Can someone tell me how to change the computer name on a pc, I've tried to edit the /etc/hostname file but it won't allow me access to save the amended file, thought the user the system created was the administrator obviously not.


  • Run in a Terminal: sudo nano /etc/hostname when asked enter your password, then edit the displayed text. – koni_raid May 9 '13 at 12:25

Changing the hostname or computer name in ubuntu

Edit /etc/hostname and change to the new value, for example name we are using hostname Ubuntu

sudo nano /etc/hostname

Edit /etc/hosts and change the old line to your new hostname   localhost   ubuntu.local    ubuntu   # change to your new hostname/fqdn

Note : Edit /etc/hosts and change the old line to your new hostname (if you dont do this, you wont be able to use sudo anymore. If you hav e already done it, press ESC on the grub menu, choose recovery, and edit your host file to the correct settings)

Now after a reboot, your hostname will be the new one you chose

If you want to apply the change without a reboot,

sudo service hostname restart


 sudo /etc/init.d/hostname restart

Note : Above command to make the change active. The hostname saved in this file (/etc/hostname) will be preserved on system reboot (and will be set using the same script we used hostname).


You need to change 2 files and can use the following commands for that...

pkexec nano /etc/hostname
pkexec nano /etc/hosts

Only change the name; nothing else.

  • says cannot open display? – Belstead54 May 9 '13 at 12:32
  • Are you using ssh to connect to the system? That message means that there is no X server active(?) – Rinzwind May 9 '13 at 12:35

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