How to change hostname without reboot on Linux

In order to change hostname on Linux, you need to update a configuration file containing hostname, and then let the kernel know that hostname has been changed. The latter step is needed since the kernel still remembers an old hostname until the next reboot. In order to change hostname without reboot, do the following.

To change hostname on CentOS/RedHat without reboot:

$ sudo hostname [my_host_name]
$ sudo service syslog restart

If you want to make this hostname change permanent on CentOS/RedHat, you need to do the following.

$ sudo vi /etc/sysconfig/network

To change hostname on Debian/Ubuntu without reboot, you first put a new host name in /etc/hostname.

$ sudo vi /etc/hostname

Then, run the following to make the change effective.

$ sudo /etc/init.d/ start

An alternative distro-independent method to change hostname at runtime is to update hostname via /proc pseudo-file system.

$ sudo echo [my_host_name] > /proc/sys/kernel/hostname

You can verify whether hostname has been changed successfully by running:

$ hostname

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Dan Nanni is the founder and also a regular contributor of He is a Linux/FOSS enthusiast who loves to get his hands dirty with his Linux box. He likes to procrastinate when he is supposed to be busy and productive. When he is otherwise free, he likes to watch movies and shop for the coolest gadgets.

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