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Under what conditions would the following occur? From a given OSX machine on an internal network:

$~ cat /etc/resolv.conf

From the same machine:

$~ dig @ in.local
<snip> ...
;in.local.                      IN      A

in.local.               43200   IN      A
<snip> ...

And yet, this workstation cannot ping in.local, nor load pages hosted by apache on that machine. is definitley up (2 OSX machines I know fail to resolve in.local - but other machines on the network can). I have also checked their /etc/hosts to see if anything there might interfere... Not sure what else to check...

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up vote 6 down vote accepted

The .local tld is first resolved on MacOS X by Multicast DNS Bonjour/Rendezvous. That means if you are trying to use a DNS server with the .local tld, it will not be resolved using the DNS server.

Some private networks also use ".local" domains for hosts registered with their internal DNS server, even though it is not a valid top-level domain on the public Internet. If your Mac is connected to such a network, you may want it to look up host names that end in ".local" by using Unicast DNS to speak to a DNS server, the same way that it looks up host names such as "" on the Internet.

See: and:

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OS X has an OS-level DNS cache that you might need to flush - like nscd on solaris/linux/bsd.

Try dscacheutil -flushcache (on Leopard) or lookupd -flushcache (on 10.5.1 and before).

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You just discovered why using .LOCAL is a bad idea.

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The only thing I can think of is that you're not using DNS for name service, or the name is cached.

I'm more familiar with Linux, but you might be looking for the nsswitch.conf (or equivalent) file in the /etc/ equivalent for OSX, or the caching daemon (nscd in Linux) configuration (nscd.conf) or state.

nsswitch.conf controls how names are resolved. DNS is only one mechanism. Others include files (/etc/host), LDAP, and (I think) NIS.

nscd is a name cache that helps resolve names faster when you get repeated requests for the same name (e.g. you load 300 pages from a web server) by caching the response an appropriate length of time (e.g. 43200 seconds from your example dig output)

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