If USE_HOSTS_FIRST is set up, TCP/IP will first look in the local file %ETC%\HOSTS for the dotted IP address for a specific hostname on the internet.
Whenever you connect to the internet and you access a host (for example http://www.netlabs.org), clients must know the dotted IP address (for example 184.108.40.206) for the host. So clients contact a domain name Server (DNS) and ask for the IP address. This takes some time, to speed up internet connection you can define in the Hosts file the hostnames and the IP addresses.
OS/2 will only use Hosts file if USE_HOSTS_FIRST is set to 1. To get the IP address for a host type "host" and the hostname in an OS/2 window. The actual search path to the HOSTS file is defined by the ETC environment variable.
- Value 1 will check the HOSTS file first.