rename localhost

July 17, 2013

If you’re doing web development locally, you’re probably navigating to localhost:XXXX a lot. I got annoyed with having to type out “localhost” all the time so I created a new domain, “lh”, that does the same thing. This way you can type lh:3000 rather than localhost:3000. It’s a small optimization, but a convenient one if you’re a web developer.

To make the change, open up a terminal and run:

$ sudo vim /private/etc/hosts

(replacing vim with your favorite command line editor, ie. vim, emacs, nano, etc.)

Then add lh to the end of the file. The result for me looks like:

# Host Database
# localhost is used to configure the loopback interface
# when the system is booting.  Do not change this entry.
## localhost broadcasthost
::1             localhost
fe80::1%lo0 localhost lh

you may need to flush the DNS cache now. On Snow Leopard[1], you can do that with:

$ dscacheutil -flushcache

Now sit back and bask in the glory of 7 fewer keystrokes.

[1] I know, I know, I’m getting a new laptop soon, jeez.