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Test Domino on a Single Computer

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Need to test but don't want to use your production network? You could make up a small network for testing, but why not use just one computer, at least for the initial work? Or, maybe use a computer at home for those times when you HAVE to get to your client machine because something went wrong, and you need to preliminary look at the problem?

You can set up your Domino R5 Client and Server in a single computer, and you don't even need to have a network card installed.

Many people want to set up a Domino environment at home to play with but don't have a spare PC to serve as a server. But you can do the setup, and you don't need to install a network. I have had this problem before and it'd bothered me constantly because I could not test the security of my form design, e.g. user roles, and read-access privileges. I then came up with a solution and it worked for me very well.

The idea is to use the "Loop Back" IP Address binding with the server name in the hosts file on your PC. Here's how to do it.

  1. Install your Domino R5 server & client on the PC
  2. Set up and configure your server and give it a name, e.g. Server/Acme/AU
  3. To allow the client to see the server, edit the hosts file and enter the Loop Back address (127.0.0.1) followed by the server name (see the sample hosts file)
    • Example:

      127.0.0.1 server/acme/au
      127.0.0.1 server

  4. Restart the PC
  5. Start your server

Start you Notes Client and it will find the server as if you had two PCs.

This solution will work with R4 as well as R5. R4 users should put the notes.ini file in the respective directory for the client and the server instead of placing it in the c:windows directory.

*************** This is a sample of a Hosts file ************************

# Copyright (c) 1993-1995 Microsoft Corp.
#
# This is a sample HOSTS file used by Microsoft TCP/IP for Windows NT.
#
# This file contains the mappings of IP addresses to host names. Each
# entry should be kept on an individual line. The IP address should
# be placed in the first column followed by the corresponding host name.
# The IP address and the host name should be separated by at least one
# space.
#
# Additionally, comments (such as these) may be inserted on individual
# lines or following the machine name denoted by a '#' symbol.
#
# For example:
#
#      102.54.94.97     rhino.acme.com          # source server
#       38.25.63.10     x.acme.com              # x client host

127.0.0.1       server/acme/au
127.0.0.1       server

************* End sample of a Hosts file *****************************

------------------------------------------------------

USER FEEDBACK TO THIS TIP

  • All is fine BUT in the hosts file, only the first line counts. That is:
    127.0.0.1 <tab> acme <tab> acme/Acme-ou/acmedomain
    is the way to work. —Dan Melamed


This was last published in January 2001

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