hosts file seems to be ignored

Solution 1:

With this configuration, most applications will happily work with your entry from /etc/hosts.

However host doesn't look at /etc/nsswitch.conf. That is by design, not by accident, since host is specifically a DNS lookup program. /etc/hosts is not DNS, it's (mostly) what we used before we had DNS.

The same is also true for dig and nslookup - they're DNS specific too.

Solution 2:

The host command (along with dig and nslookup) is part of the bind DNS utilities. As a DNS resolver utility, it does DNS resolution alone.

If you're interested in fetching an entry from any libnss-driven data store, you can use the getent program. To get a hosts entry, for example, use it like this:

getent hosts

This follows the resolution order set out under hosts: in /etc/nsswitch.conf in order, which includes /etc/hosts if "files" is lised as one of the options.