Installing and Using pWhoIs Software

Pre-Installation Hardware Requirements

If you're planning on loading the entire global routing table from a gateway router (with a full table) or a route-view router or server, please keep in mind that the full table is large--over 220,000+ prefixes at present, and in order to achieve fast performance with the server process, this information is cached in memory in a patricia tree. BE FOREWARNED: You may require as much as 300MB of RAM to run both the pwhoisd and pwhois-updatedb programs if you are using a full Internet routing table, not including what is required for your PostgreSQL database.

Quick Installation

After downloading and unarchiving the pWhoIs package, simply execute:

 $ ./

... if you have suggestions or code to contribute, please send them to

pWhoIs Information

Bugs? Please report!

Helpful Tools

Advanced Installation

The pWhoIs server and update agent are written mostly in PERL and require a new PERL system (5.6 or later, however 5.8.X is preferrable).

They also require PostgreSQL 7.X or greater (8.x recommended). The PERL DBD::Pg modules and libpq is required.

Several other PERL modules are also required. See

To install, enter './' (as root) on the command-line and the installation should commence. It will ask various questions and isn't very robust, but may assist in the process of the install. There are very few components. Should you wish to install manually, it shouldn't be difficult.

The primary steps are:
  1. Create the User/Group for the pwhoisd process to run as (e.g., 'pwhois')
  2. Install the binaries into their permanent locations we like /usr/sbin or /usr/local/sbin
  3. Setup the init script if warranted (one is provided for a Debian Linux style system)
  4. Create the database, user/password and import the tables. (See the postgresql/ or mysql/ directories for scripts to create these
  5. tables and the SQL commands.
  6. Setup the cron entry to execute the pwhois-updatedb command at a defined interval. A sample crontab file is provided as an example of what we run.
  7. Edit the pwhoisd.conf configuration file, usually placed in /etc/pwhois/pwhoisd.conf
  8. Import your first set of data using the pwhois-updatedb command
  9. Start the pwhoisd server process

You are now ready to connect to your server and try it out.

 $ whois -h localhost help

Currently Feb 25th 2017, 8:25pm GMT