hostname question

Lowell Gilbert freebsd-questions-local at
Wed Nov 26 13:58:41 PST 2003

Bryan Cassidy <b_cassidy at> writes:

> I was told I should add a hostname. (my domain name maybe?
> Will that do?)

So far, this could mean several things.  hostname(1) should have a
reasonable idea of the host's name, if possible.

>                                     He said I should put an entry in
> /etc/hosts that maps the IP of your box to the hostname you gave it.

There's not necessarily any need for this.  DNS should resolve it
properly, if a bit slower.  Some applications will require a reverse
mapping (cvsup comes to mind), but if the real DNS is correct, you
don't need hosts to do that.

> Then put that hostname into

There's no standard file by that name.  Maybe you're configuring
postfix?  In that case it's a postfix question, but again, editing
hosts is usually only necessary if there's a DNS mapping missing.

>                                      How would I go about adding a
> hostname to /etc/hosts that maps the IP of my box? I use DHCP if that
> matters.

Putting your hostname on the loopback address ( is usually a
good idea.

>          Never added anything to /etc/hosts before so don't know the
> syntax or anything about what I should add. 

man 5 hosts
or read what's already in the file.

>                                             Just add simply on the first
> line without any whitespaces or something else? 

An IP address, whitespace, and one or more DNS names.

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