How to Create A local Host in Windows?
What is a Hosts File?
The hosts file is a local plain text file that maps servers or hostnames to IP addresses. This file has been in use since the time of ARPANET. It was the original method to resolve hostnames to a specific IP address. The hosts file is usually the first process in the domain name resolution procedure. Here is an example of a hosts file entry.
note:- We have added the curly brackets around each entry in the hosts file belwo to better define each section.
We use the above code as an example since it almost always included in every hosts file. Another example would be similar to the following entry.
· The first section denotes the IP address where a request will be redirected to.
· The second section designates the location that we want to redirect a request from.
· The third section specifies a comment for the entry.
· Each entry is usually separated by a space or a tab
Why is a Hosts File Useful?
Let’s say we have just completed a migration to a new server. In order to see how our domains will look and operate on our new server before we move our DNS settings, we cannot just type in one of our current domain names as it will resolve to the old server we are moving away from (since we never move our DNS A records from the old server until we are sure the new site is working as expected).
So, to see how our domain will look on the new server, (without having to change our DNS record ) we can simply modify our local hosts file to point the domain to the new servers IP. If our domain is liquidweb.com and the old IP is 220.127.116.11 and our new IP will be 18.104.22.168, we can temporarily comment out the current liquidweb.com entry (using a ‘#’ symbol) and add an alternate entry which points to the new servers IP.
#22.214.171.124 liquidweb.com #Liquid Web126.96.36.199 liquidweb.com #this is the new liquidweb.com
If we added the above entry to our hosts file, every time we open liquidweb.com in our browser, we will now be redirected to the 188.8.131.52 IP.
Where is the Hosts File Located?
The location of the hosts file will differ by operating system. The typical locations are noted below.
Windows 10 — “C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc\hosts”
Linux — “/etc/hosts”
Mac OS X — “/private/etc/hosts”
Now create our own local host in window
- Press the Windows key.
- Type Notepad in the search field.
- In the search results, right-click Notepad and select Run as administrator.
- The Windows needs your permission UAC window appears.
- Click Continue to grant permission.
- Notepad opens.
- In Notepad, select File > Open
Navigate to C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc\hosts or click the address bar at the top and paste in the path and choose Enter. If you don’t readily see the host file in the /etc directory then select All files from the File name: drop-down list, then click on the hosts file.
Make the necessary changes to the file.
Add the appropriate IP and hostname at the end of your hosts’ file, select Save, and then close the file.
Now you’re ready to edit the file. If you’ve never opened the hosts file before, all you’ll see is a short section of text describing its purpose and how to make edits. The introduction provides a useful overview of how the file is structured, but we’ll cover the basics here.
On the File menu, select Save.
Click the Windows button and search command prompt.
Finally, you will want to flush your DNS cache for your computer to recognize changes to the Type the following command in the terminal and press Enter