I recently tried to add a URL in my /etc/hosts file, and because of many different attempts in the past, I realized I most probably have some extra lines in there which are not necessary.

I have read different information on the web and tried different syntax in the hosts file to finally have the 2 websites show at the correct URLs.

This is not for local development.

That was a few weeks ago. Here is what is looks like after my last failed attempt, I had to put it back to how it was :       localhost
::1             localhost ip6-localhost ip6-loopback
ff02::1         ip6-allnodes
ff02::2         ip6-allrouters servername.website-one.com servername.another-site.com servername.website-one.com servername.site-two.com servername.another-site.com servername servername.site-two.com site-two.com servername servername.website-one.com website-one.com servername servername.another-site.com servername.another-site.com test.website-one.com website-one.com site-two.com another-site.com

Today I tried to add a 3rd website, and for some reason the 2 sites are being redirected to that one site. The problem is that this "redirection" (technically I don't think it should be called like a redirection). I am confused because there are various 'factors', or various files, that could have that effect.

As far as I understood, here is the list of "factors" that I should take into account for my problem :

  • the /etc/hosts file on the server ( apache2, ubuntu 16.04 )
  • my DNS setting within my domain registrar account
  • the configuration files for each site ( I know it can be specified individually with multiple sites in there "sites-available" and "sites-enabled" directories, or generally in one global file, but I can't remember which is the global file for all sites and where it is located

I also tried to use a sub domain test.website-one.com without any success.

My hosts file is a mess. I remember reading somewhere that the server name should be used and it can be on one line, and then I red something else elsewhere.

  • I suspect you are having name+Apache configuration issues... the new website points to the other vhosts does not make much sense otherwise. Dec 31, 2018 at 9:44

1 Answer 1


Generally speaking, the hosts file should be used only to bootstrap a system until it has DNS running. Particularly as you say this is a production system. To that end the only entries that should be in your hosts file are the loopback ones:       localhost
::1             localhost ip6-localhost ip6-loopback
ff02::1         ip6-allnodes
ff02::2         ip6-allrouters

Everything else should be added in DNS.

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