Your Internet Consultant - The FAQs of Life Online

4.19. What is whois?

Whois is a program that can give you contact information for users on the Internet. In addition, you can use whois to find information on Internet sites also (more on this later.)

Be warned that there are almost 100 different whois servers, and your results might vary based on which server you use. I looked up Ed Krol (author of the Whole Internet User's Guide and Catalog, a fine book about the Internet) with the InterNIC system by using Telnet, and here's how it looked. (Notice that you can perform a variety of different databases searches, not just whois. and queries from this site.)

$ telnet
Connected to
Escape character is '^]'.

SunOS UNIX (rs) (ttyp3)

* -- InterNIC Registration Services Center  --
* For gopher, type:                  GOPHER <return>
* For wais, type:                    WAIS <search string>
* For the *original* whois type:     WHOIS [search string] <return>
* For registration status:           STATUS <ticket number>
* For user assistance call (800) 444-4345 | (619) 455-4600 or (703)
* Please report system problems to
Please be advised that the InterNIC Registration host contains INTERNET
Domains, IP Network Numbers, ASNs, and Points of Contacts ONLY. Please
refer to rfc1400.txt for details (available via anonymous ftp at either [/rfc/rfc1400.txt]  or

Cmdinter Ver 1.3 Mon Apr 11 01:00:12 1994 EST
[vt100] InterNIC > whois krol,ed
Connecting to the rs Database . . . . . .
Connected to the rs Database
Krol, Ed (EK10)         Krol@UXC.CSO.UIUC.EDU
   University of Illinois
   Computing and Communications Service Office
   195 DCL
   1304 West Springfield Avenue
   Urbana, IL 61801-4399
   (217) 333-7886

   Record last updated on 27-Nov-91.

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