Whois and das[Link]

Domain interrogation services are available via command line tools or via our website.

The WHOIS service provides the necessary information for people seeking to contact the registrant of a .be domain (or registrar contact) for problem solving etc. But it is limited to prevent abuse of the DNS Belgium database information.

As the WHOIS service limits the number of queries in a given time frame, it is not suitable for websites or automated systems to get the status of a domain. For this reason, DNS Belgium has put in place the DAS service (Domain Availability Service) which has less limitations. The DAS only gives out the status of a domain name.

Native das and whois services[Link]

The native DAS and WHOIS are available via command-line tools.

Native DAS[Link]

The DAS service is available on das.dns.be at TCP port 4343. The service reacts as described below.

The protocol for DAS is: the domain name being queried with the trailing “.be”.

The result will come back in strict format:

  • RC: gives the return code of the query:

    • 0: query successful

    • -1: Internal system error

    • -2: Excessive querying

    • -3: IP address blocked

  • Domain: the domain name being queried, containing the U-label in case of an IDN name

  • A-label: only if it concerns an IDN name

  • Status: returns the status of the domain name (only if RC=0):

    • AVAILABLE: the domain name is free to be registered

    • NOT AVAILABLE: the domain name is already registered

    • NOT ALLOWED: not a valid domain name (e.g. “.be” omitted, invalid characters, invalid length, …)

There are limits to the use of our DAS service:

  • Maximum 50 queries per minute per IP.

  • When the limit is reached, your IP will be blocked for the remaining time in the minute.

  • Over this limit, you will receive return code -2.

When your IP address is blocked by DNS Belgium due to abusive behaviour, you will receive return code -3.

Upon connecting to DAS, it will wait for a query command (without sending a header, prompt, …). Upon completion of the query, DAS will close the connection.

Native WHOIS[Link]

The native WHOIS service is available on whois.dns.be on TCP port 43. The information provided is limited. The service reacts as described below.

The protocol for WHOIS is: the domain name being queried with the trailing “.be”.

Available information:

  • If the status is AVAILABLE or NOT ALLOWED, only the status is returned

    • Domain name, containing the U-label in case of an IDN name

    • A-label, only if it concerns an IDN name

    • Domain status

  • If the domain status is NOT AVAILABLE, information about the domain name is returned: * Domain name, containing the U-label in case of an IDN name * A-label, only if it concerns an IDN name * Domain status * Registration date * Technical contacts * Registrar * Name servers * DNSSEC keys * Flags

If the WHOIS query was unsuccessful, you can receive one of these return codes:

  • -1: Internal server error

  • -2: Excessive querying

  • -3: IP address blocked

Limitations:

  • No registrant information.

  • No information about onsite contacts.

  • Limited information for technical contact.

  • Maximum 100 queries per hour per IP address.

  • Over this limit, you will receive return code -2.

  • Over this limit doubled, your IP will be blocked for 1 hour (return code -3)

When your IP address is blocked by DNS Belgium due to abusive behaviour, you will receive return code -3.

To only check the availability of a domain (e.g. in a web application), you can use our DAS service.

Examples[Link]

DAS and WHOIS can be interrogated in the same way, entering the appropriate host and port. Below are example requests for DAS:

Unix/Linux users can use the regular whois script with the following parameters:

whois -h das.dns.be -p 4343 domainname.be
  • h to specify the WHOIS server to use

  • p the port to use (standard WHOIS port is 43)

Others can contact our services via telnet:

telnet das.dns.be 4343
Trying 193.109.126.141...
Connected to das.dns.be.
Escape character is '^]'.
domain.be
% .be Domain Availability Server 4.0
%
%% RC=0
Domain: domain.be
Status: REGISTERED

Connection closed by foreign host.

Once the telnet connection is made you have a limited time to write the domain name.

This is the output of a successful DAS query:

% .be Domain Availability Server 4.0
%
%% RC=0
Domain: dñs.be
A-label:        xn--ds-zja.be
Status: AVAILABLE

This is the output of an unsuccessful DAS query:

% .be Domain Availability Server 4.0
%
%% RC=-2
% Excessive querying
Domain: name.be

This is the output of an unsuccessful WHOIS query (without disclaimer):

% .be Whois Server 6.1
% -2: Excessive querying
Domain:  test.be

If an error occurred an extra line will appear with the description of the error.

In the below table, you see the different output possibilities for IDN and non-IDN names:

Input

Output

belgie.be

Domain: belgie.be

belgië.be

Domain: belgië.be
A-label: xn–belgi-rsa.be

xn–belgi-rsa.be

Domain: belgië.be
A-label: xn–belgi-rsa.be

xn–belgi-fsxxa.be

Domain: xn–belgi-fsxxa.be
Status: NOT ALLOWED
Message: Invalid A-label.

xn–belgi-rsa

Domain: belgië
A-label: xn–belgi-rsa
Status: NOT ALLOWED
Message: Please add correct .be extension.

It is also possible to retrieve domain name information using the EPP interface. This interface allows for more detail and controlled information. We encourage registrars to use this interface to retrieve information on domain name status and other information.

Possible error messages[Link]

When an invalid domain name is entered, a specific error message will be shown. Currently, these are the error messages given for invalid domain names:

  • This domain name is too short.

  • This domain name is too long.

  • Invalid A-label.

  • Use only approved characters.

  • Do not use a hyphen at the start of the domain name.

  • Do not use a hyphen at the end of the domain name.

  • Do not use hyphens on the 3rd and 4th position in a domain name.

  • Please add correct .be extension.

Please note this list is subject to change.

Web-based das and whois services[Link]

On the DNS Belgium website it is possible to check the availability of a domain name and view domain name details.

Web-based DAS[Link]

The web based DAS is available on the top of our public website home page. The user fills in the domain name and clicks the “Check availability” button.

Possible actions[Link]

When a domain name is available, the end user can look for a registrar to register the domain name. The search for registrars is done according to country and/or tld.

When registrars are searched, the result list is ordered alphabetically.

When a domain name is registered, the end user can request more information about the domain name. By choosing this option, he will be directed to the WHOIS.

Web-based WHOIS[Link]

The web based WHOIS is available on our public website. The user fills in the domain name and clicks on “Show details”. On the next screen, one can see the details of the domain name.

Available information:

  • Domain name (non-IDN) or U-label and A-label (IDN)

  • Domain Status

  • Registrant Contact

  • Onsite Contacts

  • Registrar Technical Contacts

  • Registrar

  • Name servers

  • DNSSEC keys

  • Transfer status

Limitations:

  • The contact details of private registrants/onsite contacts are not displayed, instead a contact form is available.

  • Maximum 100 queries per IP address per day.

Possible actions[Link]

If you have a complaint regarding the WHOIS details of the domain name, you can file a complaint via this page.

If you want to contact the registrant of the domain name, you can do this via the contact form. Please note the registrant is not obligated to give you an answer.

The registrant of the domain name can request a transfer code for his domain name. The mail containing the transfer code is sent to the registrant and contains the U-label of the domain name.

The registrant of the domain name can request a certificate from DNS Belgium here. The WHOIS registration details certificate provides the details of the private individual or organisation who/which is registered as the registrant of the .be domain name, as stated in DNS Belgium’s registration system, at the time the document is requested. The certificate, containing the U-label of the domain name in lower case, is sent to the e-mail address of the registrant.

The registrant of the domain name can request a list of variants, i.e. domain names similar to his own domain name. To demonstrate the level of similarity, DNS Belgium uses an algorithm based on the ‘Levenshtein Distance’. This algorithm generates a list of domain names that are given a score based on their similarity.

To ensure that this list is not too long, we restrict it to the 50 closest variants. Because this process involves a mathematical algorithm, there is always the possibility that the results may differ widely. The list is sent to the e-mail address of the registrant.

Possible error messages[Link]

The error messages are identical to the native DAS/WHOIS (see above).

Note

DNS Belgium reserves the right to change the limits for DAS/WHOIS if we feel that the services are being abused/attacked.

Ip whitelisting for das and whois[Link]

DNS Belgium doesn’t offer IP whitelisting for DAS or WHOIS. We feel the limits to our services are sufficient for the needs of all parties.