Unix's critical networking files

What these files are, and the values they need in them.

 

Unix's critical networking files
Barrie Sosinsky

Unix has ten critical networking files that store the settings necessary for proper configuration and connection. If users are having trouble connecting to your network or if their browsers aren't functioning correctly, make sure to check the values in these files first to make sure that they are correct. Knowing the basic files to check, and the proper values that should be in those files, can save a lot of time when something isn't working correctly.


The files and their necessary settings are:

  • /etc/defaultrouter = hostname
  • /etc/hostname.hme0 = hostname
  • /etc/hosts = <ipaddress> + hostname + loghost
  • /etc/nsswitch.conf = must reflect "hosts: files dns"
  • /etc/netmasks = <your network number> + <netmask> (see example in file)
  • /etc/nodename = hostname
  • /etc/resolv.conf
  • search <your_domain.com>
  • namesrever <primary_nameserver>
  • nameserver <secondary_nameserver>
  • /etc/net/ticots/hosts = hostname
  • /etc/net/ticotsord/hosts = hostname

Fill in the various values with the names that you have assigned for your network.

And if users are having trouble connecting to your network or if their browsers aren't functioning correctly, make sure to check the values in these files first to make sure that they are correct. Knowing the basic files to check, and the proper values that should be in those files, can save a lot of time when something isn't working correctly.

So it's a good idea to make yourself a small "cheat sheet" with the appropriate values on it, until you have them committed to memory. That can save your looking confused and doing some head scratching when there's a problem that has to be solved quickly.


Barrie Sosinsky (barries@killerapps.com)is president of consulting company Sosinsky and Associates (Medfield MA). He has written extensively on a variety of computer topics. His company specializes in custom software (database and Web related), training and technical documentation.


This was first published in April 2002

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