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BSD 2.11 - man page for whois (bsd section 1)

WHOIS(1)				       General Commands Manual					     WHOIS(1)

NAME
whois - DARPA Internet user name directory service
SYNOPSIS
whois name
DESCRIPTION
whois help Produces a helpful message similar to the following: Please enter a name or a handle (``ident"), such as ``Smith" or ``SRI-NIC". Starting with a period forces a name-only search; starting with exclamation point forces handle-only. Examples: Smith [looks for name or handle SMITH ] !SRI-NIC [looks for handle SRI-NIC only ] .Smith, John [looks for name JOHN SMITH only ] Adding ``..." to the argument will match anything from that point, e.g. ``ZU..." will match ZUL, ZUM, etc. To have the ENTIRE membership list of a group or organization, if you are asking about a group or org, shown with the record, use an asterisk character `*' directly preceding the given argument. [CAUTION: If there are a lot of members this will take a long time!] You may of course use exclamation point and asterisk, or a period and asterisk together.
SEE ALSO
RFC 812: Nicname/Whois 4.3 Berkeley Distribution June 6, 1985 WHOIS(1)


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