Modify hostname

This guide describes how to modify and view the hostname of your Clear Linux* OS system.


By default, Clear Linux OS installations have a machine generated name, which is a long string of letters and numbers. The generated name is fine for computers but is not human-friendly. Administrators and users will often want to rename their machines with a name that is easier to remember, type, and search for. Renaming a machine also makes it easier to identify, by including meaningful data in the name. The following examples show human-friendly machine names:

  • regression-test

  • sally-test-box1

  • az-bldg2-lab

Set your hostname

Clear Linux OS uses the hostnamectl command to display and modify the machine name. hostnamectl is part of the os-core bundle, which provides a basic Linux* user space and utilities.

This example sets the hostname to telemetry-test-2-h15, to identify a Clear Linux OS telemetry test machine on the second floor at grid location H15. Make sure to reboot after setting a new hostname.

sudo hostnamectl set-hostname telemetry-test-2-h15
sudo reboot


There are three types of hostname: static, transient, and pretty. The most common is the static hostname. Static hostnames must be between two and 63 characters long, must start and end with a letter or number, and may contain letters (case-insensitive), numbers, dashes, or dots.

If the static hostname exists, it is used to generate the transient hostname, which is maintained by the kernel. The transient hostname can be changed by DHCP or mDNS at runtime.

The pretty hostname is a free-form UTF8 name used for presentation to the user.

View your hostname

View your current hostname using the following command:


You should see output similar to:

Static hostname   : telemetry-test-2-h15
Pretty hostname   : telemetry-test-2-h15
Icon name         : computer-desktop
Chassis           : desktop
Machine ID        : 4d0d60207a904ebbab96680a51ac1339
Boot ID           : 98d3514e5a984e8cbbdf46a2f0d6b397
Operating System  : Clear Linux OS
Kernel            : Linux 4.18.8-632.native
Architecture      : x86-64

Congratulations! You successfully modified the hostname of your Clear Linux OS system.