]    [ ]            [not hidable]
created:      [mandatory]  [single]    [ ]            [not hidable]
changed:      [optional]   [single]    [ ]            [not hidable]

Registrar template

registrar:    [mandatory]  [single]    [primary key]
org:          [mandatory]  [single]    [ ]
url:          [mandatory]  [single]    [ ]
phone:        [optional]   [single]    [ ]
address:      [mandatory]  [multiple]  [ ]

Object relations scheme

            /  |   \                 /  |
           /   |    \               /   |
 REGISTRANT ADMIN-C  \             /   TECH-C
          \  TEMP-C   \           /    /
           \       \   \         /    /
            \       \   \       /    /
             \       \__ \     / ___/

Registrant, admin-c, temp-c and tech-c are all of the same type - the contact. The tree is rooted at the domain object and the dependency links run from there to registrar. When displaying information about an object all objects which are referenced in that object are displayed too and so on recursivelly. There is one exception to this rule and it is the registrar object which is not displayed unless it is a primary subject of user's query. The next table summarizes what we get for objects if we ask for certain type of object by its primary key.

1 domain
1 registrant
n admin-c objects
n temp-c objects
1 nsset (optional)
n tech-c objects (only if there is nsset)

1 nsset
n tech-c objects

1 contact

1 registrar

Flags and options accepted by server

Usage: whois [options] [[type] value]

If the server encounters option that it does not understand, it prints a help message which starts by comments and returns no data. The following options are accepted by server, it is more-or-less a small subset of options accepted by RIPE whois server.

|-q templates |Returns templates for all four object types |.
Option Description
-r Switch off recursion. Only the object which is primary target of query is returned.
-T type Type of object to lookup (domain, nsset, contact, registrar). There may be more types separated by comma without spaces between them. The types are case-insensitive.
-i attr Lookup object by its attribute. Attribute can be any of attributes from object templates marked by flag "inverse key". Attribute name is case-insensitive.
-q version Returns version of whois server.
-q indexes Returns list of attributes which can be used in search. The attributes have form object:attribute.

There's yet another way how to specify a type of object to lookup. Just prefix the object's identifier with the name of a type. The following two examples are equivalent:

$ whois -T domain nic.cz
$ whois "domain nic.cz"

The -q parameter can be used only once and not in combination with any other option. The -i parameter can be used only once.

Error codes

Here is a list of possible error codes accompanied by their description. We tried to stay compatible with RIPE DB error codes where possible.

%ERROR:101: no entries found
% No entries found.

%ERROR:107: usage error
% Unknown option, invalid combination of options or invalid value for option
% was specified.

%ERROR:108: invalid request
% Invalid character in request, request not properly terminated or too long.

%ERROR:201: access denied
% Access from the host has been permanently denied because of excessive
% querying.

%ERROR:501: internal server error
% Query didn't succeed becauseof server-side error. Please try again later.

Questions and answers

Q: Does the whois server support wildcard search?
A: No, the wildcard symbols are handled as any other characters.

Q: Does the whois server support persistent connections?
A: No, one connection = one query.

Q: Do you provide your own implementation of whois client?
A: No, but existing implementations can be easily used if you take care of quoting of switches, which are not known to the client.

Q: Is your server compatible with RIPE whois?
A: No, but we tried to stay compatible where possible. Generally we implement only a subset of switches and options implemented by RIPE server. If you use an option which the RIPE server understands to, but our doesn't, than the server returns error and help message.

Q: What is the meaning of attribute temp-c?
A: It is a mysterious attribute of domain, which was introduce to ease transition from old domain registration model to new one. It is a burden of domains registered in old model. The new domains cannot have this attribute.