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AIX Version 4.3 Commands Reference, Volume 2

host Command


Resolves a host name into an Internet address or an Internet address into a host name.


host [ -a ] [ -c Class ] [ -d ] [ -n ] [ -r ] [ -t Type ] [ -v ] [ -w ] [ -z ] [ Hostname | Address ] [ Server ]


The /usr/bin/host command returns the Internet address of a host machine when the HostName parameter is specified and the name of the host when the Address parameter is specified. The host command also displays any aliases associated with the HostName parameter.

If the local host is using the DOMAIN protocol, the local or remote name server database is queried before searching the local /etc/hosts file.

The host command may also return other name records found in the DNS (Domain Name System). The -z flag specifies this mode. The other flags allow for the customization of the query.


-a Equivalent to using "-v -t *"
-c Class Specifies the class to look in when searching non-Internet data. Valid classes are:
IN Internet class
CHAOS Chaos class
HESIOD MIT Althena Hesiod class
ANY Wildcard (any of the above)
* Wildcard (any of the above)
-d Turns on debugging mode.
-n Equivalent to issuing the /usr/bin/hostnew command.
-r Disables recursive processing.
-t Type Specifies the type of record to query for. Valid types are:
A Host's Internet address
CNAME Canonical name for an alias
HINFO Host CPU and operating system type
KEY Security Key Record
MINFO Mailbox or mail list information
MX Mail exchanger
NS Nameserver for the named zone
PTR Host name if the query is an Internet address; otherwise, the pointer to other information
SIG Signature Record
SOA Domain's "start-of-authority" information
TXT Text information
UINFO User information
WKS Supported well-known services
-v Verbose mode.
-w Waits forever for a reply from the DNS server.
-z Uses the new output that displays resource record information.


Address Specifies the Internet address of the host machine to use in resolving the host name. The Address parameter must be a valid Internet address in dotted decimal format.
HostName Specifies the name of the host machine to use in resolving the Internet address. The HostName parameter can be either a unique host name or a well-known host name (such as nameserver, printserver, or timeserver, if these exist).
Server Specifies the nameserver to query.


  1. To display the address of a host machine named mephisto, enter:
    host mephisto
    Information similar to the following is displayed:
    mephisto is, Aliases: engr, sarah
  2. To display the host whose address is, enter:
    Information similar to the following is displayed:
    mercutio is


/etc/hosts Contains the Internet Protocol (IP) name and addresses of hosts on the local network.

Related Information

The hostname command.

The named daemon.

Network Overview in AIX Version 4.3 System Management Guide: Communications and Networks.

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