Re: funny hostname thing..

From: Peter T. Breuer (
Date: 08/16/03

Date: Sat, 16 Aug 2003 22:56:44 +0200

jon akeson <> wrote:
> Hi. I just blew away Windows XP and installed LINUX on my laptop PC.
> The Windows OS has a host name of 'geranium'. I am connected to a DSL
> router that provides DHCP addresses to the computer. An 'nslookup' or

And what hostname do you tell the dsl router that you have? What

> 'host' command, looking for the host name 'geranium' will find nothing
> from the DNS servers I use with the DSL line. Apparently the DSL

But what domain do you search in? "geranium" is not a FQDN! You can't
look it up without a domain as context!

> router provides the DHCP address, and the router itself has a static
> address; it has some page-and-a-half-long DNS name that does not look
> or sound like 'geranium'.


> So I threw the CD in my laptop and blew away 'geranium'. Formatted

Why? All you have to do is give yourself a FQDN, of the form
"". That's it. Make sure it is alieased to "geranium"
in /etc/hosts - not that it matters overmuch since you will be telling
your dhcp server whatyour hostname and domain is, and it apparently is
where you are looking things up via dns.

> everything, etc. The install was pretty much default. I do not

Then don't do a "default". That means "idiot computer style". Take

> believe I ever told the LINUX intaller what to call the PC, but when

Then tell it.

> the thing boots up and goes into GNOME it starts out with an error
> that says 'can't find DNS entry for "geranium"..'

Obviously since you didn't tell the dhcp client to tell the server the
hostname, the server is telling you your hostname. And you haven't
got the gumption to stick up for yourself, or give the router as dns
server ..

> How does my fresh new LINUX install know what my old hostname is?

It doesn't. Ask your router/dhcp server.