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hostname


hostname


  1  definition  found 
 
  From  The  Free  On-line  Dictionary  of  Computing  (13  Mar  01)  [foldoc]: 
 
  hostname 
 
  1.  (Or  "sitename").  The  unique  name  by  which  a  computer  is 
  known  on  a  {network},  used  to  identify  it  in  {electronic 
  mail},  {Usenet}  {news},  or  other  forms  of  electronic 
  information  interchange. 
 
  On  {Internet}  the  hostname  is  an  {ASCII}  string, 
  e.g.  "foldoc.doc.ic.ac.uk"  which  consists  of  a  local  part 
  (foldoc)  and  a  {domain}  name  (doc.ic.ac.uk).  The  hostname  is 
  translated  into  an  {Internet  address}  either  via  the 
  /etc/hosts  file,  {NIS}  or  by  the  {Domain  Name  System}  (DNS)  or 
  {resolver}.  It  is  possible  for  one  computer  to  have  several 
  hostnames  (aliases)  though  one  is  designated  as  its 
  {canonical}  name 
 
  It  is  often  possible  to  guess  a  hostname  for  a  particular 
  institution.  This  is  useful  if  you  want  to  know  if  they 
  operate  network  services  like  {anonymous  FTP},  {World-Wide 
  Web}  or  {finger}.  First  try  the  institution's  name  or  obvious 
  abbreviations  thereof,  with  the  appropriate  {domain}  appended, 
  e.g.  "mit.edu".  If  this  fails  prepend  "ftp."  or  "www."  as 
  appropriate,  e.g.  "www.data-io.com".  You  can  use  the  {ping} 
  command  as  a  quick  way  to  test  whether  a  hostname  is  valid. 
 
  The  folklore  interest  of  hostnames  stems  from  the  creativity 
  and  humour  they  often  display.  Interpreting  a  sitename  is  not 
  unlike  interpreting  a  vanity  licence  plate;  one  has  to 
  mentally  unpack  it  allowing  for  mono-case  and  length 
  restrictions  and  the  lack  of  whitespace.  Hacker  tradition 
  deprecates  dull,  institutional-sounding  names  in  favour  of 
  punchy,  humorous,  and  clever  coinages  (except  that  it  is 
  considered  appropriate  for  the  official  public  gateway  machine 
  of  an  organisation  to  bear  the  organisation's  name  or 
  acronym).  Mythological  references,  cartoon  characters,  animal 
  names  and  allusions  to  SF  or  fantasy  literature  are  probably 
  the  most  popular  sources  for  sitenames  (in  roughly  descending 
  order).  The  obligatory  comment  is  Harris's  Lament:  "All  the 
  good  ones  are  taken!" 
 
  See  also  {network  address}. 
 
  2.  {Berkeley}  {Unix}  command  to  set  and  get  the  application 
  level  name  used  by  the  host. 
 
  {Unix  manual  page}:  hostname(1). 
 
  (1995-02-16)