Clear DNS cache on OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion

Historically, the Directory Services were responsible for DNS queries and caching on Mac OS X 10.5 and earlier. Back then, to clear the DNS cache one would issue the “dscacheutil -flushcache” command. With the further development of various services based on the multicast DNS a mDNS service fully took over both unicast and multicast DNS queries and response caching on later OS X versions.

While the “dscacheutil” is still there even on OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion, it won’t reset the caches properly. The correct method to clear DNS cache on 10.7 and 10.8 is to restart the mDNS service, “mDNSResponder”:

sudo killall -HUP mDNSResponder

If this doesn’t seem to help, try reloading the service:

sudo launchctl unload /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/com.apple.mDNSResponder.plist
sudo launchctl load /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/com.apple.mDNSResponder.plist

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