Hi Dave! I saw your earlier tutorial on how to rename a Windows PC, but what about a Linux system? I’m running Ubuntu Linux and want to rename the computer…
There are some aspects to running a Linux system that are complicated and the interface isn’t quite as elegant or well polished as a Mac, say, or even the most modern version of Microsoft Windows. Still, there’s a lot that’s way easier on a Linux system – particularly an end-user oriented system like Ubuntu Linux – that will surprise most novices. Still figuring Linux is for the nerd set and not something you can use? You might be surprised…
Anyway, in terms of things like a system name, that’s surprisingly easy to accomplish, but you do need to be a bit careful that there aren’t any network services assuming a specific name for your system that’s now going to change. For example, if your Linux system is a file and print server, some connections from other systems might fail and need to be updated. Usually that’s straightforward, but knowing things might change should encourage an appropriate level of caution as you proceed.
To start, let’s open up a Terminal or X-Term window. Then type in both uname -a and uname -n to get all the version and system name information. Here’s mine:
uname -a is just what you want, offering up kernel name, node (system) name, kernel release, kernel version, machine, processor, hardware platform and operating system. As you can see, it’s Ubuntu Linux 16.04.1. The second invocation of uname with the -n flag just extracts the system or “node” name: ubuntubox.
To change it, the easiest way is to go to System Settings…
See the “Details” option along the bottom with the gear wheel? That’s the one you want to select.
Click on “Details” to proceed and you’ll immediately see your Linux node / system name:
Changing it is quite literally as simple as typing something new into the box:
It’s a bit disconcerting that there’s no Save button, but it does indeed work. Try typing in a new name then going back to the Terminal or X-Term window and redoing the uname -n command:
There ya go. A Linux box called Floyd. 🙂
Pro Tip: While you’re here, do check out our extensive Linux help area!