performance impact of large /etc/hosts files

Alex Zbyslaw xfb52 at
Wed Dec 12 08:32:46 PST 2007

Warren Block wrote:

> On Wed, 12 Dec 2007, Erich Dollansky wrote:
>> If you still see unwanted content, just add a line and it will be 
>> gone during your next visit.
> Like AdBlockPlus, only more work.
>> The beauty is, Internet feels still faster then before.
> Like AdblockPlus.
>> It has one advantage over all those ad removal tools. It filters what 
>> I do not like. It has nothing to do with censorship, it just gets rid 
>> of all the crap hanging around on every corner of a web page trying 
>> to sell you anti virus software or larger dicks.
> Like AdblockPlus.  What is the one advantage?
> There are some differences: AdblockPlus removes the ads and lets the 
> browser use the space, rather than showing broken pages.  And you can 
> customize blocked sites differently for different users.  And you can 
> easily disable it.  And it doesn't impact the whole system, just the 
> browser.  And you can block on regexes, so you don't need hundreds of 
> entries to block the big ad farms.

According to it's web pages "*Note*: It is recommended to use at least 
Firefox 2.0, Thunderbird 2.0, SeaMonkey 1.1 or Songbird 0.2. Older 
versions receive less testing and support for them is likely to be 
dropped in a few months."

The other schemes mentioned in this thread (hosts, DNS, squid) work with 
any and every web browser.  The OP already said he doesn't use Firefox.  
I myself still use Mozilla, Opera, and (heaven help me) IE, none of 
which are on the list.

As I've already mentioned, I see no broken pages because I don't break 
the layout (usually), and the post about squid talked about clear gifs 
as replacements which again would not break anything.

AdblockPlus is a valid alternative *if you are just a Firefox user*, but 
for everyone else, some other solution is required.


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