I purchased a domain and signed up for the register's DNS Management service. In their default configuration, they included an entry for localhost:

localhost       14400    A

What is the point of this entry? Is it safe to delete it?

UPDATE I should clarify that I am familiar with the common roles that "localhost" and play in networking. I'm mainly curious about what this entry does in a DNS record.


The point is to absolutely ensure that localhost resolves to if your domain is in your search path. If you don't think that's important, you can delete it.

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  • Can you clarify "if your domain is in your search path"? What do you mean by search path? – drs Apr 19 '13 at 21:30
  • A "search path" is a list of domains that you search. Say your domain is "example.com" and I go to the machine "www". If "example.com" is in my search path first, then my resolver will first look for "www.example.com" and, if it finds one, connect to that IP address. A friend of mine used to own the domain "router.com" and a huge number of people connected to his machine because they had "com" in their search path and were used to typing "telnet router". – David Schwartz Apr 19 '13 at 21:58
  • So if I understand correctly, this entry only affects DNS searches from the server that my DNS Management company uses to host their DNS service? – drs Apr 20 '13 at 15:54
  • No, you don't understand correctly. It makes no difference where the search comes from. – David Schwartz Apr 20 '13 at 19:28

localhost is the local DNS name for the loopback IP address (Local DNS name meaning that it is created by the local machine itself, and not from a DNS server), so that if you ping localhost, it pings the loopback address, the same as pinging, the loopback IP address. There's really no sense in deleting it.

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