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Date:      Sat, 25 Jan 2014 21:32:44 +0000
From:      Frank Leonhardt <>
To:        "" <>
Subject:   Re: Why was nslookup removed from FreeBSD 10?
Message-ID:  <>
In-Reply-To: <>
References:  <> <> <> <>

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On 25/01/2014 20:55, Waitman Gobble wrote:
> On Sat, Jan 25, 2014 at 11:52 AM, Frank Leonhardt <> wrote:
>> On 25/01/2014 19:37, Mark Tinka wrote:
>>> On Saturday, January 25, 2014 09:13:08 PM Frank Leonhardt
>>> wrote:
>>>   Unbelievable, but true - someone somewhere thought that
>>>> removing nslookup from the base system was the way to
>>>> go.
>>>> Why? Can anyone shed any light on how this decision was
>>>> made?
>>> If you read:
>>> Under the "2.3. Userland Changes" section, you will notice:
>>>          "BIND has been removed from the base system.
>>>           unbound(8), which is maintained by NLnet Labs, has
>>>           been imported to support local DNS resolution
>>>           functionality with DNSSEC. Note that it is not a
>>>           replacement of BIND and the latest versions of BIND
>>>           is still available in the Ports Collection. With
>>>           this change, nslookup and dig are no longer a part
>>>           of the base system. Users should instead use
>>>           host(1) and drill(1) Alternatively, nslookup and
>>>           dig can be obtained by installing dns/bind-tools
>>>           port. [r255949]"
>>> So install /usr/ports/dns/bind-tools and you're a happy guy.
>>> As to the philosophy of it all, no point arguing. Fait
>>> accompli.
>>> Mark.
>> As you and Waitman both pointed out, nslookup IS part of BIND, yet as I
>> said in the diatribe following the question in my post, so is "host" and
>> that's still there. Also Windoze has nslookup but doesn't include BIND. I
>> agree there's no point arguing unless you know the rational behind what
>> appears an arbitrary decision; hence my question. Was this simply an
>> oversight or is there a thought-out reason for it that one can take issue
>> with?
>> IIRC, nslookup was present in 4.3BSD, and I'm pretty sure it existed
>> before that. (That's BSD, not FreeBSD). Its relied on in scripts. The
>> reason for dropping it from the base system must be pretty spectacular.
>> FreeBSD 10.0 might be better known as FreeBSD Vista, at this rate.
>> Regards, Frank.
>> _______________________________________________
>> mailing list
>> To unsubscribe, send any mail to "freebsd-questions-
> You might try 'drill' in contrib/ldns

I see - a dig clone called drill. Amusingly the man page refers to dig 
in the See Also, although it's not there. I don't know if drill is 
script-compatible with dig, but I was never a fan anyway. A quick snoop 
at NLnet's web site shows it as the only tool that goes with ldns. It's 
reasonable to remove multiplicity if you're going to have a revolution.

I know I can compile and install BIND and get everything back, but this 
isn't my gripe.  When a utility has been part of the base system for 
nearly 30 years, and has doubtless found itself used in plenty of 
scripts, you shouldn't just go around arbitrarily removing it.

(And FWIW, I'm also one of the many worried by the prospect switching to 
BIND 10!)

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