The hosts database contains the IPv4 addresses and host names of systems on your network. If you use the NIS or DNS name service, or the LDAP directory service, the hosts database is maintained in a database that is designated for host information. For example, on a network that runs NIS, the hosts database is maintained in the hostsbyname file.
If you use local files for the name service, the hosts database is maintained in the /etc/inet/hosts file. This file contains the host names and IPv4 addresses of the primary network interface, other network interfaces that are attached to the system, and any other network addresses that the system must check for.
The /etc/inet/hosts file uses the basic syntax that follows. Refer to the hosts(4) man page for complete syntax information.
IPv4-address hostname [nicknames] [#comment]
Contains the IPv4 address for each interface that the local host must recognize.
Contains the host name that is assigned to the system at setup, plus the host names that are assigned to additional network interfaces that the local host must recognize.
Is an optional field that contains a nickname for the host.
Is an optional field for a comment.
When you run the Oracle Solaris installation program on a system, the program configures the initial /etc/inet/hosts file. This file contains the minimum entries that the local host requires. The entries include the loopback address, the host IPv4 address, and the host name.
For example, the Oracle Solaris installation program might create the following /etc/inet/hosts file for system tenere shown in Figure 5–1:
127.0.0.1 localhost loghost #loopback address 192.168.200.3 tenere #host name
In Example 10–1, the IPv4 address 127.0.0.1 is the loopback address. The loopback address is the reserved network interface that is used by the local system to allow interprocess communication. This address enables the host to send packets to itself. The ifconfig command uses the loopback address for configuration and testing, as explained in Monitoring the Interface Configuration With the ifconfig Command. Every system on a TCP/IP network must use the IP address 127.0.0.1 for IPv4 loopback on the local host.
Some systems have more than one network interface, because they are either routers or multihomed hosts. Each network interface that is attached to the system requires its own IP address and associated name. During installation, you must configure the primary network interface. If a particular system has multiple interfaces at installation time, the Oracle Solaris installation program also prompts you about these additional interfaces. You can optionally configure one or more additional interfaces at this time, or manually, at a later date.
After the Oracle Solaris installation, you can configure additional interfaces for a router or multihomed host by adding interface information to the systems' /etc/inet/hosts file. For more information on configuring routers and multihomed hosts refer to Configuring an IPv4 Router and Configuring Multihomed Hosts.
127.0.0.1 localhost loghost 192.168.200.70 timbuktu #This is the local host name 192.168.201.10 timbuktu-201 #Interface to network 192.9.201
The NIS and DNS name services, and LDAP directory service, maintain host names and addresses on one or more servers. These servers maintain hosts databases that contain information for every host and router (if applicable) on the servers' network. Refer to System Administration Guide: Naming and Directory Services (DNS, NIS, and LDAP) for more information about these services.
On a network that uses local files for the name service, systems that run in local files mode consult their individual /etc/inet/hosts files for IPv4 addresses and host names of other systems on the network. Therefore, these system's /etc/inet/hosts files must contain the following:
IPv4 address and host name of the local system (primary network interface)
IPv4 address and host name of additional network interfaces that are attached to this system, if applicable
IPv4 addresses and host names of all hosts on the local network
IPv4 addresses and host names of any routers that this system must know about, if applicable
IPv4 address of any system your system wants to refer to by its host name
Figure 10–1 shows the /etc/inet/hosts file for system tenere. This system runs in local files mode. Notice that the file contains the IPv4 addresses and host names for every system on the 192.9.200 network. The file also contains the IPv4 address and interface name timbuktu-201. This interface connects the 192.9.200 network to the 192.9.201 network.