Grant, are you asking about a multi-homed host?

IIRC the original BSD code did the first hit and stop, when looking something up.  What we sometimes did was give the host an alias :  host-en for the ethernet and host-pro proteon HW.   Host would be on both lines, so you wanted to make the first 'host' to be the default.

On Thu, Mar 11, 2021 at 12:13 PM Grant Taylor via COFF <> wrote:

I'm not sure where this message best fits; TUHS, COFF, or Internet
History, so please forgive me if this list is not the best location.

I'm discussing the hosts file with someone and was wondering if there's
any historical documentation around it's format and what should and
should not be entered in the file.

I've read the current man page on Gentoo Linux, but suspect that it's
far from authoritative.  I'm hoping that someone can point me to
something more authoritative to the hosts file's format, guidelines
around entering data, and how it's supposed to function.

A couple of sticking points in the other discussion revolve around how
many entries a host is supposed to have in the hosts file and any
ramifications for having a host appear as an alias on multiple lines /
entries.  To whit, how correct / incorrect is the following:        host       localhost        host

Grant. . . .
unix || die

COFF mailing list