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  1. #1

    Question Hostname question during installation

    During Debian installation there is a question about Hostname and Domain Name using expert installation mode. Correct me if I'm wrong, but hostname should be only for local usage as it's associated with in /etc/hosts. However, I don't know any local network service, which uses instead of Do you? In this light hostname under Linux seems to be nothing more than a computer name in practice(but it can associated with local network services if one wants to)?

  2. #2
    Linux Engineer rcgreen's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    the hills
    I think the installer works from the assumption that every
    computer is connected to a network. There are exceptions
    that may seem to make the installer seem weird.

    One exception is if you are on dialup. You are only connected
    part of the time, and the ISP assigns the IP address and host
    name (which would seem meaningless to you anyway).

    This is partially true if you have cable internet. You may
    be connected all the time, but there is still a host name.

    I found mine by going to the "shields up" website.

    Your Internet connection's IP address is uniquely associated with the following "machine name":

    The string of text above is known as your Internet connection's "reverse DNS."
    This name is assigned by the provider when you connect. It is a
    public host name, visible to the internet. Since I have a
    NAT router, this name actually applies to the public "WAN" interface
    of my router, not my computer.

    If your computer was permanently connected to the net without
    dialup or cable or NAT, you would give it a true internet host
    and domain name, a fully qualified domain name
    like host dot domain dot com, or www dot linuxforums dot org.

    If you have a NAT router and more than one computer in
    your home or office, you have a private network
    and you can not only assign arbitrary names to your computers,
    but you can also assign private addresses to them, or let your
    router assign addresses. You can also assign a private domain
    name to your network, since the names and address do
    not propagate onto the internet (due to NAT routing)

    rcgreen@blue:~$ nslookup blue
    Non-authoritative answer:
    Name:	blue.localdomain
    I run a private name server, on the local host, and it resolves
    both a host name and an arbitrary domain "localdomain"

    I don't know if the host name is strictly necessary for
    installing the operating system. A lot of people have
    installed Windows over the years and left the hostname blank.

    Also, Windows local networking uses something called
    a netbios name, which is similar but not exactly the
    same as a host name.

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