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I am following these instructions to modify the hosts file (map IPs to names) and it says it is under /system/etc. When I went into my Android file browser, I did not find that directory. Is it because the phone is not rooted and how can I access that file?

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    If your device is not rooted, you cannot edit that file, no. Even if it is in a different location. To edit the hosts file you need root access.
    – Izzy
    Jan 11 at 0:03
  • What are you trying to do? If it's for debugging an android app you might want to use an emulator ;)
    – Anteino
    Jan 11 at 0:26
  • I am trying to see my laptop on the same wifi network by its name and not by its IP address and I am unable to do DNS on the wifi router -- so I would like to assign the name to its IP in the Android hosts file
    – amphibient
    Jan 11 at 2:48
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You can try using an app like Hosts Go that doesn't require root and allows you to set custom host entries.

The app is available from Google Play.

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