Setting the Hostname on Ubuntu 24.04

Changing the hostname of your Ubuntu 24.04 server or desktop is an important task that can help in easier identification of your system within a network. The hostname is essentially the name that your computer uses to identify itself to other devices on the network. This guide will walk you through the process of setting or changing the hostname on Ubuntu 24.04.

In this tutorial you will learn:

  • How to check the current hostname
  • How to change the hostname temporarily
  • How to change the hostname permanently
Setting the Hostname on Ubuntu 24.04
Setting the Hostname on Ubuntu 24.04

Understanding Hostnames

Before diving into the steps for changing the hostname, it’s essential to understand what a hostname represents. A hostname can be any name you assign to your computer, helping you and others on the network to identify it among many devices. Hostnames are crucial in various network operations and server management tasks.

  1. Checking the Current Hostname: It’s important to know the existing hostname before making any changes.
    $ hostname

    Checking the Current Hostname
    Checking the Current Hostname

    This command displays the current hostname of your system. Knowing your current hostname is crucial as it allows you to ensure that you’re changing the right parameter and helps in avoiding any confusion in network configurations.

  2. Changing the Hostname Temporarily: Learn how to change your system’s hostname without restarting.
    $ sudo hostname linuxconfig
    Changing the Hostname Temporarily
    Changing the Hostname Temporarily

    This command changes the hostname for the current session. This change is temporary and will revert back to the original hostname after a system restart. It’s useful for temporary adjustments or testing.

  3. Changing the Hostname Permanently: For a permanent change, you need to edit a system file.
    $ sudo hostnamectl set-hostname linuxconfig

    This command sets the hostname permanently. After executing this command, the change will persist across reboots. Check the hostname change with command:

    $ hostnamectl
    Changing the Hostname Permanently
    Changing the Hostname Permanently

    You may also need to edit the /etc/hosts file to reflect the new hostname to ensure all network services operate correctly with the new name.

    $ sudo nano /etc/hosts

    Add or modify the entry for to match your new hostname. This step is crucial for ensuring that local applications, such as the web server, can correctly resolve the hostname.


Changing your Ubuntu 24.04 system’s hostname can be done both temporarily and permanently. It’s a straightforward process that can significantly aid in managing your system within a network. Whether you’re setting up a new server or reconfiguring an existing one, understanding how to manage the hostname is an essential skill. Following the steps outlined in this tutorial, you can easily set your hostname to something that fits your network configuration and personal preferences.

Frequently Asked Questions about Changing Hostname on Ubuntu 24.04

1. What is a static hostname and how does it differ from a transient hostname?
A static hostname is the name of the system that is stored in the /etc/hostname file and does not change until you manually edit this file or use a tool like hostnamectl to change it. A transient hostname, on the other hand, is temporary and can be set by DHCP or other network services during system boot. It’s the name your system uses in the current session and can be changed with the hostname command, reverting back after a reboot.
2. Can I use special characters in my Ubuntu hostname?
No, it’s recommended to use only alphanumeric characters (A-Z, a-z, 0-9), the dash (-), and the period (.) in hostnames. Special characters or spaces can cause unexpected behavior in network operations and services.
3. How do I verify my new hostname on Ubuntu 24.04?
After changing your hostname, you can verify it by typing `hostnamectl` or `hostname` in the terminal. Both commands should display the new hostname.
4. Do I need to restart my system after changing the hostname?
If you use `hostnamectl` to change the hostname, a system restart is not necessary because the change is applied immediately and persists across reboots. However, if you manually edit the /etc/hostname file, a restart or a logout/login might be required for all services to recognize the new hostname.
5. How can changing the hostname affect network services?
Changing the hostname might affect services that rely on the system’s name for authentication or logging, such as SSH or network file sharing services. It’s important to update any relevant configurations to reflect the new hostname.
6. Is it possible to have multiple hostnames for a single system?
A system can have one static and one transient hostname at any given time. However, you can use aliases, defined in the /etc/hosts file, to allow a system to respond to multiple names.
7. How does changing the hostname affect remote access?
If you access your system using its hostname (rather than its IP address), changing the hostname will require you to update your remote access configurations (like SSH) to use the new hostname.
8. Can I change the hostname without sudo privileges?
No, changing the hostname requires root or sudo privileges because it affects system-wide settings and files.
9. What file do I edit to change the hostname permanently?
To change the hostname permanently, you should use the `hostnamectl set-hostname new-hostname` command. Manually, you can edit the /etc/hostname file, but using hostnamectl is recommended for consistency and ease.
10. How do I undo a hostname change?
To undo a hostname change, simply set the hostname back to its original value using the `hostnamectl set-hostname original-hostname` command or manually edit the /etc/hostname and /etc/hosts files if necessary.
11. What are the limitations of hostname length in Ubuntu 24.04?
The maximum length for a hostname in Ubuntu 24.04, following the Internet standards (RFC 1123), is 253 characters. However, for practical purposes and ease of use, shorter names are recommended.
12. How do I change the hostname on a Ubuntu 24.04 server without a GUI?
On a server without a GUI, you can change the hostname using the `hostnamectl set-hostname new-hostname` command via the terminal. This method works the same in both server and desktop editions.
13. Does changing the hostname affect installed software?
Most software will not be affected by a hostname change. However, software that relies on the system’s hostname for licensing or configuration purposes may require adjustments or reconfiguration.
14. How do I resolve hostname resolution errors after changing the hostname?
If you encounter hostname resolution errors, ensure your /etc/hosts file contains a correct entry for (or for some configurations) matching your new hostname. This ensures local hostname resolution works correctly.