Hosts is a Ruby library able to read or manipulate the operating system's host files. When manipulating it tries to preserve their original formatting.
Features / Problems
This project tries to conform to:
- Semantic Versioning (2.0.0-rc.1)
- Ruby Packaging Standard (0.5-draft)
- Ruby Style Guide
- Gem Packaging: Best Practices
- Written purely in Ruby.
- Documented with YARD.
- Intended to be used with Ruby 1.8.7 or higher.
- Cryptographically signed gem and git tags.
This documentation defines the public interface of the software. Don't rely on elements marked as private. Those should be hidden in the documentation by default.
This is still experimental software, even the public interface may change substantially in future releases.
In most cases you want to load the library by the following command:
In a bundler Gemfile you should use the following:
Reading a hosts file
You can either read a hosts file from the file system:
hosts = Hosts::File.read('/etc/hosts')
Or you can parse a String containing the content of a hosts file:
hosts = Hosts::File.parse(hosts_content)
Afterwards the hosts file's elements are accessible through the elements attribute:
hosts.elements # => [ #<Aef::Hosts::Entry: address="127.0.0.1" name="localhost" aliases= comment=nil cached!>, # #<Aef::Hosts::EmptyElement: cached!>, # #<Aef::Hosts::Entry: address="192.168.1.1" name="myhost" aliases=["myhost.mydomain"] comment=" Some comment" cached!> # ]
Elements can simply be appended to the existing elements array:
hosts.elements << new_element hosts.elements += new_elements
Or you can insert elements at specific positions:
There are four different types of elements for a hosts file:
The Entry is the most common element of a hosts file. A single entry has an address, a name and optionally an unlimited amount of alias names and a comment.
Hosts::Entry.new('10.23.5.1', 'otherhost', :aliases => ['otherhost.mydomain'], :comment => ' A new host')
A Comment represents a line containing only a comment.
Hosts::Comment.new(' Nothing special')
A section has a name and optionally an unlimited amount of inner elements. In String representation a section is enclosed by easily distinguishable header and footer
# ----- BEGIN SECTION somename ----- # Elements here # ----- END SECTION somename -----
A section is created by the following:
elements # => [#<Aef::Hosts::Comment comment=" Elements here">] section = Hosts::Section.new('somename', :elements => elements)
On an existing Section, elements can be modified in the same way as on a File:
section.elements # => [#<Aef::Hosts::Comment comment=" Elements here">]
Also, to represent completly empty lines without abandoning their whitespace contents there is an EmptyElement.
When creating an element you can also specify it's String cache. This is done automatically when reading in an existing hosts file. Should you for any reason want to do this manually, do it like the following:
Hosts::EmptyElement.new(:cache => " \t ")
Note that the semantics for cache of a Section differ. See the class documentation for this.
Generating a String representation
To render the hosts file back into a String simply call the #to_s method:
hosts.to_s # => " 127.0.0.1\tlocalhost\n \n 192.168.1.1\tmyhost\tmyhost.mydomain\t# Some comment\n"
If you have read the hosts file from a file system path you can simply save it back to this path:
Otherwise, if there is no known path for the file already you can specify one for each write operation:
hosts.write(:path => '/tmp/hosts')
Or set the path for all future write operations by setting the path attribute:
hosts.path = '/tmp/hosts' hosts.write
Normally, if a cached String representation of an element is available, it will be used instead of rendering a new one to preserve the overall layout of the hosts file. If you which to generate the whole file from scratch, simply supply the :force_generation option:
hosts.to_s(:force_generation => true) # => "127.0.0.1 localhost\n\n192.168.1.1 myhost myhost.mydomain # Some comment\n"
Instead of temporarily ignoring the cached String representation you could also invalidate the cache completely:
This can also be done on single elements of the hosts file:
If you change attributes of an element, the cache will be cleaned automatically:
hosts.elements.address = '127.0.1.1'
- Ruby 1.8.7 or higher
On *nix systems you may need to prefix the command with sudo to get root privileges.
High security (recommended)
There is a high security installation option available through rubygems. It is highly recommended over the normal installation, although it may be a bit less comfortable. To use the installation method, you will need my gem signing public key, which I use for cryptographic signatures on all my gems.
Add the key to your rubygems' trusted certificates by the following command:
gem cert --add aef-gem.pem
Now you can install the gem while automatically verifying it's signature by the following command:
gem install hosts -P HighSecurity
Please notice that you may need other keys for dependent libraries, so you may have to install dependencies manually.
gem install hosts
Go into the root directory of the installed gem and run the following command to fetch all development dependencies:
Afterwards start the test runner:
If something goes wrong you should be noticed through failing examples.
Bugs Reports and Feature Requests
Please use the issue tracker on github.com to let me know about errors or ideas for improvement of this software.
This software is developed in the source code management system git hosted at github.com. You can download the most recent sourcecode through the following command:
git clone https://github.com/aef/hosts.git
The final commit before each released gem version will be marked by a tag named like the version with a prefixed lower-case "v", as required by Semantic Versioning. Every tag will be signed by my OpenPGP public key which enables you to verify your copy of the code cryptographically.
Add the key to your GnuPG keyring by the following command:
gpg --import aef-openpgp.asc
This command will tell you if your code is of integrity and authentic:
git tag -v [TAG NAME]
Help on making this software better is always very appreciated. If you want your changes to be included in the official release, please clone my project on github.com, create a named branch to commit and push your changes into and send me a pull request afterwards.
Please make sure to write tests for your changes so that I won't break them when changing other things on the library. Also notice that I can't promise to include your changes before reviewing them.
Copyright Alexander E. Fischer email@example.com, 2012
This file is part of Hosts.
Permission to use, copy, modify, and/or distribute this software for any purpose with or without fee is hereby granted, provided that the above copyright notice and this permission notice appear in all copies.
THE SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED "AS IS" AND THE AUTHOR DISCLAIMS ALL WARRANTIES WITH REGARD TO THIS SOFTWARE INCLUDING ALL IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE AUTHOR BE LIABLE FOR ANY SPECIAL, DIRECT, INDIRECT, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES OR ANY DAMAGES WHATSOEVER RESULTING FROM LOSS OF USE, DATA OR PROFITS, WHETHER IN AN ACTION OF CONTRACT, NEGLIGENCE OR OTHER TORTIOUS ACTION, ARISING OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE USE OR PERFORMANCE OF THIS SOFTWARE.