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Repost: “Local DNS Settings: Map a Domain to a Local IP Address”

Repost: “Local DNS Settings: Map a Domain to a Local IP Address”

Edit the Hosts File in Windows

1. Open the Hosts file in Notebook or some other simple text editor editor. Where is the hosts file you ask? Depends on your setup, but for most Windows systems the directory path should be something like

\\Windows\System32\drivers\etc\hosts

Depending on your security settings, you may need to open your text editor in administrator mode (‘run as administrator’) in order to save your edits.

2. At the top of the file there are instructions for how to use the file, all preceeded by the # comment tags.

3. Below this are the actual mappings. The first column contains the preferred IP destination, while the second column contains the domain to be mapped. The domains in the second column will resolve to the corresponding IPs in the first column. A few important points:

  • Naked domains and subdomains (i.e., www.) must be mapped separately.
  • You must use an IP address in the first column, not another domain name.
  • Use hashes to disable mappings temporarily

4. Once you’ve made your settings, save the file.

5. Open the Command Prompt and update your system’s DNS cache with the command:

ipconfig /flushdns

6. All browsers should now follow these mappings for the domains listed in this Hosts file.

Edit the Hosts File on a Mac OSX

1. Open Terminal and open the hosts file using the following command:

sudo nano /private/etc/hosts 

2. You may be asked to enter your administrator password. Go ahead and do that to continue.

3. The Hosts file will open. Much like the Windows version, there are instruction comments at the top, followed by the mappings. The first column contains the preferred IP destination, while the second column contains the domain to be mapped. The domains in the second column will resolve to the corresponding IPs in the first column.

4. Add your new mappings. Just as with the Windows version, keep in mind that:

  • Naked domains and subdomains (i.e., www.) must be mapped separately.
  • You must use an IP address in the first column, not another domain name.
  • Use hashes to disable mappings temporarily

5. When finished save your changes by pressing Control-o, then hit return to confirm the filename, then Control-x to close the Hosts file.

6. Lastly, update your DNS cache from Terminal using the command:

dscacheutil -flushcache

7. All browsers should now follow these mappings for the domains listed in this Hosts file.

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