Frederic Cambus

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Oldest domains in the .com, .net, and .org TLDs

· DNS

As someone interested in DNS and Internet history, I've always been enjoying facts and articles about early registered domain names. Wikipedia has a page on the subject, but the list is extremely short for .net and .org domains.

Using the DDN NIC domain summaries, it shouldn't be too difficult to extract a list of domains, perform whois queries to get registration dates, and sort the results. Let's find out.

For the record, the oldest issue I could find, dating from December 1987, doesn't list nordu.net, the first .net domain ever registered. So I opted for the August 1995 edition to be on the safe side. While I could also find an issue from 1996, there are a lot more domains listed so the whois lookups would take a lot more time, for no evident benefit.

Preparing the domain lists

After manually splitting the file to get rid of the TLDs we are not interested in, we save them in a distinct file for each TLD.

Then, we need to process the lists so that each domain is on its own line, and we strip the eventual subdomains with rev using a neat trick:

tr -s "[[:blank:]]" "\n" < com | \
    rev | cut -d '.' -f 1 -f 2 | rev | sort | uniq > com.txt

tr -s "[[:blank:]]" "\n" < net | \
    rev | cut -d '.' -f 1 -f 2 | rev | sort | uniq > net.txt

tr -s "[[:blank:]]" "\n" < org | \
    rev | cut -d '.' -f 1 -f 2 | rev | sort | uniq > org.txt

Performing whois requests

Internic whois server allows to query domains in the .com and .net TLDs without imposing any drastic rate limit, albeit slowly. As our corpus is rather short, this isn't an issue.

Whois script for .com and .net domains:

#!/bin/sh
while read domain
do
	creation_date=$(whois -h whois.internic.net $domain =$domain | \
	    grep "   Creation Date:" | uniq | sed -e 's/Creation Date://')

	if [ ! -z "$creation_date" ]; then
		date=$(echo $creation_date | cut -d 'T' -f 1 -)
		echo $date $domain
	fi

	# Wait one second to avoid triggering rate-limiting mechanisms
	sleep 1
done < $1

On the other hand, the Public Interest Registry whois server only allows 4 queries per minute, so we have to sleep for a little while between each request.

Whois script for .org domains:

#!/bin/sh
while read domain
do
	creation_date=$(whois $domain =$domain | grep "Creation Date:" | \
	    uniq | sed -e 's/Creation Date://')

	if [ ! -z "$creation_date" ]; then
		date=$(echo $creation_date | cut -d 'T' -f 1 -)
		echo $date $domain
	fi

	# Wait thirty seconds to avoid triggering rate-limiting mechanisms
	sleep 30
done < $1

We can now launch the scripts to perform whois requests:

sh internic.sh com.txt > com.dates.txt
sh internic.sh net.txt > net.dates.txt
sh pir.sh org.txt > org.dates.txt

And finally sort results and keep the 100 oldest domains for each TLD:

sort com.dates.txt | head -n100
sort net.dates.txt | head -n100
sort org.dates.txt | head -n100

Results

Oldest registered .com domains:

1985-03-15 symbolics.com
1985-04-24 bbn.com
1985-05-24 think.com
1985-07-11 mcc.com
1985-09-30 dec.com
1985-11-07 northrop.com
1986-01-09 xerox.com
1986-01-17 sri.com
1986-03-03 hp.com
1986-03-05 bellcore.com
1986-03-19 ibm.com
1986-03-19 sun.com
1986-03-25 intel.com
1986-03-25 ti.com
1986-04-25 att.com
1986-05-08 gmr.com
1986-05-08 tek.com
1986-07-10 fmc.com
1986-07-10 ub.com
1986-08-05 bell-atl.com
1986-08-05 ge.com
1986-08-05 grebyn.com
1986-08-05 isc.com
1986-08-05 nsc.com
1986-08-05 stargate.com
1986-09-02 boeing.com
1986-09-18 itcorp.com
1986-09-29 siemens.com
1986-10-18 pyramid.com
1986-10-27 alphacdc.com
1986-10-27 bdm.com
1986-10-27 fluke.com
1986-10-27 inmet.com
1986-10-27 kesmai.com
1986-10-27 mentor.com
1986-10-27 nec.com
1986-10-27 ray.com
1986-10-27 rosemount.com
1986-10-27 vortex.com
1986-11-05 alcoa.com
1986-11-05 gte.com
1986-11-17 adobe.com
1986-11-17 amd.com
1986-11-17 das.com
1986-11-17 data-io.com
1986-11-17 octopus.com
1986-11-17 portal.com
1986-11-17 teltone.com
1986-12-11 3com.com
1986-12-11 amdahl.com
1986-12-11 ccur.com
1986-12-11 ci.com
1986-12-11 convergent.com
1986-12-11 dg.com
1986-12-11 peregrine.com
1986-12-11 quad.com
1986-12-11 sq.com
1986-12-11 tandy.com
1986-12-11 tti.com
1986-12-11 unisys.com
1987-01-19 cgi.com
1987-01-19 cts.com
1987-01-19 spdcc.com
1987-02-19 apple.com
1987-03-04 nma.com
1987-03-04 prime.com
1987-04-04 philips.com
1987-04-23 datacube.com
1987-04-23 kai.com
1987-04-23 tic.com
1987-04-23 vine.com
1987-04-30 ncr.com
1987-05-14 cisco.com
1987-05-14 rdl.com
1987-05-20 slb.com
1987-05-27 parcplace.com
1987-05-27 utc.com
1987-06-26 ide.com
1987-07-09 trw.com
1987-07-13 unipress.com
1987-07-27 dupont.com
1987-07-27 lockheed.com
1987-07-28 rosetta.com
1987-08-18 toad.com
1987-08-31 quick.com
1987-09-03 allied.com
1987-09-03 dsc.com
1987-09-03 sco.com
1987-09-22 gene.com
1987-09-22 kccs.com
1987-09-22 spectra.com
1987-09-22 wlk.com
1987-09-30 mentat.com
1987-10-14 wyse.com
1987-11-02 cfg.com
1987-11-09 marble.com
1987-11-16 cayman.com
1987-11-16 entity.com
1987-11-24 ksr.com
1987-11-30 nynexst.com

Oldest registered .net domains:

1985-01-01 nordu.net
1986-04-01 broken.net
1986-11-05 nsf.net
1987-01-27 nyser.net
1987-05-20 uu.net
1987-07-21 sesqui.net
1988-05-25 mr.net
1988-06-09 oar.net
1988-07-08 sura.net
1988-09-07 the.net
1988-09-16 nwnet.net
1988-10-21 es.net
1988-10-25 mid.net
1989-01-04 barrnet.net
1989-01-05 cic.net
1989-01-27 hawaii.net
1989-03-07 psi.net
1989-03-27 near.net
1989-04-11 eu.net
1989-06-29 ln.net
1989-09-12 sub.net
1989-09-14 westnet.net
1989-11-06 cypress.net
1989-11-15 cerf.net
1989-11-17 risq.net
1990-02-09 ca.net
1990-05-21 wiscnet.net
1990-07-25 cent.net
1990-07-26 alter.net
1990-09-27 ans.net
1990-11-07 mich.net
1991-02-26 hk.net
1991-04-10 cix.net
1991-04-11 team.net
1991-05-07 five-colleges.net
1991-05-17 ja.net
1991-06-03 illinois.net
1991-06-20 more.net
1991-06-24 ohio-dmz.net
1991-07-08 icp.net
1991-08-07 swip.net
1991-08-15 michnet.net
1991-11-29 notes.net
1991-12-10 merit.net
1991-12-31 mu.net
1992-01-17 first.net
1992-02-17 ebone.net
1992-02-19 holonet.net
1992-02-25 ripe.net
1992-03-24 csn.net
1992-04-06 mcast.net
1992-04-08 life.net
1992-04-20 rahul.net
1992-04-21 cyber.net
1992-05-11 sprintlink.net
1992-05-18 ids.net
1992-05-21 q.net
1992-06-01 netconnect.net
1992-07-07 use.net
1992-07-16 tip.net
1992-07-27 capcon.net
1992-07-27 nexsys.net
1992-07-29 umass.net
1992-07-31 solinet.net
1992-08-06 fish.net
1992-08-18 ps.net
1992-09-10 eds.net
1992-09-18 lig.net
1992-10-01 ix.net
1992-10-19 aol.net
1992-10-30 win.net
1992-11-02 cren.net
1992-11-03 path.net
1992-11-04 quake.net
1992-11-20 access.net
1992-11-20 tsoft.net
1992-11-23 inter.net
1992-11-30 individual.net
1992-12-04 raider.net
1992-12-09 europa.net
1992-12-21 demon.net
1992-12-22 press.net
1992-12-23 bc.net
1993-01-01 internic.net
1993-01-04 cls.net
1993-01-20 sam.net
1993-02-09 kanren.net
1993-02-11 ubs.net
1993-02-15 digex.net
1993-02-15 mobilecomm.net
1993-02-17 xlink.net
1993-02-18 fr.net
1993-03-03 onenet.net
1993-03-08 aco.net
1993-03-24 clark.net
1993-03-24 olympus.net
1993-03-24 satlink.net
1993-04-02 netcom.net
1993-04-07 nl.net
1993-04-13 ins.net

Oldest registered .org domains:

1985-07-10 mitre.org
1986-03-25 src.org
1986-07-10 super.org
1987-01-07 aero.org
1987-01-15 mcnc.org
1987-04-02 rand.org
1987-04-04 mn.org
1987-05-01 rti.org
1987-07-14 usenix.org
1987-09-03 software.org
1988-02-25 fidonet.org
1988-04-27 ampr.org
1988-08-04 osf.org
1988-08-11 ida.org
1988-09-09 cactus.org
1988-09-09 nm.org
1988-09-22 ccf.org
1988-10-21 erim.org
1988-11-11 ski.org
1988-11-30 iti.org
1989-01-11 jax.org
1989-01-13 ncsc.org
1989-02-09 aaai.org
1989-02-24 ie.org
1989-03-29 stjude.org
1989-04-11 mbari.org
1989-05-24 castle.org
1989-06-07 carl.org
1989-06-27 msri.org
1989-07-15 agi.org
1989-07-17 sf-bay.org
1989-07-31 mef.org
1989-08-11 oclc.org
1989-08-23 ei.org
1989-09-05 cas.org
1989-09-11 battelle.org
1989-09-12 sub.org
1989-09-21 aip.org
1989-09-28 sdpa.org
1989-11-08 lonestar.org
1989-12-01 ieee.org
1990-01-10 cit.org
1990-01-22 sematech.org
1990-02-07 omg.org
1990-02-12 decus.org
1990-03-13 sublink.org
1990-03-16 cam.org
1990-03-20 cpl.org
1990-04-10 ori.org
1990-04-13 fhcrc.org
1990-05-16 nwf.org
1990-05-18 mskcc.org
1990-05-23 boystown.org
1990-05-24 bwc.org
1990-05-31 topsail.org
1990-06-28 ciit.org
1990-07-17 central.org
1990-07-27 mind.org
1990-08-03 stonemarche.org
1990-08-28 cshl.org
1990-08-30 fstrf.org
1990-09-12 dorsai.org
1990-09-14 elf.org
1990-09-18 siggraph.org
1990-09-21 sjh.org
1990-09-27 igc.org
1990-10-10 cotdazr.org
1990-10-10 eff.org
1990-10-10 sfn.org
1990-10-31 csn.org
1990-11-01 sfbr.org
1990-11-07 ais.org
1990-11-07 hjf.org
1991-01-04 uniforum.org
1991-01-04 wgbh.org
1991-02-01 fsf.org
1991-02-06 eso.org
1991-02-06 tiaa.org
1991-02-13 nysernet.org
1991-02-20 acr.org
1991-02-26 nybc.org
1991-02-26 nypl.org
1991-04-10 cnytdo.org
1991-04-10 htr.org
1991-04-10 hvtdc.org
1991-04-10 nycp.org
1991-04-11 bpl.org
1991-04-11 scra.org
1991-04-12 amnh.org
1991-04-15 hellnet.org
1991-04-15 sil.org
1991-04-18 apc.org
1991-04-22 mobot.org
1991-04-25 cni.org
1991-05-01 gumption.org
1991-05-02 hslc.org
1991-05-13 guild.org
1991-05-22 acs.org
1991-05-22 lpl.org
1991-05-22 rsage.org