I'm trying to learn how internet works. I have some knowledge about HTTP requests, and now I am wondering, what does a request to DNS server look like? For instance, if I wanted to get a list of movies from a random site, by a HTTP request, it would be something like this:

GET http://movies.com/api/movies

plus, maybe some metadata too. And in response, I would get some headers and, let's say, a JSON body with a list of movies.

But when talking about DNS servers, how do requests look like? Are they GET requests too? Like this:

GET http://123.456.789.101/domain=google.com (123.456.789.101 is my ISP's IP address)

with a response of ""

1 Answer 1


DNS uses a binary datagram layout, rather than text like HTTP/FTP/Etc.

See here for details of the application-layer datagram layout: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Domain_Name_System#DNS_message_format

  • 1
    An easier way to see for yourself is to capture some packets and inspect them using Wireshark.
    – iBug
    Commented Dec 13, 2022 at 18:01
  • For some reason, I didn't see a duplicate question when I was writing this one, but here it is: serverfault.com/questions/173187/… I will probably close this question, since it's almost identical. Commented Dec 13, 2022 at 18:12

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