Public Suffix Ruby

PublicSuffix is a Ruby domain name parser based on the Public Suffix List.

Build Status


  • Ruby >= 2.0

For an older versions of Ruby use a previous release.


You can install the gem manually:

$ gem install public_suffix

Or use Bundler and define it as a dependency in your Gemfile:

$ gem 'public_suffix'


Extract the domain out from a name:

PublicSuffix.domain("")# => ""

PublicSuffix.domain("")# => ""

PublicSuffix.domain("")# => ""

Parse a domain without subdomains:

domain = PublicSuffix.parse("")# => #<PublicSuffix::Domain>

domain.tld# => "com"

domain.sld# => "google"

domain.trd# => nil

domain.domain# => ""

domain.subdomain# => nil

Parse a domain with subdomains:

domain = PublicSuffix.parse("")# => #<PublicSuffix::Domain>

domain.tld# => "com"

domain.sld# => "google"

domain.trd# => "www"

domain.domain# => ""

domain.subdomain# => ""

Simple validation example:

PublicSuffix.valid?("")# => true

PublicSuffix.valid?("")# => true

# Explicitly forbidden, it is listed as a private domain
PublicSuffix.valid?("")# => false

Fully Qualified Domain Names

This library automatically recognizes Fully Qualified Domain Names. A FQDN is a domain name that end with a trailing dot.

# Parse a standard domain name
PublicSuffix.domain("")# => ""

# Parse a fully qualified domain name
PublicSuffix.domain("")# => ""

Private domains

This library has support for switching off support for private (non-ICANN).

# Extract a domain including private domains (by default)
PublicSuffix.domain("")# => ""

# Extract a domain excluding private domains
PublicSuffix.domain("", ignore_private: true)# => ""

# It also works for #parse and #valid?
PublicSuffix.parse("", ignore_private: true)
PublicSuffix.valid?("", ignore_private: true)

If you don't care about private domains at all, it's more efficient to exclude them when the list is parsed:

# Disable support for private TLDs
PublicSuffix::List.default = Public::Suffix.parse(, private_domains: false)# => ""

PublicSuffix.domain("")# => ""

What is the Public Suffix List?

The Public Suffix List is a cross-vendor initiative to provide an accurate list of domain name suffixes.

The Public Suffix List is an initiative of the Mozilla Project, but is maintained as a community resource. It is available for use in any software, but was originally created to meet the needs of browser manufacturers.

A "public suffix" is one under which Internet users can directly register names. Some examples of public suffixes are ".com", "" and "". The Public Suffix List is a list of all known public suffixes.

Why the Public Suffix List is better than any available Regular Expression parser?

Previously, browsers used an algorithm which basically only denied setting wide-ranging cookies for top-level domains with no dots (e.g. com or org). However, this did not work for top-level domains where only third-level registrations are allowed (e.g. In these cases, websites could set a cookie for which will be passed onto every website registered under

Clearly, this was a security risk as it allowed websites other than the one setting the cookie to read it, and therefore potentially extract sensitive information.

Since there is no algorithmic method of finding the highest level at which a domain may be registered for a particular top-level domain (the policies differ with each registry), the only method is to create a list of all top-level domains and the level at which domains can be registered. This is the aim of the effective TLD list.

As well as being used to prevent cookies from being set where they shouldn't be, the list can also potentially be used for other applications where the registry controlled and privately controlled parts of a domain name need to be known, for example when grouping by top-level domains.


Not convinced yet? Check out this real world example.

Does PublicSuffix make requests to Public Suffix List website?

No. PublicSuffix comes with a bundled list. It does not make any HTTP requests to parse or validate a domain.

Feedback and bug reports

If you use this library and find yourself missing any functionality, please let me know.

Pull requests are very welcome! Please include tests and/or feature coverage for every patch, and create a topic branch for every separate change you make.

Report issues or feature requests to GitHub Issues.



See the file for details.


Copyright (c) 2009-2016 Simone Carletti. This is Free Software distributed under the MIT license.