A Bash Script for Quick Whois Queries

How many whois searches do you do in a year? A dozen? A dozen dozen? More? For me, it’s probably in the neighborhood of a few dozen dozen.

It seems like there is always a fun new project┬áto work on and, sadly, it’s becoming nearly impossible to find good domain names.

Recently I was looking for a suitable LLC name for a company to hold all my projects. As my wife shouted out name candidates, I found myself repeating paired whois plural/singular queries like:

whois hilltoplab.com
whois hilltoplabs.com
whois hilltopstudio.com
whois hilltopstudios.com

Etc for .org, .biz (haha, not really) and .net…

As a lazy programmer-type, I decided to do a quick Google search to see if someone had a handy bash script available. Lucky for me, D’s Blog did.

For me, the only whois output I am interested in is whether the domain is registered and, if it is not, when it was created (I like playing an annoying little game of “p’shaw…that was registered in 1999′” when I’m offered obviously taken suggestions).

I stripped out a lot of D’s functionality and ended with the following script:
[sourcecode language=”bash”]#!/bin/bash

echo “”
echo “######## WHOIS: “$1

# Whois using the input variable
whois $1 |\

# Remove EOL characters
tr -d ‘\015\032’ |\

# Remove leading spaces
sed ‘s/^ *//’ |\

# Remove common unnecessary words from output
grep -v -e “@” -e “http://” -e “WHOIS” > wtmp1.txt

# Display all of the date lines
egrep -i “ate: ” wtmp1.txt

# Remove the tmp file
rm -rf wtmp1.txt

echo “######## DONE!”
echo “”[/sourcecode]

(Don’t forget to chmod 774 your script after you create it).

I also have a little function I tuck in my .bash_aliases
that lumps the singular/plural lookups I want to do.

It looks like this:
[sourcecode language=”bash”]function wi() {
~/my_whois.sh “$@”lab.com;
~/my_whois.sh “$@”labs.com;
~/my_whois.sh “$@”studio.com;
~/my_whois.sh “$@”studios.com;
}[/sourcecode]

So when I type this:
[sourcecode language=”plain”]wi hilltop[/sourcecode]

I get output like this:
[sourcecode language=”plain”]

######## WHOIS: hilltoplab.com
######## DONE!

######## WHOIS: hilltoplabs.com
Updated Date: 18-jun-2009
Creation Date: 28-aug-2000
Expiration Date: 28-aug-2018
######## DONE!

######## WHOIS: hilltopstudio.com
Updated Date: 08-jan-2008
Creation Date: 10-oct-1999
Expiration Date: 10-oct-2013
######## DONE!

######## WHOIS: hilltopstudios.com
Updated Date: 07-aug-2012
Creation Date: 22-aug-2000
Expiration Date: 22-aug-2013
######## DONE![/sourcecode]

Cleanly indicating that, as of this writing, hilltoplab.com is available, but the other variations are not.

Aaahhhhhh……