hosts man page on FreeBSD

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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 net‐
     work.  It can be used in conjunction with 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 informa‐
     tion:

	   Internet address
	   official host name
	   aliases

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

     When using the name server named(8), this file provides a backup used
     when the name server is not running.  For the name server, it is sug‐
     gested that only a few addresses be included in this file.	 These include
     addresses 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 Information 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.

     Network addresses are specified in the conventional ``.'' (dot) notation
     using the inet_addr(3) routine from the Internet address manipulation
     library, inet(3).	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			       December 11, 1993			   BSD
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