Host table

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The host tables (sometimes called the hostname tables - and capitalization varied) were files used in the ARPANET and early Internet to hold mappings from human-readable names (such as 'MIT-Multics') to binary addresses. Early ones were called the 'Hostname Table'; the name was eventually changed to 'DoD Internet Host Table'.

Fairly early on, updated copies were distributed regularly by the Network Information Center, at SRI International. Eventually, the distribution process used FTP.

Although the early ones only had the capability to hold addresses for the Host-to-IMP Protocol, site-local variants were augmented to have the capability to hold addresses for a number of different protocol suites, such as Chaos. Later versions were expanded to carry Internet Protocol addresses.

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