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How do I look up an MX record with nslookup?

© April 2015 Anthony Lawrence

Anonymous asks:

We have an application that sends out mail, but it isn't working right. It's sending local domain mail to the wrong server. I figure it must be getting the MX from local DNS, but how can I check that with nslookup?

I'd install Linux and use "dig" or "host", but I suppose that's asking a bit too much.

I couldn't remember how to use nslookup for that, so I invoked Google, which sent me to Using NSlookup.exe, which enlightened me with this less than ideal wisdom:

To look up different data types within the domain name space, use the set type or set q[uerytype] command at the command prompt. For example, to query for the mail exchanger data, type the following:

   C:\> nslookup
   Default Server:  ns1.domain.com

   > set q=mx
   > mailhost
   Server:  ns1.domain.com

   mailhost.domain.com     MX preference = 0, mail exchanger =
   mailhost.domain.com     internet address =

But that's not right. It's not wrong, but it assumes the user is trying to find out if a machine IS an MX, which is not what you want to know. For your question, you'd do:

   > set q=mx
   > domain-you-want-to-know-about

For example, if you wanted to know the MX for my domain, you'd type "aplawrence.com".

Looking up an MX record

Leave it to Microsoft to give the least likely usage as their example!

Got something to add? Send me email.

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Inexpensive and informative Apple related e-books:

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