Block Ads and Malware Sites with a Unified Host File

Dmitri Popov

Productivity Sauce

May 25, 2016 GMT
Dmitri Popov

Instead of blocking ads and malware sites using a specialized browser extension, you can enable the blocking at system level. This way, you don't need to install adblocking extensions on every browser you use. Better still, fewer extensions in your browser mean reduced memory usage and faster speed.

Enabling system-wide blocking is a matter of adding a list of hosts you want to block to the /etc/hosts file. And there are plenty of websites that maintain regularly updated lists of hosts worth blocking, including github.com/StevenBlack/hosts. Copy the contents of a unified host file (e.g., raw.githubusercontent.com/StevenBlack/hosts/master/hosts), open the hosts file (on Ubuntu, you can do this using the sudo gedit /etc/hosts command), and paste the copied contents into it. Restart networking (run the sudo service network-manager restart command on Ubuntu), and you are done.

Since the unified host files are updated regularly, you need a way to keep your /etc/hosts file up-to-date too. And the hBlock script can do this automatically. Run the script, and it will compile a unified host file from multiple sources and update the /etc/hosts file.

Source: Dear redditors, how does one go about ad-blocking through the hosts file?

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