If you're like me, you prefer host names over IP addresses for your local development. This module will save you the trouble of firing up an editor as administrator and edit the hosts file manually. It will add the host name you assigned to your server to the hosts file and assign a local ip address to that host name. And since the module uses a different IP address for each commandbox server, that means all your local sites can run on port 80!


  • Operating system - Windows, Linux, or Mac OS
  • CommandBox version - CommandBox 3.5.0


You can install the module from within CommandBox by executing the install command:

CommandBox> install commandbox-hostupdater


In order for the module to be able to modify your hosts file you need to start CommandBox with administrator privileges. For Mac and Linux users that means you have to start CommandBox with sudo box

Just provide a host name for your server.

CommandBox> server start host=myproject.local port=80

The module will first remove any host names that you previously assigned to the same server and then add the host name (here 'myproject.local') to your hosts file. All entries added by the module will be marked with a comment # CommandBox <Server-ID> <current timestamp>.

Location of the hosts file

The module assumes the following paths to the hosts file

  • Windows - C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc\hosts
  • Linux - /etc/hosts
  • Mac OS - /private/etc/hosts

IP addresses

In order to avoid conflicts with other IP addresses you may assign manually, the module only uses IP addresses in the range to

It detects the highest used IP address in that range and increase that by 1. That gives you 255 x 255 = 65.025 IP addresses to use. This means each server can use port 80 since you can bind more than one server to the same port so long as it's a different IP. This gets rid of those random ports for local development.

Please note, this will NOT work if you have another web server such as Apache that has been configured to listen to port 80 on all IPs ( *.80 ). You can troubleshoot what other processes are listening to ports with the netstat command.

# On Windows
C:\> netstat -ban | find ":80"
# On Unix
$> netstat -pan | grep :80

Forgetting a server

If you tell CommandBox to forget a server:

CommandBox> server forget my-fancy-server

the module will remove any host name that you may have assigned to that server from the hosts file.


$ box install commandbox-hostupdater
  • Feb 11 2017 03:16 PM
  • Feb 16 2017 05:23 PM
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