Modify Server Hostname Using SSH in CentOS

.Change the hostname on a running system

On any Linux system, the hostname can be modified using the command ‘hostname’ Here are some quick usages of the command line hostname:


without any parameter it will output the current hostname of the system.

hostname --fqd

it will output the fully qualified domain name (or FQDN) of the system.

hostname NEW_NAME

will set the hostname of the system to NEW_NAME. This is active right away and will remain like that until the system will be rebooted (because at system boot it will set this from some particular file configurations – see bellow how to set this permanently). You will most probably need to exit the current shell in order to see the change in your shell prompt.


RedHat based system use the file /etc/sysconfig/network to read the saved hostname at system boot. This is set using the init script /etc/rc.d/rc.sysinit


So in order to preserve your change on system reboot edit this file and enter the appropriate name using the HOSTNAME variable.

Use sysctl to change the hostname

Why would someone need a different method of doing the same thing as above? No idea, but here is anyway: use sysctl to change the variable kernel.hostname: Use:

sysctl kernel.hostname

to read the current hostname, and

sysctl kernel.hostname=NEW_HOSTNAME

to change it.

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