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How to configure a hostname on a Linux system

Make it easier to access your Linux computer by giving it a human-friendly name that's simpler to use than an IP address.
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Laptop displaying text saying "this is where you are"

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Each person has a unique identity, such as their name and birth date. Computers also have individual identities, specifically, their hostnames and internet protocol (IP) addresses. Each machine has a valid IP address, but referring to a system by its IP address is not practical.

Instead, you can configure a computer's hostname, which is the machine's human-friendly name. You can map the hostname to the IP address so that it's easy to connect to a machine using its name.

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Configure a static hostname

Display the system's hostname using:

$ hostname

You can also use the hostname command to modify the system's name temporarily. Here's an example:

$ hostname demo.example.com
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hostname configuration commands
(Shiwani Biradar, CC BY-SA 4.0)

This change is only temporary. After a reboot, all changes will revert.

Configure a persistent hostname

To persistently change the hostname, use the hostnamectl command, or directly modify the default configuration file /etc/hostname.

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Here's an example of modifying the hostname permanently using the hostnamectl command. This shows the change:

$ hostnamectl set-hostname server1.example.com
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hostnamectl commands
(Shiwani Biradar, CC BY-SA 4.0)

After executing this command, don't forget to verify the change using the hostname command.

You can confirm this entry by displaying the /etc/hostname file contents.

Wrap up

These examples show you how to configure the hostname for your machine. Note that during the configuration steps, your system will not automatically resolve the hostname with the IP address. This article covers only how to configure the hostname for a machine.

Check out these related articles on Enable Sysadmin

Topics:   Linux   Certification   Linux administration  
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Shiwani Biradar

Shiwani Biradar is an Associate Technical support Engineer in Red Hat. She loves contributing to open source projects and communities. Shiwani never stops exploring new technologies. If you don't find her exploring technologies then you will find her exploring food. More about me

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