API and CLI for querying and manipulating host files.

Usage no npm install needed!

<script type="module">
  import godaddyHostfile from 'https://cdn.skypack.dev/@godaddy/hostfile';



API and CLI for querying and manipulating host files.

Build Status


First, an important note. By default, most operating systems protect your host file by restricting write permissions. You'll need to change the permissions on that file before you can use the API or CLI to modify the file. For example:

sudo chown %USER: /etc/hosts


To use the API, install as a dependency:

npm i --save @godaddy/hostfile

...then import:

const hostfile = require('@godaddy/hostfile');

The following methods are supported:

.point(hostEntries: Dictionary<string, string>): Promise<void>

Where hostEntries is an object mapping host names to IP addresses, point assigns each host to an address. If an address is set to null, any existing host file overrides for the host are commented out instead.

.pointHost(host: string, address: string): Promise<void>

Shortcut method for .point({ [host]: address }).

.pointLocal(host: string): Promise<void>

Shortcut method for .point({ [host]: '' }).

.reset(host: string): Promise<void>

Shortcut method for .point({ [host]: null }).

.untilExit(hostEntries: Dictionary<string, string>): Promise<void>

Same as .point, except SIGTERM, SIGINT, and SIGHUP handlers are installed for the process, and before exit, each of the hosts are reset. This is useful if you're developing a local service, and you only want your host file pointing locally while the service is running.

.isLocal(host: string): Promise<bool>

Resolves to true if the host is pointing to,, ::1, or ::0.

.watch(): Observable<string>

Returns an Observable that emits events when the host file changes. This is just a wrapper around fs.watch; see the node documentation for more information.


To install the hostfile command-line:

npm i -g @godaddy/hostfile

The hostfile command can be used as follows:

hostfile query host <hosts>               # Lists active entries for one or most hosts. Supports * wildcards.
hostfile query address <addresses>        # Lists active entries pointing to one or more address
hostfile point <hosts> [to] <address>     # Assigns <address> to one or most hosts
hostfile reset <hosts>                    # Removes hostfile assignments for one or more hosts

Operating System Support

hostwriter only knows how to find the host file on MacOS, Linux, and Windows at this time. If you have a need for other OS's, let us know.