.uk WHOIS2 Instructions for use

The following instructions for use apply to the WHOIS2.


Queries are sent to port 1043 on the server WHOIS.nic.uk rather than the ordinary port 43.  The format of the queries is:

<hostname of client> <IP address of client> <domain to query><cr><lf>

with spaces between the first three fields.

The client hostname and IP address that you must supply are those of the client that made the request to your proxy, which then forwards the request to our WHOIS2 service.  You must not supply the hostname and IP address of your proxy here, nor may you supply false information.

You are expected to supply the hostname by doing a reverse DNS lookup on the IP address at the time the query is made.  If a reverse lookup fails then you should use the hostname of ‘unresolvable’.  We may choose later to block all queries from addresses where the hostname cannot be found by a reverse lookup.

The query must be terminated with a carriage return and line feed.

So an example of a WHOIS2 query is:

somehost.nominet.org.uk internet.co.uk


There are two groups of limits in operation, one for the gateway and a separate one for the clients.

The query limit for the gateway is given in the WHOIS2 acceptable use policy. Volumes in excess of either query limit will result in the blocked response given below.

The limits on the clients are covered in the WHOIS acceptable use policy.  Lookup information is aggregated from all gateways and the WHOIS in order to calculate usage for clients.


The response you will receive back from the WHOIS2 will be the standard WHOIS output, except where the proxy itself has been blocked for excessive use, in which case the output will be:

Error for "<domain name>".

This proxy has exceeded its quota for forwarded WHOIS queries.  
The quota will be replenished in <nnn> seconds.

WHOIS lookup made at <hh:mm:ss dd-mmm-yyyy>

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