what's the point of /etc/hosts

what's the point of /etc/hosts

Post by Dave Min » Wed, 10 Jul 1991 23:08:41

> Our site has name servers and our Sun (sunos 4.1.1) is using the
> resolver library to query them.  So what use is /etc/hosts?  Does
> sendmail(.mx) use it?  Anything else?  If it is used; what nodes do we
> need to mention in it?
> --

If you're runing some sort of nameservice (NIS, DNS), the only entries which
are required for a Sun are those which are necessary to get your network interfaces
configured (look at how the ifconfig things are done in rc.boot).  You should also have the loghost alias defined so that syslog will always be happy.  For example,
the machine 'bozo' with a single network interface might have a hosts file like so:       localhost loghost      bozo


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1. Is there any point to full host names in /etc/hosts ?

This is the situation: a friend and I both use a broadband router with a few
machines behind them, at our respective homes. We each picked a name for our
'domain'. His is fictional. Mine also exists on the net, but with only the
www and ftp of rikishi42.net defined in the DNS, not my home machines.

He's added 2 of my PC's in the /etc/hosts of his laptop, for use when he
visits and connects it to my LAN.

This would be a sample from that file:

# Home net   desktop.myDomain    desktop   laptop.myDomain     laptop   server.myDomain     server
#Rikishi's net   gramps.rikishi42.net  gramps   pigmy.rikishi42.net   pigmy

We've allways used this, works just fine.
When connectiong to my machines, he's allways used the short (host only)
name. Last time, he accidentally tried with the full name. It failed.

My guess is that, upon finding that rikishi42.net exists, there is an
attempt to get the address from the DNS, skipping hosts all together.

But do I presume correctly, or is there more to it?

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The knack lies in learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss.
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