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BW Whois

Current version: 5.5.2, Released: 8 August 2012
Site updated: 8 August 2012

BW Whois is supported by your voluntary donations. Please consider a donation of any amount.

What is BW Whois?

BW Whois is a modern whois client with a lot of features.

Note: (16 September 2010) Version 5.5 has been released! This release has support for SQLite 3. SQLite is a fast alternative for client-server databases that is robust, ACID-compliant, and did I mention fast?

The whois system changed when the ICANN cabal assumed control of the domain registration system on 1 December 1999. The whois clients in use at that time stopped working when the new system was deployed. That's why I wrote this one.

Over time BW Whois evolved into the most full-featured whois client available providing features like a self-detecting CGI mode and SQL database caching, for those who need such features, while still maintaining a simple command-line interface for those who just need that.

The CGI mode can be secured against abuse by a number of different methods including "Referer:" headers, IP addresses, and a system of 128-bit hashed cookies. These security options can be tailored to suit the demands of a given installation using the whois.conf configuration file.

There are features to support a web-based whois service, including support for Apache-style server-side includes, and a distinct "domain not found" page.

An optional caching capability is provide for using an SQL database (currently MySQL, PostgreSQL, and SQLite 3 are supported). When configured for caching, requests are forwarded to the corresponding whois server only if the cache does not contain a result for the given request/server combination. Cached values are expired after a configurable amount of time.

Features   [top]

I released the first version of BW Whois on 2 December 1999, just one day after ICANN took over the domain registration system. Within a few hours I had a mailbox full of thanks, and feature requests.

Over time BW Whois has become the most feature-rich whois client available. Some of the more significant features are listed here. Please see the documentation for complete details.

  • Self-detecting CGI support
  • Simple command-line use
  • Prevents data harvesting with multiple security features for web use
  • Optional result caching with an SQL database
  • Database features work with either MySQL, PostgreSQL, or SQLite 3
  • Support for multiple outgoing IP addresses
  • Support for available/not available results
  • Fully customizable HTML output
  • Support for Apache-style SSI (server-side includes)
  • External TLD table for support of ALL top-level domains
  • Fully configurable disclaimer stripping
  • Automatic support for netblocks
  • Unpacks packed (single-integer) IP addresses

Try It

Enter a domain name:

Note: Multiple domains are disabled for CGI mode.

Download It

Current version: 5.5.2
Released 8 August 2012

Note: Version 5.5 has new features!

Other Services

Installation and Support

Installation and support services are available for a reasonable hourly fee. Please contact me for help. Your support will help keep BW Whois updated and current.

Whois Proxy Service

Would you like to run BW Whois on your web site but don't want to install it yourself? Does your host block the use of CGI scripts, or scripts that connect to other servers (as a whois script must do)? Perhaps you don't have MySQL on your server or a recent version of perl?

Now you can run your whois on my server!

[Learn More]

What's new in version 5.5?   [top]

Version 5.5 is a minor release with these new features:

  • New support for SQLite 3 database
  • A few bug fixes and updates to tld.conf
  • Updated support for non-standard whois servers