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Chapter 12. Changing a hostname

The hostname of a system is the name on the system itself. You can set the name when you install RHEL, and you can change it afterwards.

12.1. Changing a hostname using nmcli

You can use the nmcli utility to update the system hostname. Note that other utilities, might use a different term, such as static or persistent hostname.

Procedure

  1. Optional: Display the current hostname setting:

    # nmcli general hostname
    old-hostname.example.com
  2. Set the new hostname:

    # nmcli general hostname new-hostname.example.com
  3. NetworkManager automatically restarts the systemd-hostnamed to activate the new name. However, the following manual actions can be required if you do not want to reboot the host:

    1. Restart all services that only read the hostname when the service starts:

      # systemctl restart service_name
    2. Active shell users must re-login for the changes to take effect.

Verification

  • Display the hostname:

    # nmcli general hostname
    new-hostname.example.com

12.2. Changing a hostname using hostnamectl

You can use the hostnamectl utility to update the hostname. By default, this utility sets the following hostname types:

  • Static hostname: Stored in the /etc/hostname file. Typically, services use this name as the hostname.
  • Pretty hostname: A descriptive name, such as Proxy server in data center A.
  • Transient hostname: A fall-back value that is typically received from the network configuration.

Procedure

  1. Optional: Display the current hostname setting:

    # hostnamectl status --static
    old-hostname.example.com
  2. Set the new hostname:

    # hostnamectl set-hostname new-hostname.example.com

    This command sets the static, pretty, and transient hostname to the new value. To set only a specific type, pass the --static, --pretty, or --transient option to the command.

  3. The hostnamectl utility automatically restarts the systemd-hostnamed to activate the new name. However, the following manual actions can be required if you do not want to reboot the host:

    1. Restart all services that only read the hostname when the service starts:

      # systemctl restart service_name
    2. Active shell users must re-login for the changes to take effect.

Verification

  • Display the hostname:

    # hostnamectl status --static
    new-hostname.example.com

Additional resources

  • hostnamectl(1)
  • systemd-hostnamed.service(8)