FreeBSD Hostname Question - Whats The Proper Way

L Goodwin xrayv19 at
Thu Aug 30 18:33:23 PDT 2007

--- Jeffrey Goldberg <jeffrey at> wrote:

> On Aug 30, 2007, at 6:29 PM, L Goodwin wrote:
> > Do you mean avoid giving any machines on your LAN
> the
> > same hostname as the (hosted) web server, mail
> server
> > and ftp server? I don't even know what the
> hostname
> > for the web server is. The mail and ftp servers
> are
> > "mail.<domainname>.com" and
> "ftp.<domainname>.com", so
> > I guess I would not want to use these.
> I have a minimum of three names for any machine
> visible to the  
> outside world.
> (1)  I have the internal name that I give a box.  A
> few years ago, I  
> asked my daughter for help naming machines, and we
> ended up with a  
> Harry Potter theme.  So my primary external server
> (which has the  
> most names) is, but that name
> isn't visible to  
> the world.  It's not secret, but I have no intention
> of having  
> anything out side my local network needed to refer
> to it that way.
> (And in the Harry Potter scheme, my three headed
> firewall is named  
> fluffy.)
> (2) But there is another name it must also have.  I
> have a tiny block  
> of IP addresses which all had PTR records associated
> with them like
> It took more than two hours on the phone to Verizon
> to get those  
> changed, so it was something I only ever wanted to
> do once, so I have  
> names like
> and so on.  So dobby is also known of as
> (3) Now dobby runs a couple of public servers.  It
> runs Apache as  
> and about half a dozen vhosts.  It
> also also runs a  
> mailserver (postfix) with mailman primarily visible
> under the name  
> So recapping.  One is my quasi-private name for the
> box itself.  And  
> that is what hostname  knows.  Two is a name
> corresponding the the  
> reverse lookup of any public  IP address it might
> have.  There may be  
> several of these if the machine had multiple IP
> addresses.  And three  
> are "role" names for all of the services it runs. 
> This way, if I  
> want to move a service to a different host, that is
> relatively easy.

Thanks, Jeff!

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