HOW TO: Find the IP address of a domain from the local server before propagation

Have you ever wanted to know the ip address assigned to a domain according to your local server? I had this problem. I needed to get an IP address of a domain before the domain propagated. I was writing a custom cpanel postwwwacct script. For some very, very odd reason, cpanel will tell you IF you have a dedicated ip address for the domain, but not what it is. Fortunately postwwwacct occurs after the bind of the ip address.

I thought I would have to use a grep and awk to parse the IP address out of the .db file in /var/named but fortunately it occurred to me that I could just do a simple dig call within my script and get the value back. That’s straight forward and returns only the information I want to have.

So here is a perl script that does this:

$ip=`dig \@$ns $domain A +short`;
if ( $ip == -1 )
  print "command failed: $!\n";
  printf "The result is: " . $ip;


You will of course have to replace with the url for the name server running on your server.
The backticks (“) indicate you need to run a command line and return the stdout results. (And yes, I think backticks sound gross but that’s what they are called.)

Also note the @ is a special character and must be escaped with a \.

Hope this helps!

  • Agreed, “backticks” ~ gross, but how about living in the … Baltics?
    I just couldn’t help it.

    Here to ask if you work with sites/pages with video, closed-captioning, that sort of work?


  • heh I was so caught up in trying to 1 up your pun, I forgot to reply!

    I don’t know of a video host that specializes in closed captioning, if that’s what you’re asking. I know a thing or two about embedding videos, but mosts video hosting companies take care of that for you.