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Starting off, this should be covered in the various networking related
HOWTOs and Guides; if it isn't some feedback to the respective authors
might be in place.
Robert Posey wrote:
> Dear Sir:
> I am interested in learning how the etc/hosts file is used and what it does
> for the user and why I should not use it. Can you help me?
The /etc/hosts is used for localhost and when you have no DNS.
Normally you should not add extra hosts to the list if you have
DNS as IPnumber may change over time while names are hopefully
Then again users CAN use /etc/hosts to circumvent slower DNS
lookups as well as blocking spam. If you assign in YOUR file
the names of the various advertising servers and map to 127.0.0.1
then you effectively (and quickly too) remove ads from your
viewed web pages.
Finally on lesser non-Linux systems there is a bug that causes
crashes when returning too many IPnumbers for one name. Manually
entering the name and one of the IP numbers in your /etc/hosts
gets around this at the cost of some reduction in load balancing
at the target site. Again you might have to do manual maintenance
of your host list.
In Linux as in Unix there are reasons, counterreasons and
quick hacks. This is an example of all of it.
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