Editing your hosts file can be useful if you are running tests on your network.
By mapping an IP address to a server name (or domain name), you can skip the process where a web browser uses a Domain Name Server(DNS) lookup to translate the domain name to the IP address.
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For example, if you ask for wikipedia.org, the DNS servers will return Wikipedia’s IP address to your computer.
But if you wanted to block Wikipedia on that computer, you can add an entry in the hosts file that tells your computer that points to some other IP address that’s different from Wikipedia’s actual IP address..
Alternatively, you can use the hosts file to create shortcuts to certain sites on the web.
Use a command such as nslookup to find a website’s IP address, then add it to your hosts file alongside the desired shortcut, just as in the example above.
The hosts file in Windows, Mac, or Linux maps hostnames to IP addresses.
For example, an intranet, like a corporate office that has servers for users to access, or it could be domain names for servers on the internet.The file is nsswitch.conf, and if it’s configured to look at DNS first, then it’ll skip your hosts file and go straight to DNS lookup.To check the configuration, in your terminal window type: The terminal will return a list of information.In this tutorial, I will show you how to set/change a server hostname in Cent OS Linux to “server1.cyberciti.biz”.For Cent OS / RHEL version 7.x users, see this page for more info.There’s a single file on your computer that serves as a small gateway between you and the web. If you need to block websites or create personalized web shortcuts on Linux, you can tackle these jobs by adding or tweaking a few lines in the hosts file.