Back in Tiger days, I used to love having aliases pointing to localhost or other servers saving me some typing and allowing me to use Apache vhosts locally. To achieve this without restarting the whole system, I used NetInfo to add a new Machine entry, this works great, no restart needed only NetInfo reload.
With Leopard, NetInfo is gone (for the best) and it has been replaced by a folder hierarchy full of flat .plist files. No more NetInfo Manager, but a new
dscl command and a bunch of related one :
dscacheutil (lookupd replacement),
For today, we’ll use
dscacheutil, let’s create a new Host entry to map myvhost.loc to 127.0.0.1 (I like adding .loc to distinguish my added hosts, but you’re free to use anything else) :
sudo dscl localhost -create /Local/Default/Hosts/myvhost.loc IPAddress 127.0.0.1
Then to be sure it’s looked up correctly by software (in fact it’s only needed if you tried to access the myvhost.loc before adding it) :
sudo dscacheutil -flushcache
A little handy feature of the new
dscacheutil when we’re at it :
sudo dscacheutil -cachedump -entries Host
This will list all entries cached by Leopard, it can comes in handy when trying to solve a name resolution problem.
And finally if you want to get ride of your entry later on :
sudo dscl localhost -delete /Local/Default/Hosts/myvhost.loc
Benjamin Stiglitz wrote a comment to say /etc/hosts is now automatically watched for changes on Leopard, so there’s no more need to play with dscl to add simple host. Thanks again Benjamin.