What's the best way to confirm that your /etc/hosts file is mapping a hostname to the correct IP address?

Using a tool like dig queries an external DNS directly, bypassing the hosts file.

  • hosts files do not map domains....them map specific hostnames to IP addresses. – mdpc Jun 2 '14 at 18:10
  • @mdpc I edited it to reflect that. Basically the same question though, I was just looking for a way to verify the hosts file entry is working. – Jay Jun 2 '14 at 18:17
up vote 15 down vote accepted

I tried this out and it seems to work as expected:

echo "1.2.3.4 facebook.com" >> /etc/hosts

Then I ran:

$ getent ahosts facebook.com
1.2.3.4         STREAM facebook.com
1.2.3.4         DGRAM  
1.2.3.4         RA

I hope this helps you!

  • 1
    looks good, thanks! I also found that ping works: ping facebook.com outputs: PING facebook.com (1.2.3.4) 56(84) bytes of data. – Jay Jun 2 '14 at 20:19

I found gethostip which accepts either hostname or IP and also has options suitable to print out exactly what you need.

$ gethostip -d facebook
1.2.3.4

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