Credits: Jake Jepperson


This article briefly explains how you can update your local hosts file to connect your machine to a new server or new network. You will need connectivity information for the server in order to complete this process. This information includes the IP Address and Host Name. You may also want the Fully Qualified Domain Name (FQDN) in order to ensure successful connection.


When starting a new project, one of the first assignments is to acquire network access to the customers network and development server. If you are not provided a company machine, or want to connect to that server with you personal machine, than you will need to update you Hosts file to make the connection. Updating the Hosts files will communicate the IP Address and associated host name to your machine in order to connect to the network. Once successfully complete, you can connect BPM and ODM to those networks to begin development.


First, you will need to discover the IP Address and host name of the server/network you want to connect to. If these two items are not commonly known, or obvious, there is a trick to acquiring them. For BPM, assess the URL for the process center. This URL contains the host name that you will need to use to update your Hosts file. You do not need to include any ports provided in that URL, just the host name.

For example, the smarter process VM has a process center URL of https://ibmbpm:9443/ProcessCenter. From here I can identify the host name as ibmbpm. I do not need to include the port 9443 when updating my Hosts file. Once you have identified the host name, you can use the command prompt to discover the IP Address. Open “Command Prompt” by searching for the application in the start menu. When the command prompt opens, type “ping ” where is the host name you identified. In this particular example, I would type “ping ibmbpm” in the command prompt and wait for a response, like below:

hw 1

The response will look similar to what is shown in the image above. You will see a print out of “Pinging followed by the IP Address surrounded by brackets. In this example, the host name ibmbpm has an associated IP Address This is a very simplistic example in which the host ibmbpm in the smarter process vm points to which is also the IP for localhost. If you follow these instructions, however, you should get the correct results back. Remember this host name and IP Address.

Next, open windows explorer, or your file system on your machine and navigate to C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc. Please note that this file location may be different for other machines. Verify that you have a hosts file in this directory. If there, open notepad and run as administrator. This will allow you write access to the hosts file. If you open the file a different way, you will most likely get a read-only warning or a saving issue. When notepad is opened, click file > open and navigate to this directory to open your hosts file in the notepad worksheet. The hosts file should like similar to this:

hw 2

At the very bottom, you will already see a network configuration for host name “localhost” and IP Address “”. The # character acts as a comment out command. Below this localhost reference, you will need to add the IP Address and host name just like localhost is. Do not preference this with a # as this will comment out that configuration. So the bottom of your hosts file should look similar to this:

hw 3

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