Unix & Linux Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for users of Linux, FreeBSD and other Un*x-like operating systems. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

There's a website, www.example.com, that I tried to block myself from accessing because it wastes too much of my time. So I configured my /etc/hosts file. I added the following lines, to block the website on both IPv4 and IPv6: www.example.com
::1 www.example.com http://www.example.com
::1 http://www.example.com example.com
::1 example.com

I restarted my computer, and I cannot wget www.example.com, and pinging www.example.com works as expected, but the website is not actually blocked in my browser! I can still access it in Firefox 28 and Chromium.


  • What's going on?
  • How do I block this site using systems-level tools instead of using browser extensions?
share|improve this question
In your browser, did you type http://www.example.com (which should be blocked) or did you type http://example.com (which is not blocked)? – John1024 May 4 '14 at 5:51
@John1024 I amended my question to address yours. In the browser, example.com and http://example.com are blocked, but www.example.com, and http://www.example.com are not blocked. – Newb May 4 '14 at 7:14
@Newb: What Linux distro do you use? – cuonglm May 4 '14 at 8:21
Have a look at hostsblock: it automates this for you and works brilliantly... – jasonwryan May 4 '14 at 8:55
I configured DNS-level blocking at my home DNS server. For those with less technical aptitudes, pi-hole is an interesting project. pi-hole.net – Rui F Ribeiro Jan 4 at 8:44
up vote 4 down vote accepted

Rather then make this block using /etc/hosts I'd suggest using a browser addon/plugin such as this one named: BlockSite for Firefox or StayFocusd for Chrome.


  ss #1


                    ss #2

But I want to really use /etc/hosts file

If you must do it this way you can try adding your entries like this instead:   www.example.com   example.com
::0       www.example.com
::0       example.com

You should never add entries to this file other than hostnames. So don't put any entries in there that include prefixes such as http:// etc.

share|improve this answer
The OP does expressly ask for solutions that don't involve browser plugins/extensions... – jasonwryan May 4 '14 at 7:46
@jasonwryan - thanks, missed that last sentence in the Q. – slm May 4 '14 at 7:53
The last part of your answer was correct --- my mistake was that I had written http://www.example.com instead of www.example.com. Now the site is blocked. – Newb May 4 '14 at 18:14
This is useful, and both chrome & firefox has an extension named block site, both great. – Eric Wang Oct 14 '15 at 21:03

The problem is with the DNS cache, you needed to flush your DNS cache.

For how to, look here

share|improve this answer
Please write a summary about the article you linked so in case that site goes down your answer will be still valuable. – totymedli Jun 23 at 18:41
The platform is driven by the community, if you think it will be helpful to add a summary about the article, please add it. Not telling you, telling everyone. – totten Jul 22 at 10:34
Yes, it is community driven, but there are guidelines that the community members should follow when they answer a question. Take a look at the Help Center's "How to Answer" guide. Especially the "Provide context for links" part or read this meta post on link only answers. – totymedli 9 hours ago

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.