Linux Intranet Install

This is an installation guide.

notes on how and why to set up tiki as an intranet... how to mirror local sites with remotes

lots of things to sort out... number one getting your localhost default to something else...

cd /etc/
vim hosts
inside you'll see something like localhost.localdomain localhost

The localhost part is what you'll see in your browser's link bar
you want to change that to something else...
the question, I'm trying to answer is how....

All of this came about because I thought I could mirror my site locally and enjoy the benefits of a local dedicated server and be able to feed my changes to the remote intermittently during the day. Wrong. More to it than that. Begin Networking 101.

In the /etc/hosts file on a new RedHat Enterprise Linux 4 machine I recently installed, they've included the following slightly-more-helpful comment:

# Do not remove the following line, or various programs
# that require network functionality will fail.               localhost.localdomain localhost

You can add other lines, or even add other names for the machine on that same line, but don't remove it. It really does break things. wink

The easiest place to start is 'man hosts' and 'man hostname' on your system, to find out the specifics of how your machine does things.

Also, note that the hosts file, while an easy way to build local aliases for some IP addresses, is just that: a local list of aliases. If you want other machines to be able to find tiki.yoursite.org then it will need to be entered into the DNS system (or equivalent) for others to be able to look it up by name. Either that, or you have to update the hosts file on every machine that you want to know that name...Not fun. (That's why they invented the DNS system...it's much easier to update things and have the changes propagate.)

And you'd probably want to put in the actual IP address of the network interface, not the loopback address. As noted in the comments (below), that loopback address means "my network loopback interface, on this machine." And it's on every machine that has a network interface. It will answer a ping so long as you have a functioning network interface, regardless of whether you have a working net connection. Try this:

Networking 101 experiment: Pinging your local loopback address

idea Ping your local machine's loopback address:


You should see answers, if your network interface is functioning. Now try pinging the alias "localhost":

ping localhost

You should see the same thing. (If it says something about not knowing 'localhost', then you'd better go edit that /etc/hosts file!)

Now unplug the ethernet cord from the back of your machine, and repeat those two steps. They should still work! The localhost/loopback/ address is local to every machine, and it should work even if you don't have a working net-link, to let you know that your networking interface hardware and networking software are functioning.

Hope this helps a bit... smile

-Patrick Salsbury

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