[TUHS] [COFF] Pondering the hosts file
henry.r.bent at gmail.com
Fri Mar 12 04:18:20 AEST 2021
While this is true wrt the history of FreeBSD/Unix, I'm almost positive
> that BSD didn't invent it. I'm pretty sure it was picked up from the
> existing host file that was published by sri-nic.arpa before DNS.
The CSRG history doesn't seem to have saved the full SCCS history of the
hosts manpage, but it must have appeared sometime around the addition of
ARP support to 4.1BSD - it's not in the 4.1C sources without ARP, but it is
in the sources with it. That version does indeed mention its origins:
HOSTS(5) File Formats Manual
hosts - host name data base
The hosts file contains information regarding the known hosts on
DARPA Internet. For each host a single line should be present with
official host name
Items are separated by any number of blanks and/or tab characters.
``#'' indicates the beginning of a comment; characters up to the end
the line are not interpreted by routines which search the file.
file is normally created from the official host data base maintained
the Network Information Control Center (NIC), though local changes
be required to bring it up to date regarding unofficial aliases
Network addresses are specified in the conventional ``.'' notation
ing the inet_addr() routine from the Internet address manipulation
brary, inet(3). Host names may contain any printable character
than a field delimiter, newline, or comment character.
A name server should be used instead of a static file. A binary
dexed file format should be available for fast access.
15 January 1983
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