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GNU/Linux Desktop Survival Guide
by Graham Williams

Changing Hostnames

Changing your hostname is not always trivial. Over time it permeates to various files in /etc. But the starting point to changing your hostname, for example from porsche to zafira is:

  # hostname zafira

To ensure the changed hostname will survive a reboot edit /etc/hostname to make the same change. This is where the name is obtained at boot time.

Then search through /etc for occurrences of the old name, just in case:

  # grep -r -n porsche /etc

Typically you will find the hostname hardwired in /etc/hosts, /etc/mailname, /etc/motd, and various apache, ppp, ssh, and exim files, depending on your setup. These can probably be edited by hand to replace the hostname.

While these changes can generally be made without any problem, there are rare occasions where the next reboot might complain. It's useful to be careful, but not concerned!

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