HOSTNAME(1) Linux Programmers Manual HOSTNAME(1)
hostname - show or set the systems host name
dnsdomainname - show the systems DNS domain name
hostname [-v] [-a] [--alias] [-d] [--domain] [-f] [--fqdn] [-i] [--ip-
address] [--long] [-s] [--short] [-y] [--yp] [--nis]
hostname [-v] [-F filename] [--file filename] [hostname]
hostname [-v] [-h] [--help] [-V] [--version]
Hostname 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 pro
grams to identify the machine. The domain name is also used by NIS/YP.
When called without any arguments, the program displays the current
hostname will print the name of the system as returned by the gethost
dnsdomainname will print the domain part of the FQDN (Fully Qualified
Domain Name). The complete FQDN of the system is returned with hostname
When called with one argument or with the --file option, the commands
set the host name or the NIS/YP domain name.
Note, that only the super-user can change the names.
It is not possible to set the FQDN or the DNS domain name with the dns
domainname command (see THE FQDN below).
The host name is usually set once at system startup in
/etc/rc.d/rc.inet1 or /etc/init.d/boot (normally by reading the con
tents of a file which contains the host name, e.g. /etc/hostname).
You cant change the FQDN (as returned by hostname --fqdn) or the DNS
domain name (as returned by dnsdomainname) with this command. The FQDN
of the system is the name that the resolver(3) returns for the host
Technically: The FQDN is the name gethostbyname(2) returns for the host
name returned by gethostname(2). The DNS domain name is the part after
the first dot.
Therefore it depends on the configuration (usually in /etc/host.conf)
how you can change it. Usually (if the hosts file is parsed before DNS
or NIS) you can change it in /etc/hosts.
Display the alias name of the host (if used).
Display the name of the DNS domain. Dont use the command
domainname to get the DNS domain name because it will show the
NIS domain name and not the DNS domain name. Use dnsdomainname
-F, --file filename
Read the host name from the specified file. Comments (lines
starting with a #) are ignored.
-f, --fqdn, --long
Display the FQDN (Fully Qualified Domain Name). A FQDN consists
of a short host name and the DNS domain name. Unless you are
using bind or NIS for host lookups you can change the FQDN and
the DNS domain name (which is part of the FQDN) in the
Print a usage message and exit.
Display the network address(es) of the host.
Display the short host name. This is the host name cut at the
Print version information on standard output and exit success
Be verbose and tell whats going on.
-y, --yp, --nis
Display the NIS domain name. If a parameter is given (or --file
name ) then root can also set a new NIS domain.
The address families hostname tries when looking up the FQDN, aliases
and network addresses of the host are determined by the configuration
of your resolver. For instance, on GNU Libc systems, the resolver can
be instructed to try IPv6 lookups first by using the inet6 option in
Bernd Eckenfels, (NIS and manpage).
net-tools 28 Jan 1996 HOSTNAME(1)