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With BIND (named) enabled on an OS-X Lion iMac, DNS lookups look at /etc/hosts only after checking with BIND and hence I can't override addresses using the hosts file. BIND does not even seem to access /etc/hosts (or /etc/resolv.conf) as far as I can see (using dtruss and from the sandbox log) so it must be some other OS-X DNS mechanism that does that.

Can I somehow tell BIND to consult /etc/hosts?

Thanks for your time and help


ps. Using BIND 9.7.3-P3 built with '--mandir=/usr/share/man' '--infodir=/usr/share/info' '--disable-dependency-tracking' '--prefix=/usr' '--sysconfdir=/private/etc' '--localstatedir=/private/var' '--enable-atomic=no' '--with-openssl=yes' '--with-gssapi=yes' '--enable-symtable=none' 'CFLAGS=-arch x86_64 -arch i386 -g -Os -pipe -gdwarf-2 -D__APPLE_USE_RFC_2292' 'LDFLAGS=-arch x86_64 -arch i386 ' 'CXXFLAGS=-arch x86_64 -arch i386 -g -Os -pipe '

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I've never seen bind query /etc/hosts. Why are you expecting it to? – becomingwisest Jan 24 '12 at 0:03
I didn't know any better ;-) – William Morris Jan 24 '12 at 2:24

BIND does not consult /etc/hosts. In Unix/Linux this is handled by the name service switch (nsswitch), which typically consults hosts and then DNS.

In Mac OS X this is handled by Directory Services.

You may want to flush the DS cache if you're having issues. Check the man pages for DirectoryService and dscacheutil.

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Actually, it sounds like what you're actually asking is how to get Lion's resolver to query /etc/hosts first, and then whatever nameserver it has configured. You may find this to be useful:

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