After yet another question asking how to bring hostname-awareness for proxying purposes to a protocol that doesn't have any support for it, is it time for a canonical question on hostname-aware proxying, plus a good answer on how DNS works, the few protocols that are hostname-aware and how they do it, and the impossibility of a general solution for all other protocols? I'm happy to take a stab at a short question, and longer answer, but wanted to take your minds on whether it was desirable before so doing.

Edit: thanks to HBruijn and upvoters for support, and especially to kasperd for some excellent suggestions. The QA now appears here, and people should feel free to amend/vote/mock as appropriate.

  • 1
    Thanks for bringing this up and the QA you wrote. Highly appreciated!
    – gxx
    Commented Oct 17, 2017 at 13:11

2 Answers 2


Good idea!


I think it would be a good canonical question to have. I imagine the core of the question would be roughly this:

Which protocols support hostname based proxying and what can I do if I need to support a protocol which doesn't?

But some context on why you would want to do such a thing in the first place could make it a better question.

The list of protocols in the answer would as far as I know amount to HTTP, SSL, FTP, DNS, and SMTP with a few caveats.

I think it is also relevant to have canonical questions about individual protocols for the most popular protocols. I have treated this question as canonical for SSH. For FTP I think this is the best answer.

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