How does host lookup work
I am extremely confused about host lookup works now that avahi daemon
has been added into the equation.
my /etc/nsswitch.conf file has this in it for the host entry
hosts: files mdns4_minimal [NOTFOUND=return] dns mdns4
But as much as I google, I can find absolutely no explanation of what
In particular - if one does a host lookup and its not found in files
(presumably /etc/hosts) and not found by mdns4_minimal, does
the "[NOTFOUND=return]" stop the lookup process from using the dns. (It
clearly doesn't - so presumably mdns4_minimal does something else)
Coupled with that - I am not sure if there is a command line command
which uses this mechanism of host lookup. The man page for "host"
command and the one for the "dig" command effectily say they are only
doing a dns lookup.
Why am I asking;
I am doing some planning on how to change my home network when I (very
shortly now) acquire a linux laptop.
applications - and therefore will want to run apache web server.
Ideally I would like a number of separate virtual hosts, for each
separate application but
a) When I am disconnected from the network I still need to see the host
names (so I assume I use /etc/hosts to give aliases to localhost?)
b) When I am connected to the local home network I want to have other
people see these virtual hosts so that I can test some multiuser
aspects of the applications. In this case, I could either use avahi to
publish these names (although at the moment I can't quite work out
how - it seems only to publish a single host name derived from
the /etc/hostname), or make sure the names are properly identified in
my local dns (I can allocate the IP address based on the mac address of
the laptop thereby ensuring it always has the same one)
But without understanding the basics, I can't really proceed to plan.
Can someone explain.