line lengths in /etc/hosts

Perry Hutchison perryh at
Wed Mar 27 09:01:02 UTC 2013

Is there a limit on line length in FreeBSD's /etc/hosts?

I'm not finding any mention of such a limit in hosts(5), but
characters beyond the first 660 or so seem to be ignored.

To answer the inevitable followup "why would anyone need such
a long line in /etc/hosts":

With this line in /etc/nsswitch.conf

  hosts: files dns

I can easily suppress access to unwanted web sites by adding
names to the localhost line in /etc/hosts, like this:	localhost ...

My version of that line has gotten rather long :)

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