/etc/hosts is a mapping table between host names and IP addresses. Make sure you have the line "127.0.0.1 localhost.localdomain localhost" in it. I don't know what gnome wanted to lookup in that file. If you want more info about the /etc/hosts file, use the command "man hosts" or search for "hosts" in the gnome help. Maybe the actual problem is unrelated to /etc/hosts. Perhaps you are starting a program which connects to the internet when it starts and you are offline when you log in.