Using logical name on the LAN instead of IP address (OSX Leopard)

Discussion in 'Apple' started by adalbert, Aug 20, 2008.

  1. adalbert

    adalbert Guest


    I'm using OSX Leopard and cannot access other computer (mainly
    Microsoft systems) using their logical name; I always have to use the
    IP address.

    For the addresses outside the LAN, I can use the domain name; i.e.: will work fine but http://my_pc will not (the
    same for FTP servers) .... Quite annoying when working in a company
    where everyone uses PC ;-)

    Thanks in advance for your help,
    adalbert, Aug 20, 2008
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  2. adalbert

    Martin Smith Guest

    do you have any relevant entries in /etc/hosts?
    Martin Smith, Aug 20, 2008
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  3. Even better have your network admins to set up their DNS and DHCP severs

    Technical stuff you may want to show them:

    To be exact, the DHCP server should provide a domain name suffix, and
    a nameserver address.

    The DHCP server should provide, besides IP addresses, the domain name
    of your company.

    The name sever should return IP addresses for

    Let's assume someone has a PC (or a Mac) that you want to reach whose name
    is "fred". Your company's domain name is "".

    The DHCP server should provide a domain name of, and a host
    name for YOUR Mac. It should also point to a nameserver for inside your
    company's network.

    When you look up fred, your Mac will first look for the name fred from the
    nameserver. It probably will get a not found (NXDOMAIN) reply. So it will
    try . This should work and the name server should reply
    with the correct IP address.

    Then you should be able to access it as "smb://fred/sharename" or
    if it is a UNIX system (except Macos) as nfs://fred/sharename".
    If it is MacOS, you would be better off using AFP shares, as
    in "afp://fred/sharename".

    If it's a UNIX system and they are more saavy than the usual syadmins,
    they can set up an AFP server on it (netatalk). Windows NT servers
    also had AFP support, I'm not sure thier children (Windows server 2003, etc)
    do or not.

    Geoffrey S. Mendelson, Aug 20, 2008
  4. adalbert

    adalbert Guest

    Here is the content of my /etc/hosts file ....
    # Host Database
    # localhost is used to configure the loopback interface
    # when the system is booting. Do not change this entry.
    ## localhost broadcasthost
    ::1 localhost
    fe80::1%lo0 localhost

    I see nothing else than the localhost there in .... It's basically the
    original content of the file
    adalbert, Aug 21, 2008
  5. adalbert

    Bob Harris Guest

    You might try playing with Applications -> Utilities -> Directory
    Utility -> Advanced Settings.... There is an option to allow the
    use of Active Directory (I think that is Microsoft stuff). Not
    sure if that will give you what you want, but it is something to
    play with.

    You could add entries to /etc/hosts for the systems you access
    most frequently. That would allow you to use names (of your
    choosing) instead of IP addresses at least for those you enter.

    If you control some of the PC systems, you could install Bonjour
    on those systems and then use PC_name.local to access those

    Under System Preferences -> Network -> Advanced -> WINS, you can
    enter your NetBIOS name, your Windows WorkGroup, and any WINS
    Servers that are used at your company. Being in the right
    workgroup may help.

    NOTE: I do NOT know if any of this will be helpful, but most of
    it does relate to working with Microsoft products.

    NOTE2: I would keep notes of what I changed so I can put it back
    if it does not help, or if it seems to mess things up.

    Bob Harris
    Bob Harris, Aug 22, 2008
  6. adalbert

    adalbert Guest

    Hi Bob,

    Thanks for the tips .... Unfortunately, all those settings are already
    I will have to use the /etc/hosts solution; but it's not great :-(

    adalbert, Aug 22, 2008
  7. At the risk of "profiling", I would not recommend to someone posting from
    Google Groups to run BIND. Yes, running your own DNS server is the
    technically correct solution to this problem, I think that for many users,
    editing /etc/hosts is a better way to go.

    Of course, the OP will have to make sure that machines on his net keep the
    same IP address, so if his router is acting as a DHCP server, he will need
    to do some configuration there.

    Jeffrey Goldberg, Aug 23, 2008
  8. adalbert

    Wes Groleau Guest

    I don't even have to consider Google Groups: It is unlikely that
    someone who needs coaching to edit /etc/hosts will be successful
    at editing zone files.
    Wes Groleau, Aug 23, 2008
  9. adalbert

    adalbert Guest

    I'm happy to see a lot of tips which I'm gonna try to get a good
    solution. But I still feel a bit frustrated ....
    I come from the Windows world that I left for some reasons (that's not
    the place to discuss them); I'm using my laptop on different networks;
    with Windows, no configuration was needed to have access to the
    logical names of all the computers handled by the router. Here, it
    looks quite complex; and I don't understand how using a local DNS
    server can help ??
    adalbert, Aug 25, 2008
  10. adalbert

    -hh Guest

    Hopefully, this will get past Jolly R's Google Groups filter...

    I recall that within the fairly recent past (<5 years), my OS X based
    macs didn't have any problems finding each other by name. Today, I
    have to jump through hoops of finding exact IP addresses, as it seems
    that they're not 'broadcasting' their names anymore.

    Q: "Why?"

    I realize that this is far too open-ended of a question, but I'm not
    sure if my question is a 'historical' one (something that Apple had
    changed between version 10.x.y and 10.x.y+1), or if it could be
    because I reconfigured my local network awhile ago by introducing a
    Gigabit Switch between wired macs and my Router (which includes
    wireless). For example, did I inadvertantly screw something up and am
    running two zones?

    FWIW, a correlary to this is: what changed within OS X that made
    printer sharing next to a Windows PC now impossible to figure out?

    The situation is a USB printer that is set up as shared on my desktop
    Mac ... the Mac laptop has no problem using it, but a Windows PC on
    the same wireless network is no-go. In reading through the Mac
    documentation, it got unfriendly real fast, so the "don't have time to
    screw with this now" workaround has been sneaker-net with a flash
    drive, and we've simply not gotten back to look at it again.

    IIRC, I think that this changed between 10.3 and 10.4? I'm not
    running 10.5 (Leopard) yet to know if this is been fixed.

    Okay sounds appealing, but here's a wrinkle on that process in
    general: I currently 'own' a domain address, and I'm paying a service
    to run www hosting and a mail server.

    Given that I don't want to keep (and not mess up) this external

    "Can I?" ... use the same domain name to be assigned to my local nodes

    and if so, "How Do I?" ... go about doing that?

    For example, is being hosted by an external
    company and I don't want to mess with that. Ditto for all mail being
    directed to that domain.

    But let's say that I want two home machines to carry DNS names of:

    Who should assign what in which DNS, and where?

    Of course, it should go without saying...but its better to document
    upfrong: my local IP connection is not a static IP, so individual
    Macs should be expected to periodically change their IP adresses as
    the DHCP leases come and go.

    -hh, Aug 25, 2008
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