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A Hostname is the name given either to localhost, a computer on a LAN, or a node in the DNS hierarchy.

To find out your hostname, use the following command:

$ uname -n


$ hostname

The hostname of a computer can be changed in several different ways. In Red Hat, to permanently change the hostname, modify the HOSTNAME value in: /etc/sysconfig/network

To immediately (but not permanently) change the hostname:

$ hostname newhostname


Changing the hostname can make X WindoWing programs not start any longer:

tweedleburg:~ # xclock
tweedleburg:~ # hostname bla
tweedleburg:~ # xclock
No protocol specified
Error: Can't open display: :0.0

Provided by

Not all distributions provide this command, but most (all?) of the ones that do incorporate this from the GNU Coreutils: and use its man page

Related Commands

All of these relate to system-wide information.

  • date - set or show the time.
  • arch - show CPU hardware details.
  • nproc - Show the number of cores.
  • uname - Show host and kernel information.
  • hostid - Show the host's numeric ID.
  • uptime - Show system uptime and recent load averages.

See also