Naming confusion

Lowell Gilbert freebsd-questions-local at
Sun Nov 7 08:03:19 PST 2004

Lloyd Hayes <lloyd545220-trucker at> writes:

>  >don't worry about it.
> With XFree86, it is an issue.
> It appears that Xorg won't configure correctly without it. Although I
> won't swear that's the problem with Xorg.

If you describe the actual symptoms you're seeing, someone might be
able to help.

>  >Unless you're trying to have someone outside reach your machine (as
> opposed to vice versa), you might as well just use whatever name the
> ISP you're currently connected to tries to give you.
> Uhhhh, The computer with FBSD on it has not been connected to the
> Internet since last winter, when it had Win 98SE on it. I'm a truck
> driver who carries two computers in the truck with me, and seem to be
> collecting more older computers at home in Wyoming. In the truck, I
> always have one computer turned on. I get my loads over the Internet,
> get most of my news over the Internet, keep truck records, do my legal
> logbook, and keep in touch with my daughters who live in Europe, and
> learn about FreeBSD all with a laptop computer. The fact of the matter
> is that I can not even work without a working computer.

I can't even tell from that paragraph whether you want the FreeBSD
machine to be Internet-connected or not.  If you don't, then just pick
any old name for the machine (preferably with a non-existent top-level
domain), stick that name into rc.conf as 'hostname', and add it to
/etc/hosts as well (for

 rc.conf could have 
 and hosts could have		localhost lloyd-freebsd.private

> Since many of the processes running on FreeBSD require a 'named'
> computer, I need to know how to handle this. Otherwise, as it says in
> "The Complete FreeBSD" book, there will be processes which will not
> run, or else they will not run correctly on my computer. The answer to
> this problem does not seemed to be addressed while using 'dhclient' in
> any of the printed information that I could find.

If you're running DHCP, then you could just have dhclient set the
system name.  I do something like this on my own laptop, but I haven't
got access to it at the moment.  Basically I just had one of the
dhclient "hooks" scripts set the machine's hostname to whatever DHCP
had just assigned.  Something like:

if [ "x${new_host_name}" = "x" ] ; then
        hostname ${new_host_name}

If you want to be able to go offline without rebooting, you would need
a little more tinkering -- probably an entry in pccard.conf resetting
your hostname when you remove the modem card would do that.

Lowell Gilbert, embedded/networking software engineer, Boston area

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