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Re: where is /etc/hosts supposed to come from?

On Mon, 28 Dec 2009, Neil Williams <codehelp@debian.org> wrote:
> Various tools need 'hostname -f' to operate, so there will need to be
> more in /etc/hosts than that - which is where things can get complex. A
> hostname of some kind is going to be needed.


I've filed a bug against Dovecot regarding this issue.

There should be very few tools that rely on "hostname -f" working - or 
returning useful data if it does work.

In the modern Internet where services such as EC2 are increasing in popularity 
in the vast majority of cases the purpose of a hostname is only for tracking 
errors.  It's used in syslog and displayed to the users in some situations 
(such as Perdition connection messages and email headers) so that users can 
make useful problem reports.  In those cases the FQDN is of no use, a client 
who reads their mail in the example.com domain and wants to report a problem 
doesn't need to know that it's server10.example.com that had a problem, the 
server being described as merely "server10" should be adequate.

One annoying aspect of this is that /etc/hosts can't be the same on all 
systems.  It means that I need to make my distribution process involve adding 
an extra customised line after pushing a change of /etc/hosts to all servers.  
While this isn't THAT painful, it's something that can get messed up on 

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