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In our setup we assign a separate domain name for each TCP service for configurability. On production cluster we use BIND to manage it. But on developer machine this currently translates to a bunch of entries in /etc/hosts:

That is something like ten entries per project, and a few projects per developer's machine. It is getting really hard to manage.

Please suggest a lightweight DNS server or some other solution to replace /etc/hosts with something that is easier to handle.

We feel that BIND is overkill here.

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You want something simplier that a single text file ? This won't be possible. Just install any dns server you like (bind is not overkill, only constantly bugged), it won't hit your system. – Gregory MOUSSAT Mar 11 '12 at 0:44
Not just simpler — simpler to manage. Managing all that stuff in a single text file is horrible. Even /etc/hosts.d would solve the problem — if it was possible, of course. – Alexander Gladysh Mar 11 '12 at 6:51

Dnsmasq would probably serve you right. It's basically a really lightweight DNS forwarder, with DNS Server-like capabilities.

Set up dnsmasq on a server or an old unused PC, then configure your development machines to use it (the dnsmasq server) as primary DNS server. Now you only have to maintain the hosts file on 1 machine, the one running dnsmasq.

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Many of our developers are working remotely... I'm a bit hesitant to set up a publicly accessible DNS server with all the in-house entries. And setting up VPN just for this seems overkill... – Alexander Gladysh Mar 11 '12 at 7:09
allow requests from the developers on 53, drop all other connections? – Mathias R. Jessen Mar 11 '12 at 14:31
How to determine that this is a developer? – Alexander Gladysh Mar 11 '12 at 18:00
Have them inform you their public IP addresses – Mathias R. Jessen Mar 11 '12 at 18:35
But most of them do not have static IPs. – Alexander Gladysh Mar 11 '12 at 19:41

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