Checking DNS Propagation using DIG

The ‘dig’ command can be used on most Mac and Linux operating systems to check the status of DNS records such as Nameserver (NS), Mail Exchange (MX) records or any other DNS zone records.

To check the records of MX or NS records type the following into a terminal session:

dig ns


dig mx

The returning command should read like the following example:

;; Got answer:
;; ->>HEADER<<- opcode: QUERY, status: NOERROR, id: 1180
;; flags: qr rd ra; QUERY: 1, ANSWER: 2, AUTHORITY: 0, ADDITIONAL: 0


;; ANSWER SECTION: 86152 IN NS 86152 IN NS ns2.

;; Query time: 0 msec
;; WHEN: Mon Apr 12 21:58:17 2010
;; MSG SIZE rcvd: 79

The highlighted numbers are the TTL (time to live) until the next record propagation (in seconds). Once this runs out the DNS records will propagate.

To calculate the time for the DNS records to propagate, divide the TTL by 60 then 60 again. The result will be the TTL in hours. Example:

(86152 * 60)*60 = 23.93 Hours until propagation.

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