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nss-myhostname, — Provide hostname resolution for the locally configured system hostname.



nss-myhostname is a plugin for the GNU Name Service Switch (NSS) functionality of the GNU C Library (glibc) primarily providing hostname resolution for the locally configured system hostname as returned by gethostname(2). The precise hostnames resolved by this module are:

  • The local, configured hostname is resolved to all locally configured IP addresses ordered by their scope, or — if none are configured — the IPv4 address (which is on the local loopback) and the IPv6 address ::1 (which is the local host).

  • The hostname "localhost" is resolved to the IP addresses and ::1.

  • The hostname "gateway" is resolved to all current default routing gateway addresses, ordered by their metric. This assigns a stable hostname to the current gateway, useful for referencing it independently of the current network configuration state.

Various software relies on an always-resolvable local hostname. When using dynamic hostnames, this is traditionally achieved by patching /etc/hosts at the same time as changing the hostname. This is problematic since it requires a writable /etc file system and is fragile because the file might be edited by the administrator at the same time. With nss-myhostname enabled changing /etc/hosts is unncessary, and on many systems the file becomes entirely optional.

To activate the NSS modules, "myhostname" has to be added to the line starting with "hosts:" in /etc/nsswitch.conf.

It is recommended to place "myhostname" last in the nsswitch.conf line to make sure that this mapping is only used as fallback, and any DNS or /etc/hosts based mapping takes precedence.


Here's an example /etc/nsswitch.conf file, that enables myhostname correctly:

passwd:   compat
group:    compat
shadow:   compat

hosts:    files dns mymachines myhostname
networks:       files

protocols:      db files
services:       db files
ethers:   db files
rpc:      db files

netgroup:       nis

To test, use glibc's getent tool:

$ getent ahosts `hostname`
::1       STREAM omega
::1       DGRAM
::1       RAW       STREAM       DGRAM       RAW

In this case the local hostname is omega.

See Also

systemd(1), nss-mymachines(8), nsswitch.conf(5), getent(1)