hostname man page on 4.4BSD

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HOSTNAME(7)							   HOSTNAME(7)

NAME
       hostname - host name resolution description

DESCRIPTION
       Hostnames  are domains, where a domain is a hierarchical, dot-separated
       list of subdomains; for example, the machine  monet,  in	 the  Berkeley
       subdomain of the EDU subdomain of the Internet would be represented as
		 monet.Berkeley.EDU
       (with no trailing dot).

       Hostnames are often used with network client and server programs, which
       must generally translate the name to an address for use.	  (This	 func‐
       tion  is	 generally performed by the library routine gethostbyname(3).)
       Hostnames are resolved by the Internet name resolver in	the  following
       fashion.

       If  the	name consists of a single component, i.e. contains no dot, and
       if the environment variable ``HOSTALIASES'' is set to  the  name	 of  a
       file,  that file is searched for an string matching the input hostname.
       The file should consist of lines made up of two	white-space  separated
       strings,	 the  first  of which is the hostname alias, and the second of
       which is the complete hostname to be substituted for that alias.	 If  a
       case-insensitive match is found between the hostname to be resolved and
       the first field of a line in the file, the substituted name  is	looked
       up with no further processing.

       If  the	input  name  ends  with	 a  trailing  dot, the trailing dot is
       removed, and the remaining name is looked up with no  further  process‐
       ing.

       If  the input name does not end with a trailing dot, it is looked up by
       searching through a list of  domains  until  a  match  is  found.   The
       default	search	list  includes first the local domain, then its parent
       domains with at least 2 name components (longest first).	 For  example,
       in  the	domain CS.Berkeley.EDU, the name lithium.CChem will be checked
       first as lithium.CChem.CS.Berkeley.EDU and then as lithium.CChem.Berke‐
       ley.EDU.	 Lithium.CChem.EDU will not be tried, as the there is only one
       component remaining from the local domain.   The	 search	 path  can  be
       changed	from  the  default  by	a  system-wide configuration file (see
       resolver(5)).

SEE ALSO
       gethostbyname(3), resolver(5), mailaddr(7), named(8)

4.2 Berkeley Distribution      January 16, 1990			   HOSTNAME(7)
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