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From: bakul at (Bakul Shah)
Subject: [COFF] [TUHS] Pondering the hosts file
Date: Thu, 11 Mar 2021 10:30:40 -0800	[thread overview]
Message-ID: <> (raw)

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On Mar 11, 2021, at 10:08 AM, Warner Losh <imp at> wrote:
> On Thu, Mar 11, 2021 at 10:40 AM Bakul Shah <bakul at> wrote:
>> From
>> For each host a single line should be present with the following information:
>> 	   Internet address
>> 	   official host name
>> 	   aliases
>>      The hosts file format appeared in 4.2BSD.
> While this is true wrt the history of FreeBSD/Unix, I'm almost positive that BSD didn't invent it. I'm pretty sure it was picked up from the existing host file that was published by before DNS.

A different and more verbose format. See RFCs 810 & 952. Possibly because it had to serve more purposes?

> Warner
>>> On Mar 11, 2021, at 9:14 AM, Grant Taylor via TUHS <tuhs at> wrote:
>>> Hi,
>>> I'm not sure where this message best fits; TUHS, COFF, or Internet History, so please forgive me if this list is not the best location.
>>> I'm discussing the hosts file with someone and was wondering if there's any historical documentation around it's format and what should and should not be entered in the file.
>>> I've read the current man page on Gentoo Linux, but suspect that it's far from authoritative.  I'm hoping that someone can point me to something more authoritative to the hosts file's format, guidelines around entering data, and how it's supposed to function.
>>> A couple of sticking points in the other discussion revolve around how many entries a host is supposed to have in the hosts file and any ramifications for having a host appear as an alias on multiple lines / entries.  To whit, how correct / incorrect is the following:
>>>    host
>>>    localhost    host
>>> -- 
>>> Grant. . . .
>>> unix || die
>> _______________________________________________
>> COFF mailing list
>> COFF at
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             reply	other threads:[~2021-03-11 18:30 UTC|newest]

Thread overview: 8+ messages / expand[flat|nested]  mbox.gz  Atom feed  top
2021-03-11 18:30 bakul [this message]
  -- strict thread matches above, loose matches on Subject: below --
2021-03-11 17:13 [COFF] " gtaylor
2021-03-11 17:40 ` [COFF] [TUHS] " bakul
2021-03-11 18:08   ` imp
2021-03-11 18:12     ` clemc
2021-03-11 18:21       ` jaapna
2021-03-11 18:21       ` beebe
2021-03-11 18:27       ` henry.r.bent
2021-03-11 18:18     ` henry.r.bent

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