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hosts



SYNOPSIS

       /etc/hosts


DESCRIPTION

       This  manual  page  describes the format of the /etc/hosts
       file. This file is a simple text file that  associates  IP
       addresses  with  hostnames,  one  line per IP address. For
       each host a single line should be present with the follow­
       ing information:

              IP_address canonical_hostname aliases

       Fields  of the entry are separated by any number of blanks
       and/or tab characters. Text from a "#" character until the
       end  of the line is a comment, and is ignored.  Host names
       may contain  only  alphanumeric  characters,  minus  signs
       ("-"),  and periods (".").  They must begin with an alpha­
       betic character and end with  an  alphanumeric  character.
       Aliases  provide  for  name  changes, alternate spellings,
       shorter hostnames,  or  generic  hostnames  (for  example,
       localhost).   The format of the host table is described in
       RFC 952.

       The Berkeley Internet Name Domain (BIND) Server implements
       the  Internet name server for UNIX systems. It augments or
       replaces the /etc/hosts file  or  host  name  lookup,  and
       frees  a  host from relying on /etc/hosts being up to date
       and complete.

       In modern systems, even though the  host  table  has  been
       superseded by DNS, it is still widely used for:

       bootstrapping
              Most systems have a small host table containing the
              name and address information for important hosts on
              the  local  network. This is useful when DNS is not
              running, for example during system bootup.

       NIS    Sites that use NIS use the host table as  input  to
              the  NIS host database. Even though NIS can be used
              with DNS, most NIS sites still use the  host  table
              with an entry for all local hosts as a backup.

       isolated nodes
              Very small sites that are isolated from the network
              use the host table instead of  DNS.  If  the  local
              information  rarely changes, and the network is not
              connected to the Internet, DNS offers little advan­
              tage.


EXAMPLE

        127.0.0.1       localhost

       there  are  historical  hosts.txt files on the WWW. I just
       found three, from 92, 94, and 95.


FILES

       /etc/hosts


SEE ALSO

       hostname(1)  resolver(3),  resolver(5),  hosts(5),   host­
       name(7), named(8), Internet RFC 952


AUTHOR

       This  manual  page  was  written by Manoj Srivastava <sri­
       vasta@debian.org>, for the Debian GNU/Linux system.

Debian                      2002-06-16                   HOSTS(5)
  
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