90% of my whois queries are to check whether a domain name is registered, where I don’t need any details. Here’s a Bash function to check domain availability; type one character, get one character.

Problem: I want a responsive checker that I can start in an instant, with almost no typing. It should be omnipresent: accessible from as many desktop windows as possible, without task switching. Rather than showing details, output should be short so I can see my query history evolve. And since most domains are registered (and I want to get past them), response time matters for registered domains more than available ones.

Solution: I have this bash function in my .bashrc (update: two versions by request – shell script and Ruby). You can download micro-whois here.

and voila, zero-effort domain name availability:

$ d yort.com
$ d ihopethisonedomainisnotregistered.com


$ time d yort.com
1 real 0m0.260s

$ time whois -n yort.com
.. [ 60 lines ]
real 0m0.782s


$ time d ihopethisonedomainisnotregistered.com
real 0m0.649s

$ time whois -n ihopethisonedomainisnotregistered.com
real 0m0.657s