How to Set a New Hostname on Raspberry Pi (3 ways)


You have probably already noticed that after the system installation, all Raspberry Pi on Raspberry Pi OS have the same name.
In this post, I will explain to you what it is and how to change it as you want.

There are 3 ways to set a new hostname on Raspberry Pi OS:
– By using raspi-config in a terminal (or SSH).
– By editing the /etc/hostname file.
– Or by using the Raspberry Pi Configuration tool on the Desktop version.

That’s it for the short answer, I will now give you all the details to use each method.
I will start with a quick reminder about the hostname role.

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The hostname on Raspberry Pi

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What is a hostname?

On a network, devices will use a few identifiers like the IP address or MAC address.
They also have a label, mainly to help us to identify which device has which IP (the hostname).

For example, when you do a network scan (as explained here), it will generally give you the IP and MAC address but also a name (the hostname):

You can set what you want as a hostname, but you need to avoid using the same hostname on several devices.
Valid hostnames are between 1 and 63 characters, with only letters (a-z), digits (0-9) and hyphens (-).

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What is the default value?

On Raspberry Pi, the default value is “raspberrypi”.
You can check that with the following command:
hostname

Any fresh new Raspberry Pi OS installation will get this default hostname, even if you already have another Raspberry Pi on your network.
Even if it’s not mandatory, it’s a good practice to change it after the installation (we’ll learn how to do this in the next section).

3 ways to set a new hostname on Raspberry Pi

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Let’s look at how to change the default hostname to a custom name.
I will show you three different ways to do this now.

Edit the file configuration

Open and edit the /etc/hostname file

This first solution works on almost any Linux distribution.
There is a file on most systems with the device hostname inside.
On Raspberry Pi OS, this file is /etc/hostname.

Here is how to change it:

  • Open the file with nano:
    sudo nano /etc/hostname
  • A file opens that only contains the default hostname: “raspberrypi”.
  • Remove the word and replace it with the one you want, for example:
    raspberrytips01
  • Save the file and exit (CTRL+O, CTRL+X).
  • If you use the hostname command now, the value will still be the same.
    You need to reboot the Raspberry Pi to apply changes:
    sudo reboot
  • Once restarted, the new hostname will appear in the command prompt.
    And, you can also check with the hostname command:

Network update

If you have some issues (or warnings at least) with some network services, you probably need to edit the /etc/hosts file to update the localhost name:

  • Open the /etc/hosts file the same way:
    sudo nano /etc/hosts
  • Edit the last line to update the Raspberry Pi name.
  • Save and exit (CTRL+O, CTRL+X).
  • Reboot:
    sudo reboot

That’s it for this first method.
You can use the same method on systems like Debian and Ubuntu.

Use raspi-config

The next two solutions are only available on Raspberry Pi OS.
It can be easier if you can’t remember the filename to edit.
You can also check the last one if you are on Raspberry Pi OS Desktop.

The second solution is to use raspi-config.
You probably already know this tool, as you can use it to change many things in your Raspberry Pi configuration.

Here is how to change the hostname in raspi-config:

  • Start raspi-config with:
    sudo raspi-config
  • On the wizard that shows up, click on “Network options”.
    Use the arrows to select the second line and press enter to confirm.
  • Then click on “Hostname” (press enter).
  • You’ll get a message about the letters you can use (a-z, 0-9 and -).
  • Confirm (Enter) and type your new hostname.
  • After the confirmation, you will be back on the main menu.
  • Select the Finish option to save your changes (use Tab and press Enter).
  • Raspi-config will ask you to reboot.
    Confirm and wait a few seconds.
  • Once the system reboot is complete, you can see the new hostname in the command prompt:

    Same thing with the “hostname” command.

Note: you may also need to follow the “Network update” from the last part if you have errors like this:
sudo: unable to resolve host <hostname>: No address associated with hostname

Use the configuration tool on Raspberry Pi OS Desktop

The last option I want to show you is to use the Raspberry Pi Configuration Tool on Raspberry Pi OS Desktop.
This is probably the easiest method if you are on this Raspberry Pi OS version.

Here is how to do this:

  • In the main menu, go to Preferences > Raspberry Pi Configuration.
  • In the configuration tool, update the hostname field:
  • Click “OK” to save the changes.
  • And as with the other solutions, a reboot is needed to apply changes.
    Click on “Yes” to immediately reboot.

Note: In this case, there is no need to update the /etc/hosts file. The wizard will change it for you.

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Conclusion

That’s it, you now know 3 ways to change the Raspberry Pi name, whatever the Raspberry Pi OS version you use.

I hope this post was useful for you.
If you have any remaining question or a suggestion, feel free to post a comment below.

By the way, here are a few posts that might help you to customize your system after installation:


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Patrick Fromaget

I'm the lead author and owner of RaspberryTips.com. My goal is to help you with your Raspberry Pi problems using detailed guides and tutorials. In real life, I'm a Linux system administrator with a web developer experience.

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