Distrowatch Down here


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May 14, 2021
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Distrowatch.com has been down here for most of the day. Wonder if anyone else has noticed?

Down from the UK as well
It looks like they maybe forgot to register their domain name?!?

I'm getting a page 'not secure page' and then a page that says "This domain name has been registered with Gandi.net"

This means it's not pointed at a server but using the default nameservers.

This could be bad. This could mean they no longer own the domain name. The new owners would be the rightful owners as there's a brief period when the original owners can recover a domain name after it has expired. They can charge whatever they want to sell it for.

Let's hope this is not what is going on.
whois distrowatch.com
   Registry Domain ID: 74649860_DOMAIN_COM-VRSN
   Registrar WHOIS Server: whois.gandi.net
   Registrar URL: http://www.gandi.net
   Updated Date: 2023-10-04T13:47:00Z
   Creation Date: 2001-07-03T20:36:16Z
   Registry Expiry Date: 2028-07-03T20:36:15Z
   Registrar: Gandi SAS
   Registrar IANA ID: 81
   Registrar Abuse Contact Email: [email protected]
   Registrar Abuse Contact Phone: +33.170377661
   Domain Status: clientTransferProhibited https://icann.org/epp#clientTransferProhibited
   Name Server: NS-197-C.GANDI.NET
   Name Server: NS-231-B.GANDI.NET
   Name Server: NS-57-A.GANDI.NET
   DNSSEC: unsigned
It's down here in Aussie too.
It's going to be the same across the globe (until it isn't), as the domain name is pointing at the registrar's default nameservers.

Then, if they do change the nameservers to point back at the correct server, it'll take a while for those changes to propagate - up to 72 hours is the suggested wait time. When that happens, if that happens, some folks will have DNS servers that update faster, so it will be sporadic and some folks will see the site as up while others report the site is down for them still.

DNS isn't magical and they only update so often with new records. Some DNS servers are pretty good at updating quickly. Others? Not so much.

(I deal with this sort of stuff on a daily basis, owning way too many domain names as it stands.)

With a whois like that, it looks like they lost control of the domain name. (See the updated date and time.)

This could be the result of hacking (but they should have measures in place to make that extremely difficult). With the right sort of trickery, you can transfer a domain name to a new registrar. It should have been locked, disallowing transfers, as a basic security step.

This could also be a result of not paying the domain name registrar, which would mean a legitimate loss of the domain name. Registrars tend to give you like a week-long grace period where they won't let anyone else register the domain name.

Hmm... One of us should find a site that freely shares WHOIS history and see if there are any clues.

EDIT: See the comment below this one. It may not be nearly as dramatic.
Last edited:
Hmm... I was thinking I might be jumping the gun and did some looking.

I double-checked the WHOIS history and it looks like they've been using GHANDI nameservers for a while - so this could be a much simpler issue where their server(s) are all just offline - but with such a large organization I'd think they'd have a backup.

Importantly, the nameservers are different than they were on the 13th of July.

So, it could be something other than a lost domain name. Could be...

One of the WHOIS providers is now showing this:

Just on the lighter side....I find it quite fascinating that a site as big and well regarded as distrowatch can basically disappear in a puff of smoke....there one minute...kapoof ! the next.

If this was an "error" on someones part there...someone is going to get a solid kicking to the end opposite their face
distrowatch.com is online here in Australia. Time is:
Local       Thu Oct  5 09:29:16 +1100 2023 AEDT
Melbourne   Thu Oct  5 09:29:16 +1100 2023 AEDT
Los Angeles Wed Oct  4 15:29:16 -0700 2023 PDT
Eagan       Wed Oct  4 17:29:16 -0500 2023 CDT
Paris       Thu Oct  5 00:29:16 +0200 2023 CEST
UTC         Wed Oct  4 22:29:16 +0000 2023 UTC

Tasmania    Thu Oct  5 09:29:16 +1100 2023 AEDT
Adelaide    Thu Oct  5 08:59:16 +1030 2023 ACDT
Perth       Thu Oct  5 06:29:16 +0800 2023 AWST
Auckland    Thu Oct  5 11:29:16 +1300 2023 NZDT
Hawaii      Wed Oct  4 12:29:16 -1000 2023 HST
New York    Wed Oct  4 18:29:16 -0400 2023 EDT
Vancouver   Wed Oct  4 15:29:16 -0700 2023 PDT
Brazil      Wed Oct  4 19:29:16 -0300 2023 -03
Malaysia    Thu Oct  5 06:29:16 +0800 2023 +08
Japan       Thu Oct  5 07:29:16 +0900 2023 JST
London      Wed Oct  4 23:29:16 +0100 2023 BST


  • distro.jpg
    90.2 KB · Views: 222
Back up here at the moment.
distrowatch.com is online here in Australia. Time is:

Yup. It appears that, for some reason, they changed nameservers. My DNS doesn't have it propagated yet, though I could maybe clear cache and try again.
Also, the nameservers eventually forward me to https://www.ezoic.com/ which is an interesting site.

Alas, my DNS server still has the old nameservers. The change will take time to propagate, I suppose.
When things like this happen, I just put it down to 'server maintenance', & come back in a few hours, when it is usually up & running again. It's working OK in the UK.
Eagan Wed Oct 4 17:29:16 -0500 2023 CDT
Is this in Minnesota? Had to look it up, didn't know about this town. :/

Distrowatch has been down for nearly two days at my end. Travelling to the page gives me a totally white page saying "Origin error". Funny thing was, yesterday in the morning (Eastern U.S.A. time zone) I visited it for the last time, then about 15 minutes later I visited this site and forum and noticed this topic was started. I shrugged.
distrowatch.com is online here in Australia.

... and that included Brisbane (not on silly summer time), which would have shown as

Brisbane Thu Oct 5 08:29:16 +1000 2023 AEST

I found it down for a few minutes 3 days ago, but no probs since.

Friday here in Oz so



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