Where's dig

2 min read

As a DevOps engineer, I often get asked to help troubleshoot particular issues within our containerized environments. When these issues are networking-related, one of the first things I like to check is DNS. For this tools like dig or nslookup are exactly built to provide me with what I’m looking for. But with modern containers being stripped down, it often means these tools aren’t installed by default anymore. This further complicates the debugging process. Making matters worse is that dig or nslookup aren’t installed by the same package. Hence I often forget to which package this belongs to in different distros, causing me to dive into google until I find the right package name. Well, in this post, I want to fix this once and for all and give an overview on how to install dig in all linux distros I run into:

Installing on Ubuntu or Debian

On Debian flavoured distro’s dig and nslookup are packaged up in dnsutils:

Terminal window
apt update && apt install dnsutils

Installing on Alpine

In alpine dig and nslookup are packaged up in bind-tools

Terminal window
apk update && apk add bind-tools

Installing on CentOS or any RHEL flavoured distro

To mix things up again the folks managing RHEL decided to package dig and nslookup in bind-utils

Terminal window
dnf update && dnf install bind-utils

or on Amazon Linux

Terminal window
yum update && yum install bind-utils

Installing on ArchLinux

On Arch dig and nslookup are in bind-tools:

Terminal window
pacman -Syu && pacman -Sy bind-tools

Installing on OpenSUSE

OpenSUSE uses a package manager called zypper and just like arch you find dig and nslookup in bind-utils

Terminal window
zypper update && zypper install bind-utils


It’s a bit sad that the package containing dig or nslookup differs per distro or package manager. I guess it didn’t really matter back in the “old” days, when people would just stick with a single distro. But now, with containerization being the norm as a DevOps or Site reliability engineer, it’s far more common to bump into many different Linux flavours. Not having the same package just adds unnecessary friction. Nonetheless I hope this post gives a good overview of how you can get past this quickly and get back to the task at hand without