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Is it possible to do something like what /etc/hosts does for one computer, for all computers on a local network?

I'm using a D-Link DIR-655 B1. If necessary I'd be fine installing new firmware, but I'm having a hard time finding documentation about this kind of thing-- Google really wants to tell me how to set up Dynamic DNS, which I've already got running.

In case it matters: I've got a media server on a static IP on my LAN, and I'd like to be able to tell guests "go to carsonella.local" instead of "go to", since that freaks people out.

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closed as off topic by MDMarra, EEAA, Sven, Chris S Mar 11 '12 at 14:50

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Unfortunately, there is no open source software for it because it uses the Ubicom IP5160. You're stuck with the factory firmware. –  David Schwartz Mar 11 '12 at 3:18
What is up with the downvotes with no comments? –  quodlibetor Mar 11 '12 at 13:49
Oh now I get it. –  quodlibetor Mar 12 '12 at 2:38

1 Answer 1

Yes, you can do this. It's called DNS. Set up a DNS server in your LAN and configure your client machines to use it.

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This would require me to ask my guests to modify their network settings and use my DNS server instead of the one assigned by DHCP? I would probably do this with the server that I'm using to host media, so unless I'm misunderstanding you, I would go from telling people "Check out my music, go to" to "Check out my music, go to (OS-dependent settings screen) and use as your DNS server, okay, now go to carsonella.local". Also: I use "DNS" in my question title, AND it's tagged "dns", don't you think I know what it is? I'm asking for specific help with my situation. –  quodlibetor Mar 11 '12 at 1:18
Don't be mad at me because you don't have a fundamental understanding of how DNS and DHCP work. You can configure DHCP to assign whatever DNS server you want to the clients. Have it assign the one that you set up internally. You asked a poor question. I answered it. Google and entry level SA books are your friend. –  MDMarra Mar 11 '12 at 1:22
I wasn't mad at you because I don't understand how things work, I was pointing out that your answer of "Use DNS and configure your clients to use it" is obviously not helpful to someone who uses "DNS" three places in their question, two of them very prominent. I've heard of DNS, I've configured DDNS, I understand the relationship between DHCP and DNS, I explicitly asked how to configure my network's DNS they way I want it, and I'd spent nearly an hour googling my situation. –  quodlibetor Mar 11 '12 at 14:02
We're a site for IT professionals. It says so in the very first line of the faq. We assume that you are capable of basic tasks. If you were to ask something like "How do I create a zone in BIND for internal lookups?" you might get a detailed answer. Just saying "I have this gear, solve my problem." isn't going to get you anywhere, especially considering the solution to your question should be painfully obvious to any professional Systems Administrator. –  MDMarra Mar 11 '12 at 14:37
You don't "override some names". That's not how that works. Those names are resolved somehow, whether it's NetBIOS, Bonjour, DNS, WINS, etc. if you want clients to resolve something that's fully-qualified without using the hosts file, you must use DNS. You can't selectively say "use one method for this server and another for that server". I think the disconnect between us is that you are either asking for something that doesn't exist, or you don't understand how name resolution works. Either way, the complete and correct answer is "Use DNS internally" –  MDMarra Mar 11 '12 at 15:29

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