Provided by: dnstop_20120611-2build1_i386 bug


     dnstop — displays various tables of DNS traffic on your network


     dnstop [-46apsQR] [-b expression] [-i address] [-f filter] [-r interval]
            [device] [savefile]


     dnstop is a small tool to listen on device or to parse the file savefile
     and collect and print statistics on the local network's DNS traffic. You
     must have read access to /dev/bpf*.


     The options are as follows:

     -4      count only messages with IPv4 addresses

     -6      count only messages with IPv6 addresses

     -Q      count only DNS query messages

     -R      count only DNS reply messages

     -a      anonymize addresses

     -b expression
             BPF filter expression
             (default: udp port 53)

     -i address
             ignore select addresses

     -p      Do not put the interface into promiscuous mode.

     -r      Redraw interval (seconds).

     -l level
             keep counts on names up to level domain name levels.

             For example, with -l 2 (the default), dnstop will keep two
             tables: one with top-level domain names, and another with second-
             level domain names.  Increasing the level provides more details,
             but also requires more memory and CPU.

     -f      input filter name

             The "unknown-tlds" filter includes only queries for TLDs that are
             bogus.  Useful for identifying hosts/servers that leak queries
             for things like "localhost" or "workgroup."

             The "A-for-A" filter includes only A queries for names that are
             already IP addresses.  Certain Microsoft Windows DNS servers have
             a known bug that forward these queries.

             The "rfc1918-ptr" filter includes only PTR queries for addresses
             in RFC1918 space.  These should never leak from inside an

             The "refused" filter, when used with the -R option, tells dnstop
             to count only replies with rcode REFUSED.

             The "qtype-any" filter tells dnstop to count only message of type

     -n name
             Only count messages within the domain name

     -P      Print "progress" messages on stderr when in non-interactive mode.

     -B buckets
             Use buckets hash table buckets.

     -X      Do not tabulate the sources + query name counters.  This can
             significantly reduce memory usage on busy servers and large

             a captured network trace in pcap format

     device  ethernet device (ie fxp0)


     While running, the following options are available to alter the display:

     s       display the source address table

     d       display the destination address table

     t       display the breakdown of query types seen

     r       display the breakdown of response codes seen

     o       display the breakdown of opcodes seen

     1       show 1st level query names

     2       show 2nd level query names

     3       show 3rd level query names

     4       show 4th level query names

     5       show 5th level query names

     6       show 6th level query names

     7       show 7th level query names

     8       show 8th level query names

     9       show 9th level query names

     !       show sources + 1st level query names

     @       show sources + 2nd level query names

     #       show sources + 3rd level query names

     $       show sources + 4th level query names

     %       show sources + 5th level query names

     ^       show sources + 6th level query names

     &       show sources + 7th level query names

     *       show sources + 8th level query names

     (       show sources + 9th level query names

     ^R      reset the counters

     ^X      exit the program

     space   redraw

     ?       help


     If stdout is not a tty, dnstop runs in non-interactive mode.  In this
     case, you must supply a savefile for reading, instead of capturing live
     packets.  After reading the entire savefile, dnstop prints the top 50
     entries for each table.


     By default dnstop examines only query messages and ignores replies.  In
     this case the response code table is meaningless and will likely show
     100% "Noerror."

     If you supply (only) the -R command line option, dnstop examines replies
     and ignores queries.  This allows you to see meaningful response code
     values, as well as all the other tables.  In this case all the query
     attributes (such as type and name) are taken from the Question section of
     the reply.

     Note, however, that it is common for a stream of DNS messages to contain
     more queries than replies.  This could happen, for example, if the server
     is too busy to respond to every single query, or if the server is
     designed to ignore malformed query messages.  Therefore, you might want
     to examine both queries and replies by giving both -R and -Q command line
     options.  In this case, only the response code counts are taken from the
     replies and all other attributes are taken from the queries.


     Duane Wessels (
     Mark Foster (
     Jose Nazario (
     Sam Norris <>
     Max Horn <>
     John Morrissey <>
     Florian Forster <>
     Dave Plonka <>


     Does not support TCP at this time.