Originally Posted by settingsun
I'm on windows xp when I ping.
is the machine you need to be editing the hosts file on.
"/etc/hosts" is under Linux.
Stop messing with the server for now and concentrate on fixing that hosts file on the XP workstation you're trying to ping from. Until you get that to work, you don't even need a hosts file on the Linux box. In fact, all you're doing by playing with that file is chasing your tail. The hosts file on the Linux box has absolutely nothing to do with name resolution on the XP box. Just leave the server alone for now.
The full path to the file on XP is "c:\windows\system32\drivers\etc\hosts".
Log on to the XP machine as a user with administrator rights.
Go to the command-prompt on your XP machine.
then remove any cumbersome attributes that may be present on the hosts file-
attrib -r -h -s hosts
echo 192.168.0.2. fred.mycoachdomain.com >> hosts
You should then get a reply from fred.mycoachdomain.com 192.168.0.2