For some time now I’ve been using the .dev TLD as my localhost TLD of preference. Prior to that, I used .local, but ran into issues with mDNS and Apple’s bonjour network discovery. So, .dev it is for now. Overall I haven’t had a lot of issues with setting up a local TLD. The process is pretty straight forward; add the domain to your /etc/hosts pointing it to your local loopback. The issue is that Chrome’s and FF’s universal input bars just aren’t intelligent enough. With a recent project, I just tried to setup a subdomain which performs a google search every time. I’m now scouring through the Chrome configs to see where I can set exceptions; haven’t found it yet.

Why not have a universally accepted localhost TLD though? It seems pretty logical to me and there could certainly be many purposes to having something like this. ICANN is already in the process of deploying new gTLD’s in an effort to make more loot, where companies are already contracting for their own gTLD’s. I fully expect that these gTLD’s will turn into service wrappers, so why not have something for localhost?

So, I guess maybe you’re wondering what the solution is to this to at least get it working? The good news is, it’s super easy! Just add http(s):// before the domain to train Chrome not to perform a search and instead use the protocol. It’s an easy solution, maybe not obvious in a day where we rarely see or use the protocol with the url, and increasing less so as we move into an age of crazy gTLDs.