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Absolute OpenBSD, 2nd Edition by Michael W. Lucas

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DNS Resolution

You’ll probably want to use hostnames rather than IP addresses, so that you’ll be able to browse to http://www.cnn.com/ instead of http://157.166.255.18. Unix-like systems use the resolver to accomplish this feat.

Most hosts use two tools to map between IP addresses and hostnames: the hosts file and DNS. (Different operating systems support additional name services, such as YP, LDAP, NIS, and so on, but dang near every system supports these two.)

The hosts file is a text file on the local machine that contains static IP address and hostname lists. DNS is a more dynamic service that reaches across the network to find information. You can specify DNS servers by IP address, but we’ll look at the hosts file in a little more detail. ...

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