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How do I use use a hosts file under Microsoft Windows

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Q. What is the local hosts file?

A. See here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hosts_file

Q. Why would I want to do this?

A. To override the Domain Name Service (DNS) supplied for testing purposes such as testing a virtual host.

Please follow the below process for your particular operating system.

Windows XP (home or Professional):

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hosts_file#Location_and_default_content

Windows Vista:

http://www.mvps.org/winhelp2002/hostsvista.htm

Older versions of Windows:

Windows 95/98/Me c:\windows\hosts

Windows NT/2000/XP Pro c:\winnt\system32\drivers\etc\hosts

Windows XP Home c:\windows\system32\drivers\etc\hosts

(you may need administrator access for Windows NT/2000/XP)

NOTE: Hosts is the name of the hosts file and not another directory name. It does not have an extension (extensions are the .exe, .txt, .doc, etc. endings to filenames) and so appears to be another directory in the example above.

Example file and format:

 #
 # This is a sample HOSTS file used by Microsoft TCP/IP for Windows.
 #
 # This file contains the mappings of IP addresses to host names. Each
 # entry should be kept on an individual line. The IP address should
 # be placed in the first column followed by the corresponding host name.
 # The IP address and the host name should be separated by at least one
 # space.
 #
 # Additionally, comments (such as these) may be inserted on individual
 # lines or following the machine name denoted by a '#' symbol.
 #
 # For example:
 #
 #      102.54.94.97     rhino.acme.com          # source server
 #       38.25.63.10     x.acme.com              # x client host

 127.0.0.1       localhost

 # Keep line length less than 222 characters - wrap the line around

 # eSchool
 10.83.26.14 es4.eschoolonline.com dtd.eschoolonline.com 

 # Classroom
 198.137.174.24 educator.classroom.com

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Page last modified on July 21, 2011, at 09:50 AM EST