Is it possible to extend the file /etc/hosts on ubuntu16.04?

I have many ubuntu-servers, all servers should use the same /etc/hosts file, except some special entries. My preffered solution would be an directory (/etc/hosts.d) with some extra files. Then I would be able to copy the original hosts file to every server and store a specialized file in the directory.

Any solutions? Thanks.

  • 4
    Has someone experience with the dotdee package? dotdee manpage. This seems to be a solution for me. Jul 21 '16 at 4:27
  • 1
    Interesting idea, wasn't aware of that tool. But from the question you don't seem to need to generate the file dynamically. You might be better off considering using a full-fledged configuration management solution like Ansible and generate the files from templates.
    – techraf
    Jul 21 '16 at 5:00
  • 1
    Good question. It would be very nice if /etc/hosts.d/ would work
    – guettli
    Feb 14 '19 at 12:53
  • @guettli I suggest have a look at things like dnsmasq Feb 14 '19 at 15:18

No, it's not possible using standard mechanisms.

derobert in his answer on Unix.SE suggested the following workarounds:

'There are a couple approaches you could use instead:

  • Set up a (possibly local-only) DNS server. Some of these give a lot of flexibility, and you can definitely spread your host files over multiple files, or even machines. If you're trying to include the same list of hosts on a bunch of machines, then DNS is probably the right answer.

  • Set up some other name service (NIS, LDAP, etc.). Check the glibc NSS docs for what is supported. Personally, I think you should use DNS in most all cases.

  • Make yourself an /etc/hosts.d directory or similar, and write some scripts to concatenate them all together (most trivial: cat /etc/hosts.d/*.conf > /etc/hosts, though you'll probably want a little better to e.g., sort), and run that script at boot, or from cron, or manually whenever you update the files.

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