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Linux® Desk Reference, Second Edition by Scott Hawkins

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Virtual Hosting by Name

Virtual hosting by name (as opposed to Virtual Hosting by IP) is a relatively new development in the HTTP standard. In this method, a variety of different domain names are associated with a single IP address. All the domain names are registered, and all requests are forwarded to the same IP. Once received, the server distinguishes the requests from one another by means of the HOST header, which is matched against any virtual hosts configured on the server.

Virtual hosting by name is a good system and undoubtedly has slowed the rate of IP address depletion somewhat. The catch is that only browsers which conform to the HTTP 1.1 standard supply the HOST header. If someone with an antique browser tries to access one of your ...

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