How to view the DNS address assigned by DHCP?

ifconfig can not show it.

$ ifconfig -a
eth0      Link encap:Ethernet  HWaddr 90:e6:ba:22:6a:f2  
          inet addr:  Bcast:  Mask:
          inet6 addr: fe80::92e6:baff:fe22:6af2/64 Scope:Link
          RX packets:224856 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
          TX packets:220040 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
          collisions:0 txqueuelen:1000 
          RX bytes:166848627 (166.8 MB)  TX bytes:20256333 (20.2 MB)
          Interrupt:46 Base address:0x4000 

lo        Link encap:Local Loopback  
          inet addr:  Mask:
          inet6 addr: ::1/128 Scope:Host
          UP LOOPBACK RUNNING  MTU:16436  Metric:1
          RX packets:5889 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
          TX packets:5889 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
          collisions:0 txqueuelen:0 
          RX bytes:468885 (468.8 KB)  TX bytes:468885 (468.8 KB)

wlan0     Link encap:Ethernet  HWaddr 00:26:5e:e8:4f:8e  
          BROADCAST MULTICAST  MTU:1500  Metric:1
          RX packets:0 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
          TX packets:0 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
          collisions:0 txqueuelen:1000 
          RX bytes:0 (0.0 B)  TX bytes:0 (0.0 B)
  • What is returned by: ifconfig | grep 'inet addr:' ? – david6 Sep 22 '12 at 3:28
  • @david6 inet addr: Bcast: Mask: inet addr: Mask: – Victor S Sep 22 '12 at 3:48
  • This should help you cat /var/lib/dhcp3/dhclient.leases | grep dhcp-server-identifier – devav2 Sep 22 '12 at 3:53
  • @devav2 $ cat /var/lib/dhcp/dhclient-529bed02-363e-4e97-bd5d-9f63f42f17f2-eth0.lease |grep dhcp-server-identifier option dhcp-server-identifier; option dhcp-server-identifier; option dhcp-server-identifier; option dhcp-server-identifier; option dhcp-server-identifier; – Victor S Sep 22 '12 at 4:01
  • 1
    What are asking for? The DHCP service assigns an IP address from a pool (or range). A DNS server returns IP addresses for a hostname, domain, or mailbox (MX-record). Your ifconfig output looks normal .. – david6 Sep 22 '12 at 4:10

10 Answers 10


For at least Ubuntu 15.10 onward (possibly also earlier versions) run in a terminal:

nmcli dev show eth0 | grep IP4

eth0 is the most common iface, but it could be eth1, eth2, etc.

For older versions use nmcli dev list iface eth0 | grep IP4.

  • 1
    Awesome answer! Appreciate your sharing! I got it. – Victor S Sep 22 '12 at 4:42
  • Glad it helped. I found it when I wanted a way to get that info, then parse it to display on demand, as i had 3 different possible DNS servers (ISP, Google, and OpenDNS). – Marty Fried Sep 22 '12 at 15:40
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    As of 15.04, the command is nmcli dev show – Sergiy Kolodyazhnyy Jun 18 '15 at 22:06
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    With nmcli dev show eth0 (as on 15.04) it also works on Debian Buster. Thanks! – Luc Jul 31 '17 at 22:47
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    @YandryPozo Posted an answer, as requested :) – Sergiy Kolodyazhnyy Sep 17 '17 at 21:19
$ nm-tool 

will also list DNS Servers.

  • 1
    +1 because this has been tested working up to 14.04 release. For 15.04 and newer release, use nmcli as suggested by the other answer instead. – user37165 Dec 4 '15 at 4:12

To get the DNS address open terminal (Ctrl+Alt+T) and type:

cat /var/lib/dhcp/dhclient.leases | grep dhcp-server-identifier
  • 2
    There is nothing in the /var/lib/dhcp/dhclient.leases, it is empty. – Victor S Sep 22 '12 at 5:36
  • $ file /var/lib/dhcp/dhclient.leases /var/lib/dhcp/dhclient.leases: empty – Victor S Sep 22 '12 at 5:38
  • try /var/lib/dhcp/dhclient.eth0.leases – frag Jan 24 '15 at 20:15
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    That a useless use of cat. You probably mean grep domain-name-servers /var/lib/dhcp/dhclient.leases (domain-name, no dhcp-server). – Pablo Bianchi Sep 18 '19 at 7:09

here it is:

cat /etc/resolv.conf

but do not edit this file

  • In recent Ubuntu releases (post 2012 I think) it won't be useful, since it will contain nameserver, referring to localhost dnsmasq installation. It's better to query NetworkManager as written by @anwar-shah and @marty-fried – gerlos Jan 14 '16 at 10:44
  • As you mention, that file can be edited and thus are not necessarily the addresses assigned by DHCP. Now if you edit it yourself then, obviously, it's going to be different -- but what if you use a company VPN? Or something else influences the file? That's why I think it's not a good answer, even if simple and universal. It's a good first place to look, but not a true answer by itself. – Luc Jul 31 '17 at 22:48

Now that Ubuntu (and Debian and almost all distros) use systemd (check with file /sbin/init) maybe the more elegant way to get this info is with:

systemd-resolve --status
  • 1
    The perfect answer for systems not running NetworkManager. Ubuntu 18.04, Ubuntu 19.10 – Ryan Jeremiah Freeman Sep 21 '19 at 21:10
  • It works in Raspbian too – riofly Nov 12 '19 at 9:19

As a GUI alternative to @MartyFried's answer, try this.

  1. Click on the Network connectivity icon on the top panel.

  2. Select Wi-Fi Settings

  3. It should show you the DNS server address


  • 4
    My Ubuntu has no any GUI desktop. – Victor S Sep 22 '12 at 4:44
  • @VictorS it shows the same information as the other answer. I checked it – Anwar Sep 22 '12 at 4:46
  • 1
    Thanks for your answer, it is convenient for gnome or KDE users. – Victor S Sep 22 '12 at 4:51

In Ubuntu 16.04, the info from dhcp is written in: /var/lib/NetworkManager/dhclient-<interface>.conf


As I mentioned in the comments (which by popular request has become an answer now), one can use nmcli dev show as of Ubuntu 15.04. Add grep to the mix and you're set:

$ nmcli dev show | grep 'DNS'                                                                                                                                                                     

My actual solution(est 2015, Ubuntu 14.04), is this:

  1. Start the CLI
  2. Type: sudo apt-get install gnome-system-tools
  3. After install succeeded, type at the terminal: network-admin

If you somehow can't do this then try this, though it's not good enough for me, but it got my job done:

  1. type dig google.com
  2. near the end you can see something like this(est. 2015) ;; SERVER: and then an IP address(at least, on my machine) THAT is the actual DNS server resolving the domain for you. That server can change per hostname though.

If your computer run behind of Router/WiFi of your Internet Provider, you'll get a Private IP Address from DHCP of Router, something like or

To get the Public IP Address of DHCP of DNS from your Internet Provider, you need run the follow command line on terminal:

dig +short myip.opendns.com @resolver1.opendns.com

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