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How To Change Hostname on Debian 12

Change Hostname on Debian 12

In this tutorial, we will show you how to change the hostname on Debian 12. A hostname is a label assigned to a device within a network, aiding in system identification and network communication. In Debian 12, the hostname is essential for various purposes, such as facilitating secure remote access, managing network services, and establishing a distinct system identity. By choosing a meaningful and descriptive hostname, you can personalize your Debian 12 system and enhance its overall functionality.

This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you the step-by-step change of the hostname on a Debian 12 (Bookworm).


  • A server running one of the following operating systems: Debian 12 (Bookworm).
  • It’s recommended that you use a fresh OS install to prevent any potential issues.
  • SSH access to the server (or just open Terminal if you’re on a desktop).
  • An active internet connection.
  • A non-root sudo user or access to the root user. We recommend acting as a non-root sudo user, however, as you can harm your system if you’re not careful when acting as the root.

Change Hostname on Debian 12 Bookworm

Step 1. Before we install any software, it’s important to make sure your system is up to date by running the following apt commands in the terminal:

sudo apt update

This command will refresh the repository, allowing you to install the latest versions of software packages.

Step 2. Checking the Current Hostname.

To determine the current hostname in Debian 12, open the command line interface (CLI) and execute the following command:


This command displays information about the system, including the current hostname.

Step 3. Change the hostname on Debian 12.

Debian 12 provides multiple methods to change the hostname. Let’s explore three commonly used methods along with their respective steps:

  • A. Method 1: Using the “hostnamectl” Command:

The “hostnamectl” command offers a convenient way to change the hostname in Debian 12. Follow these steps:

sudo hostnamectl set-hostname <new_hostname>

Replace <new_hostname> with your desired hostname. This command updates the hostname and takes effect immediately.

Verify the hostname change by executing the following command:


The output should display the updated hostname.

  • B. Method 2: Modifying the “hostname” File:

Another method to change the hostname involves modifying the “hostname” file. Here’s how you can do it:

sudo nano /etc/hostname

Replace the existing hostname with your desired one, ensuring it follows the prescribed naming conventions, save the changes, exit the text editor and finally restart the networking service to apply the new hostname:

sudo systemctl restart networking.service

Verify the changes by running the hostnamectl command:

  • C. Method 3: Editing the “/etc/hosts” File:

The “/etc/hosts” file contains the IP address and hostname mappings. Follow these steps to change the hostname:

sudo nano /etc/hosts

Locate the line containing the old hostname and replace it with your desired hostname and save the changes and exit the text editor.

Verify the changes by pinging the new hostname:

ping <new_hostname>

Step 4. Troubleshooting Common Issues

If you encounter issues after changing the hostname, consider the following troubleshooting tips:

  1. Double-check the hostname spelling and syntax to ensure accuracy.

  2. Restart the system if the changes do not take effect immediately.

  3. Consult online forums, Debian documentation, or relevant community resources for additional guidance.

Congratulations! You have successfully changed the hostname. Thanks for using this tutorial to change the hostname on Debian 12 Bookworm. For additional help or useful information, we recommend you check the official Debian website.

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r00t is a seasoned Linux system administrator with a wealth of experience in the field. Known for his contributions to, r00t has authored numerous tutorials and guides, helping users navigate the complexities of Linux systems. His expertise spans across various Linux distributions, including Ubuntu, CentOS, and Debian. r00t's work is characterized by his ability to simplify complex concepts, making Linux more accessible to users of all skill levels. His dedication to the Linux community and his commitment to sharing knowledge makes him a respected figure in the field.
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