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Linux change my hostname / computer system name

Q. I’m using Ubuntu Linux. How do I change my hostname or the machine name?

A.. You need to use hostname command, which is used to either set or display the current host or domain name of the system. This name is used by many of the networking programs to identify the machine.

Following instructions should work on both Debian and Ubuntu Linux systems.

Task: Display current hostname

Just type hostname command print the name of the system:
$ hostname


Task: Change hostname

Set hostname to desktop.nixcraft.com:
# hostname desktop.nixcraft.com
# hostname



Task: Change hostname permanently

You need to edit a file called /etc/hostname:
# vi /etc/hostname
Set new hostname:


Save and close the file.

A note for Redhat / CentOS Linux users

If you are using CentOS or Fedora or Redhat (RHEL) Linux, see this FAQ.

{ 12 comments… add one }

  • Michael Stelly August 2, 2009, 4:33 am

    Thanks. That’s exactly what I needed!

  • papa February 10, 2011, 7:34 pm

    hostname papa.nixcraft.com —temp changing the hostname
    For Permanent
    vim /etc/hosts
    vim /etc/sysconfig/network

    • tong November 8, 2011, 4:23 am

      i did as you tell but can’t ping to hostname. My hostname is linuxserver, when i use command ping it appear connect: Network is unreachable.

  • root May 31, 2011, 2:21 pm

    after changing, type “bash” and the prompt will change to the newest hostname your just changed.

  • name June 4, 2011, 12:00 am

    this just doesn’t work, it seems like it does but you wont be able to use “sudo” anymore…..

  • Deviram yaduwanshi June 7, 2011, 4:53 am

    hostname change command

  • Bob December 31, 2011, 10:14 am

    Thanks for pointing me to the right direction.
    As for me and perhaps ppl using certain distro, may have to edit the /etc/hosts file as well.
    sudo gedit /etc/hosts localhost newhostnamehere
    Look for the line that says: originalname
    and change it to the newhostname

    PS: until I fix this, sudo took a long time trying to but fail to “resolve” the name, before asking for password and the GUI ‘update’ taskbar icon and GUI package manager stop working.

    • arik1 November 30, 2014, 3:30 pm

      The same thing happened to me, thanks for the comment

  • haji March 2, 2012, 3:08 pm

    my need change host name in centos 5.7 ??

  • martin April 27, 2012, 11:16 am

    Really from my own point of view it is so amazing to use it please i need some e-book how to use it.

  • Kitana August 21, 2012, 11:11 pm

    Setting up a CentOS 6 box today and was able to use the hostname command successfully without errors. Not sure why using the other FAQ is suggested.

  • ashkan March 10, 2015, 7:46 am

    so useful, thanks a lot!!!

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