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I'm in the process of changing my current setup (a windows 10 pro-n machine running "shared" hard drives) to hopefully go with something a little more efficient and streamlined.

Anyway, with either my current setup or a new one, I'd like to have it such that any user on the network can use a searchable URL instead of an IP to access the shared-space. However, I don't want to go changing the host files on every "client" that connects to the network. Is there an easy-way to go about doing this. Open to recommendations!

I have a spare Raspberry Pi 4 if that helps but might also being buying a dedicated server in the future if I have enough needs for one.

Thanks!

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    What do you mean by a "searchable" URL? – user1686 Mar 14 at 17:08
  • sorry- should have clarified. I want the file server to have a local domain name of my choice- but I don't want to go about editing the host file on every machine..... – sassriverrat Mar 14 at 17:19
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I'd like to have it such that any user on the network can use a searchable URL instead of an IP to access the shared-space. However, I don't want to go changing the hosts file on every "client" that connects to the network. Is there an easy way to go about doing this?

You will likely want to set up a local DNS server. This could possibly be the Raspberry Pi 4, but technically any computer on the network could serve DNS (even the Windows PC you have now). I am not certain this technically counts as an "easy way" to go about things, but ideally it shouldn't be too difficult.

Regarding software, ISC BIND is a good option since it can run on both Windows and Linux, but other DNS software is available if you are strictly using Linux/Raspbian (e.g. DNSMasq, Unbound, etc.).

For any "random" local device to have access to your preferred host via a domain name, you would simply set the local router's DNS settings to use your selected DNS server to resolve requests. Two things to remember, however, are that the DNS server needs to be on to resolve requests and you need to set up the DNS server software to either forward (ex. to your ISP) or resolve non-local addresses (i.e. the internet).


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