During Debian installation, I set my hostname to the wrong value, and now I would like to correct that.

3 Answers 3


The hostname is stored in three different files:

  • /etc/hostname Used as the hostname
  • /etc/hosts Helps resolving the hostname to an IP address
  • /etc/mailname Determines the hostname the mail server identifies itself

You might want to have a deeper look with grep -ir hostname /etc

Restarting affected services might be a good idea as well.


The value is stored in /etc/hostname. After modifying, apply it with /etc/init.d/hostname start

  • 1
    This fails in Debian 6. Which version are you using?
    – tshepang
    Jul 27, 2011 at 11:07

Various services may also depend on being able to resolve the hostname locally, which is often handled by an entry in the /etc/hosts file.

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