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Old 01-19-2004, 07:01 PM   #1
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I've been on Linux for a little while and am getting to know a love linux , But I was wondering about the localhost and local domain what are they and what do they do . Can I change them to something else or would that not be good ? And when I login as root in terminal mode I am told that I have mail ?
Old 01-19-2004, 07:19 PM   #2
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Some programs use localhost if your computer doesnt have a IP address, just a standalone workstation. The IP address for localhost ought to be Just leave it be.

In order to get rid of the mail when you log in, type "mail" at the command line and then select the message by typing 1,2,3... Once you read it, it can be deleted by "d 1" or "d 2" meaning delete message 1 and so on.
Old 01-19-2004, 07:23 PM   #3
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Ok... the file /etc/hosts has the localhost entry. Here you can relate host names (or domain names) to IP addresses. One IP address can have more than one "name". You can add other IP addresses to this file. Lets say a friend has the IP XX.XXX.XX.XXX. And you connect to him quite often, so you just could add an entry "friend" and you wouldnt have to write: ssh XX.XXX.XX.XXX, you could write ssh friend

DNS names are "normal" names for us to remember, instead of using IP addresses. When you type, your system looks for this entry in your /etc/hosts file, and if not there, than requests it to a DNS server. Your machine gets the IP address the corresponds to Of course you could put in your hosts file, but that would make much sense. Of course this is oversimplified. I would recommend you reading a couple of Linux Howtos on the subject, or google a bit.

About the mail, most unix systems come with a MTA, mail transfer agent, like exim, qmail, etc.. you can use this MTA to send email internally in your sistem, or if set up correctly also to send and receive mail in the internet. In many linux systems the system "sends" mail to root with system information. Many other programs send security info to root, webmaster gets email over apache info, etc... Try using pine or mutt (console email programs) to read the mail. Then google a bit and try setting up and configuring an MTA of your own. You can do really cool things!
Old 01-19-2004, 07:59 PM   #4
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yes you can change your the naem localhost to another name, if you change it to pineaple yout computer would tehn be called pineaple, the localhost entry only givs a name for your comp, use any name you want, most people change it to somthing they like better


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