DNS suffix Looks up etc
As the original questions was never really answered. Let me take a quick stab at it. When looking up the name of another machine, your computer (Linux, windows) will follow the following process.
1. Look in the "hosts" file for the machine name and ip address.
2. Look up the machine via a DNS server
Lets tackle these one at a time.
If you setup a network with 2 machines one named Fred (192.168.3.30) and another named Bob (192.168.3.40).
The two machines are on the same network but neither has a reference that allow them to see each other other via name.
if I am logged into Fred and I try to ping Bob, Fred has no idea "who" I am asking it to communicate with.
However, if I add an entry to my hosts file like this: 192.168.3.40 BOB
Fred will know exactly who I want him to talk to. Based on this entry, Fred now knows that any time I reference Bob, he should immediately go to ip 192.168.3.40.
In it's simplest terms, a DNS server is basically a giant hosts file. Machines are added manually or dynamically to the list
of IP's and Names and other machines can query this machine in addition to their host file to match Names to IP addresses.
This is very basic description of what a DNS server does but for the purpose of this answer it will do.
We have come to a day and age where most will not remember when and how this was used to resolve machine names.
However, Using and old protocol called NetBeui, windows machine would broadcast for name resolution when they could
not match a name against the Hosts file or the DNS server. The machine with that name in turn would respond and life would continue.
For reference: Windows host files can be found under this path c:\windows\system32\drivers\etc\hosts
Linux hosts files can be found under /etc/hosts
This answer is not perfect, but at least it will point you in the right direction.
host files examples:
192.168.3.40 bob bob.spanky.net edward.schoolyard.com
If I used ping, and refrence any of the names given, i will get the same IP address
ping bob ==> 192.168.3.40
ping bob.spanky.net ==> 192.168.3.40
ping edward.schoolyard.com ==> 192.168.3.40
Last edited by Sixhammers; 12-01-2014 at 01:08 PM.