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NetBSD 6.1.5 - man page for hosts (netbsd section 5)

HOSTS(5)			     BSD File Formats Manual				 HOSTS(5)

NAME
     hosts -- host name data base

DESCRIPTION
     The hosts file contains information regarding the known hosts on the network.  It can be
     used in conjunction with the DNS, and the NIS maps 'hosts.byaddr', and 'hosts.byname', as
     controlled by nsswitch.conf(5).

     For each host a single line should be present with the following information:
	   address hostname [alias ...]

     These are:
	   address   Internet address
	   hostname  Official host name
	   alias     Alias host name

     Items are separated by any number of blanks and/or tab characters.  A hash sign (``#'')
     indicates the beginning of a comment; characters up to the end of the line are not inter-
     preted by routines which search the file.

     When using the name server named(8), or ypserv(8), this file provides a backup when the name
     server is not running.  For the name server, it is suggested that only a few addresses be
     included in this file.  These include address for the local interfaces that ifconfig(8)
     needs at boot time and a few machines on the local network.

     This file may be created from the official host data base maintained at the Network Informa-
     tion Control Center (NIC), though local changes may be required to bring it up to date
     regarding unofficial aliases and/or unknown hosts.  As the data base maintained at NIC is
     incomplete, use of the name server is recommended for sites on the DARPA Internet.

     As network addresses, both IPv4 and IPv6 addresses are allowed.  IPv4 addresses are speci-
     fied in the conventional dot (``.'') notation using the inet_pton(3) routine from the Inter-
     net address manipulation library, inet(3).  IPv6 addresses are specified in the standard
     hex-and-colon notation.  Host names may contain any printable character other than a field
     delimiter, newline, or comment character.

FILES
     /etc/hosts  The hosts file resides in /etc.

SEE ALSO
     gethostbyname(3), nsswitch.conf(5), ifconfig(8), named(8)

     Name Server Operations Guide for BIND.

HISTORY
     The hosts file format appeared in 4.2BSD.

BSD					November 17, 2000				      BSD


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