Lars Graubner

Query a domain registrar via WHOIS with Node.js

Every domain registrar is obliged to provide an API with the WHOIS protocol to query for domain information. Per specification (RFC 3912) the service has to be operated under port 43.

The following Node.js script helps to make a simple query to a specified registrars WHOIS API. It appends the required new line, connects to TCP port 43 via socket and returns the data.

const net = require('net');

function whois(query, host) {
let data = '';

let socket = net.connect({ host, port: 43 }, () => {
socket.write(query + '\r\n');

socket.on('data', (chunk) => (data += chunk));
socket.on('close', () => resolve(data));

socket.on('timeout', () => {
socket.destroy(new Error('Timeout'));
socket.on('error', reject);

This can be used as followed:

let response = await whois('', '');

The response format is specified by RFC 2167, but varies more or less depending on the registar. Therefore it's quite hard to parse the response in a standardized way. Also the amount of information varies a lot. Anyway this little function may be useful sometimes.

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