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I want to display the DNS servers that are used by the current network setup on OS X, from the command line.

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3 Answers 3

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There are several ways - here are two:

cat /etc/resolv.conf

-or-

scutil --dns
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    Its extremely annoying that networksetup -getdnsservers doesn't work for DHCP-assigned DNS servers. I always forget about scutil. The 'sc' stands for System Configuration? It sure doesn't configure much of the system... Sep 10, 2016 at 5:46
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    It's also good to note that dig or nslookup don't necessarily give a realistic picture of how the macOS applications resolve domain names from the local system, especially when multiple (domain-specific) DNSes have been configured, such as when using a VPN client for multiple concurrent connections. Instead of nslookup or dig, use dscacheutil -q host -a name somehostname.com to test DNS resolution. It takes into account all configured DNS servers as well as their priority order.
    – Ville
    Aug 9, 2017 at 21:08
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    cat /etc/resolv.conf doesn't seem like a "reliable" solution anymore. This is the notice I get in macOS High Sierra when using it: (sorry for the formatting - comments don't support simple line breaks) # macOS Notice # # This file is not consulted for DNS hostname resolution, address # resolution, or the DNS query routing mechanism used by most # processes on this system. # # To view the DNS configuration used by this system, use: # scutil --dns
    – PatrikN
    Apr 4, 2018 at 8:43
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    I like scutil --dns | grep nameserver to just get the DNS servers. Jun 26, 2019 at 0:16
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The following shell command can be useful to list the current DNS entries:

grep nameserver <(scutil --dns)

To filter it out for the script, you can pipe the output into awk '{print $3}' or grep -o "[0-9]\+\.[0-9]\+\.[0-9]\+\.[0-9]\+" command.

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    This is the same as scutil --dns | grep nameserver correct (just different syntax)? Jun 26, 2019 at 0:18
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    @SamAndrew81 correct same
    – slm
    May 6, 2021 at 16:47
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To get all into a comma separated line:

scutil --dns | sed -n '/nameserver/ { s/^.* : \(.*\)/\1/p; }' | sort -u | paste -s -d',' -
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  • grep is much simpler why use the complex regexp?
    – mmmmmm
    Jul 25 at 10:50
  • Which complex regex? I would differ that dots and starts are a complex regex... in any case this returns the IPs separated by commas, grep cannot extract those values, it just select lines. Or am I missing something?
    – estani
    Jul 26 at 10:16
  • Any regex including \ is complex to me and I suspect most programmers. ANyway it is more complex in this case than grep. The OP only wants to display the IPs so why go more complex
    – mmmmmm
    Jul 26 at 10:42
  • ok. '\' is an escape sequence, not part of the regex, but part of sed. The title of my answer already states what this does, which is what I needed (and anyone doing anything with the IP afterwards within the same shell). I'm sorry you don't like that I shared.
    – estani
    Jul 26 at 13:00
  • that is my point to enter a regex you need to escape characters. How can you enter in a script just the regex. You can't separate the two you can only deal with the presentation on the screen. Even then it is just odd characters
    – mmmmmm
    Jul 26 at 19:27

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