Subject: Re: install/21999: localhost.domain not correctly set in /etc/hosts file
To: None <>
From: William Allen Simpson <>
List: tech-install
Date: 06/27/2003 08:37:44
Alan Barrett wrote:
> There's no need for a localhost.domain entry in /etc/hosts, nor for a
> localhost.domain entry in any DNS zone files.  I haven't used anything
> like that for years.
> There is a need for a "localhost" entry in /etc/hosts, and NetBSD
> installs a suitable entry by default.

Yes.  Mentioned in the PR.  Although there is no trailing period on the 
two A records.

>  I also recommend installing a
> "localhost."  DNS zone (as a master zone in all caching nameservers),
> and NetBSD's default named.conf does so.
Yes (RFC-1912).

But that's not enabled by default, and not relevant.  As the original PR 
clearly states (as a first sentence): 

 ! In a default install, the search order for root@localhost looks for 
 ! localhost.domain before localhost.

Maybe the fact that it came at the end of a sentence made the 
description unclear?  NetBSD isn't trying to find "localhost.", it's 
trying localhost.domain (such as,

> If there's something that breaks due to lack of a localhost.domain entry
> in /etc/hosts or in the DNS, then that problem should be fixed in some
> other way, without adding a localhost.domain entry.
As previously mentioned, the "something that breaks" happens to be the 
daily security update isn't delivered on a default install.

Certainly, based on RFC-1912, an argument could be made that some 
domains would want to name a host "localhost.dom.ain", and the daily 
security update will start being delivered to their root, instead of 
its own.

Somehow, it gives me a more warm fuzzy feeling to know that some user 
that really needs to talk to "localhost.dom.ain" on some other system 
will have to remove a line from /etc/hosts.

Now, is it easier and better to change the library code, as you suggest, 
and regression test all applications?  

Or, to add a 3 line change to sysinst, fixing one (currently duplicated) 
line in the default /etc/hosts? 

Remember, /etc/hosts is local only, and (supposedly) not cached for 
DNS response to other hosts. 
William Allen Simpson
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