hostname man page on ElementaryOS

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HOSTNAME(1)		   Linux Programmer's Manual		   HOSTNAME(1)

       hostname - show or set the system's host name
       domainname - show or set the system's NIS/YP domain name
       ypdomainname - show or set the system's NIS/YP domain name
       nisdomainname - show or set the system's NIS/YP domain name
       dnsdomainname - show the system's DNS domain name

       hostname [-a|--alias] [-d|--domain] [-f|--fqdn|--long] [-A|--all-fqdns]
       [-i|--ip-address] [-I|--all-ip-addresses] [-s|--short] [-y|--yp|--nis]
       hostname [-b|--boot] [-F|--file filename] [hostname]
       hostname [-h|--help] [-V|--version]

       domainname [nisdomain] [-F file]
       ypdomainname [nisdomain] [-F file]
       nisdomainname [nisdomain] [-F file]


       Hostname is used to display the system's DNS name, and  to  display  or
       set its hostname or NIS domain name.

       When  called  without  any  arguments, the program displays the current

       hostname will print the name of the system as returned by the  gethost‐
       name(2) function.

       domainname  will	 print	the  NIS domainname of the system.  domainname
       uses the gethostname(2) function, while ypdomainname and	 nisdomainname
       use the yp_get_default_domain(3).

       dnsdomainname  will  print the domain part of the FQDN (Fully Qualified
       Domain Name). The complete FQDN of the system is returned with hostname
       --fqdn (but see the warnings in section THE FQDN below).

       When  called  with one argument or with the --file option, the commands
       set the host name  or  the  NIS/YP  domain  name.   hostname  uses  the
       sethostname(2)  function,  while all of the three domainname, ypdomain‐
       name and nisdomainname use setdomainname(2).  Note, that this is effec‐
       tive  only  until  the  next  reboot.  Edit /etc/hostname for permanent

       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/init.d/ (normally by reading the	 contents  of  a  file
       which contains the host name, e.g.  /etc/hostname).

       The  FQDN  (Fully Qualified Domain Name) of the system is the name that
       the resolver(3) returns for the host name, such as,
       It  is  usually	the hostname followed by the DNS domain name (the part
       after the first dot).  You can check the FQDN using hostname --fqdn  or
       the domain name using dnsdomainname.

       You cannot change the FQDN with hostname or dnsdomainname.

       The  recommended	 method of setting the FQDN is to make the hostname be
       an alias for the fully qualified name using /etc/hosts,	DNS,  or  NIS.
       For  example,  if  the  hostname was "ursula", one might have a line in
       /etc/hosts which reads ursula

       Technically: The FQDN is the name getaddrinfo(3) 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 of the resolver  (usually  in
       /etc/host.conf) how you can change it. Usually the hosts file is parsed
       before DNS or NIS,  so  it  is  most  common  to	 change	 the  FQDN  in

       If  a machine has multiple network interfaces/addresses or is used in a
       mobile environment, then it may either have multiple FQDNs/domain names
       or  none	 at  all.  Therefore  avoid  using  hostname  --fqdn, hostname
       --domain and dnsdomainname.  hostname --ip-address is  subject  to  the
       same limitations so it should be avoided as well.

       -a, --alias
	      Display  the  alias  name	 of the host (if used). This option is
	      deprecated and should not be used anymore.

       -A, --all-fqdns
	      Displays all FQDNs of the machine. This  option  enumerates  all
	      configured  network  addresses  on all configured network inter‐
	      faces, and translates them to DNS domain names.  Addresses  that
	      cannot be translated (i.e. because they do not have an appropri‐
	      ate reverse IP entry) are skipped. Note that different addresses
	      may  resolve  to the same name, therefore the output may contain
	      duplicate entries. Do not make any assumptions about  the	 order
	      of the output.

       -b, --boot
	      Always  set  a hostname; this allows the file specified by -F to
	      be non-existant or empty, in which  case	the  default  hostname
	      localhost will be used if none is yet set.

       -d, --domain
	      Display  the  name  of  the  DNS	domain.	 Don't 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
	      instead. See the warnings in section THE FQDN above,  and	 avoid
	      using this option.

       -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
	      /etc/hosts  file. See the warnings in section THE FQDN above und
	      use hostname --all-fqdns instead wherever possible.

       -F, --file filename
	      Read the host name from  the  specified  file.  Comments	(lines
	      starting with a `#') are ignored.

       -i, --ip-address
	      Display the network address(es) of the host name. Note that this
	      works only if the host name can be resolved.  Avoid  using  this
	      option; use hostname --all-ip-addresses instead.

       -I, --all-ip-addresses
	      Display  all  network addresses of the host. This option enumer‐
	      ates all configured addresses on	all  network  interfaces.  The
	      loopback	interface  and	IPv6 link-local addresses are omitted.
	      Contrary to option -i, this option does not depend on name reso‐
	      lution.  Do not make any assumptions about the order of the out‐

       -s, --short
	      Display the short host name. This is the host name  cut  at  the
	      first dot.

       -V, --version
	      Print  version  information on standard output and exit success‐

       -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.

       -h, --help
	      Print a usage message and exit.

       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

       /etc/hostname  Historically  this file was supposed to only contain the
       hostname and not the full canonical FQDN.  Nowadays  most  software  is
       able  to	 cope with a full FQDN here. This file is read at boot time by
       the system initialization scripts to set the hostname.

       /etc/hosts Usually, this is where one sets the domain name by  aliasing
       the host name to the FQDN.

       Peter Tobias, <>
       Bernd Eckenfels, <> (NIS and manpage).
       Michael Meskes, <>

net-tools			  2009-09-16			   HOSTNAME(1)

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