Linux / Unix | /etc/hosts
The Linux hosts file lives at /etc/hosts and it creates static associations between IP addresses and hostnames, domains, or machine aliases. It is recommended that you have your IP address mapped to your domain in this file to improve system efficacy, but is not strictly necessary depending on your use case. Without this entry, your system would perform a DNS query directly. You can learn a lot about using this file to accomplish your specific goals with our helpful guide.
Virtualhosts are usually only necessary if you're running multiple websites from a single webserver. You can learn more about virtual hosts in Apache's official documentation.
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Linode Support Team