If you are upgrading from a previous version, skip to the Upgrade Instructions.

The installation of Hostess is easy. First you must create a directory, such as "C:\Hostess". Extract the contents of the ZIP file into this folder, preserving the directory structure. Using WinZip, for example, make sure the "Use folder names" option is checked when extracting.

All Hostess files are contained in a single directory tree. No DLL files are copied to system directories and no registry changes are made. All data and settings saved by Hostess are written to files in the application directory.

Hostess.exe is the main (and only) executable. To create a shortcut to the program on your desktop, open up the Hostess folder in Windows Explorer. Right-click on Hostess.exe and drag it onto your desktop. When you release the right mouse button, a menu will appear. Select "Create Shortcut(s) Here" to finish the task.

The files included in the Hostess archive are:

Hostess creates and maintains four files for storing your hosts information:

When you run Hostess for the first time, it will ask if you wish to import the contents of your current HOSTS file (if one exists). See the Import section for more information.

Should you ever need to uninstall Hostess, simply delete the Hostess directory and any shortcuts you may have created. If you want to return your HOSTS file to its original state, delete everything except the following line: localhost

Upgrade Instructions

Hostess' internal database structures have changed between major revisions (the first digit of the version number). If you are upgrading from a 3.x or earlier version of Hostess, you must follow the instructions below to convert your data into the new database format.

Step 1: Export your current database to a text file.
Run your existing version of Hostess and do an export, making sure to include every group and write group comments. You are going to import this file into the new version.
Step 2: Remove the old Hostess.
If you want, backup your existing Hostess directory before deleting everything (yes, everything!) in it. Alternately, you can leave it alone and install the new version into a different folder.
Step 3: Install the new version of Hostess.
Extract the contents of the zip file into the Hostess directory, making sure to preserve the directory structure in the zip file. If installing into the old directory, the existing shortcuts should still work, but you might want to update the icon (right-click, Properties, Change Icon).
Step 4: Import the old data.
Run the new Hostess and answer "No" when it asks if you want to import your HOSTS file. Instead, go to File|Import and import the file that you created in step #1. Make sure the import is set to create new groups as needed. You have now successfully completed the upgrade and can turn your attention to the new features! Preferences would be a great place to start, followed by reviewing your groups for any that (don't) belong in the Restricted Zone or the HOSTS file.

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