Force Use of HOST file
On Linux systems, the host lookup function (gethostbyname) always use BIND for hostname resolution. To get the system to look at /etc/hosts first for the entry labelled hosts: in the file /etc/nsswitch.conf.
The default setting, normally used it the nsswitch.com file is missing is;
- hosts: dns [!UNAVAIL=return] files
Change is to something more usable;
- hosts: files dns
The [!UNAVAIL=return] in the default ensures that it never looks at the host file.