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According to several comments in the web most DHCP clients simply ignore the hostname provided by the DHCP server. Does Ubuntu use the provided hostname? If not, how can Ubuntu be persuaded to use the provided hostname?

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It seems you can do that with /etc/dhcp3/dhclient.conf's option:

request host-name;

See the example at the end of dhclient.conf(5)

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Ubuntu enables this by default, but it seems no one cares about the hostname returned by the DHCP server. –  Andreas Roth Apr 11 '11 at 9:44
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