Sorry if this is a newby question, but I'm not a network administrator by any means.

I'm trying to set up an Apache server that can only be accessed through the local network. It needs to have a hostname so a user could type something like foo or foo.com into their browser to get there instead of using the IP address.

The server is currently running on Fedora 11 with Apache 2.2.13, but I'll probably migrate it to CentOS eventually. I also need to do this on Windows and possibly OS X. The server needs to be deployed to client organizations, so each client would have their own intranet. I don't believe we can rely on the clients having competent network administrators (underfunded schools and such), so we'd like to distribute a package that puts everything together on it's own.

2 Answers 2


The solution is to add a DNS A or CNAME record to the clients DNS servers. You are not going to be able to do this via some kind of package.

However, if you enable DNS registration on the server, and the hostname you assign to that machine is the "name" of the intranet site, then when the machine is switched on and it connects to the network it will register its hostname in DNS.

So, you could name the server "intranet", and it'll register in the clients DNS as "intranet".

Clients on the same network should then be able to access it by typing http://intranet

  • Thanks. I think I understand it now. Apparently the DNS server here at work doesn't have DNS registration on...
    – jonescb
    Commented Dec 1, 2009 at 22:03

You could take a look at the wikipedia page for Zeroconf, notably the sections on service discovery and name resolution. The Bonjour service would work--you could set the server to advertise its name, and bonjour-aware clients would start to recognize the name. Macs include bonjour client support, but Windows doesn't, so you'd have to install an mDNS client on each windows computer for it to recognize the bonjour packets. The zeroconf page lists some other technologies that might fit your needs better.

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