Setting up a Mac's TCP/IP address list

Apple makes connecting a Mac to a real, complete TCP/IP network very easy. If you have an existing network with nameservers, gateways, and real connections to the Internet already setting up, plugging in a Mac is nearly effortless. Unfortunately, for smaller networks, you may not have these advantages. If you don't want to (or can't, with NT) set up a nameserver but you do want the convenience of using Internet names instead of IP numbers, you have to edit an obscure text file that hides in your Mac's System Folder: Hosts.

The hosts file comes filled with lots of weird junk that seems to correspond to Apple, but it's all commented out. Basically, all information in here is in a very simple format: host name, a tab, an A, a tab, and then the IP address. You can also create aliases (using CNAME instead of A) and indicate available name servers (using NS instead of A). Basically, though, all you have to do is create a file that looks like this:	A

Of course, you'll put in your server's name and IP address instead of mine.

Many thanks to David Boulter at Bucknell University for showing me where to find the Apple documentation for MacTCP.

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Copyright 1995 by Simon St.Laurent. All rights reserved. You may print this document for yourself or others at no charge, but commercial distribution without permission is prohibited.

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