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Using host file spoofing technique to test a staging server

I have a production and staging host, I wanted to test my domain name against my staging host, how do I do that if I’m on an MacBook Air.

It is quite simple, you can apply a bit of spoofing technique to make this happen.

Open a terminal window on your MacBook and enter

cd /private/etc/

This is the directory were you have your local host file, first I would use the linux “ping” command to get the IP of my production environment.

ping yourdomain.com

Next I will edit the hosts file

vi hosts

You could use any text editor of choice to edit the hosts file, know you need to add the staging hosts IP address and your domain name to the hosts file. In the hosts file, add a new line at the end

xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx  yourdomain.com

Save the file, your changes will be applied instantly, use the ping command to check if the IP address has changed for your domain name.

ping yourdomain.com
64 bytes from xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx: icmp_seq=0 ttl=56 time=3.887 ms


ping yourdomain.com

still gives you the wrong IP, try clearing your DNS cache:

dscacheutil -flushcache

You can use the same technique to test other services were you have access to a staging server.

If this worked for you let me know in the comments below.