Setting Hostname after full config - Impact?

Hi all,

I am trying to set up a send-only mail solution using Exim per the following instructions: … -lts-lucid">

The first thing it says to do is to set my hostname per these instructions: … e-hostname">

My question - I never set the hostname in the first place and have been running a full LAMP system with a half a dozen domains on it for the past 2 years. I don't want to impact anything by changing the hostname.

When I do a "hostname -F" I get "" which I imagine was a default of some sort, but it's not specified in any hostname file that I can find. If I'm fine with that hostname, can I just keep it? I've never noticed if it changes since I always use the IP address for connections.

If I do need to set my hostname as per the instructions, do I need to be aware of apache or anything else needing reconfiguration as well?


1 Reply

If everything has been working fine with your default hostname (, there's no reason to change it at all. Some hosting companies don't have reasonable defaults, so it's necessary to manually set the hostname in such cases. But Linode is not one of them.

In most cases, the hostname is purely cosmetic and therefore should have no impact on anything. Some programs, however, may be more sensitive to hostname changes. You should be particularly careful with email software such as exim and postfix, because you don't want them to suddenly start HELO'ing with a different hostname. The hostname tends to get hardcoded all over the place in various email-related configuration files, so it's important to find them all.


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