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(Or "sitename"). The unique name by which a computer is known on a network, used to identify it in electronic mail, Usenet news, or other forms of electronic information interchange.

On the Internet the hostname is an ASCII string, e.g. "" which, consists of a local part (foldoc) and a domain name ( The hostname is translated into an Internet address either via the hosts file, NIS or by the Domain Name System (DNS) or resolver. It is possible for one computer to have several hostnames (aliases) though one is designated as its canonical name.

It is often possible to guess a hostname for a particular institution. This is useful if you want to know if they operate network services like anonymous FTP, World-Wide Web or finger. First try the institution's name or obvious abbreviations thereof, with the appropriate domain appended, e.g. "". If this fails, prepend "ftp." or "www." as appropriate, e.g. "". You can use the ping command as a quick way to test whether a hostname is valid.

The folklore interest of hostnames stems from the creativity and humour they often display. Interpreting a sitename is not unlike interpreting a vanity licence plate; one has to mentally unpack it, allowing for mono-case and length restrictions and the lack of whitespace. Hacker tradition deprecates dull, institutional-sounding names in favour of punchy, humorous, and clever coinages (except that it is considered appropriate for the official public gateway machine of an organisation to bear the organisation's name or acronym). Mythological references, cartoon characters, animal names, and allusions to SF or fantasy literature are probably the most popular sources for sitenames (in roughly descending order). The obligatory comment is Harris's Lament: "All the good ones are taken!"

See also network address.


Berkeley Unix command to set and get the application level name used by the host.

Unix manual page: hostname(1).
This article is provided by FOLDOC - Free Online Dictionary of Computing (


The name assigned to a workstation or server in a network. In a Windows local area network, computers are given alphanumeric hostnames up to 15 characters in length with no spaces. For example, Maria's computer could be named maria or workstation3 or hplaptop003.

Internet Hostnames
On the Internet, a hostname is part of the address typed into a browser to access a website. Traditionally, WWW has been used for Web server hostnames. However, most websites can be addressed without the WWW, because the HTTP server (Web server) network port number 80 is automatically passed to the correct server by the routing or firewall equipment whether the WWW is present or not. See HOSTS file, IP address, FQDN and DNS.

The Format of an Internet Address
The hostname follows the protocol in a Web address. However, due to the ways Web servers can be shared, distributed, virtualized and clustered, merely looking at a domain name cannot really determine the true name of the host computer that will respond to the request.
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References in periodicals archive ?
Cuenta de correo electronico del From emisor y direccion IP del equipo CuentaEmisor emisor To Delivered-To Cuenta de correo electronico del CuentaReceptor X-Original-To Receptor Atributo insertado por cada OcurrenciaDeEmision equipo que interviene en IP / HostName la transmision (incluyendo OcurrenciaDeTransmision Received o las maquinas del remitente, X-Received servidores y el destinatario), IP / HostName se obtiene la fecha y hora de la ocurrencia y la direccion IP del OcurrenciaDeEmision equipo (servidor o receptor).
But the new study has found that some of the apps they looked into, though they checked if the certificate was properly signed or not, nonetheless weren't doing a proper job about verifying the hostname accurately.
The DRA algorithm searches for any duplicated hostname with different IP addresses in the harvested tuples.
Table 2: Examples of the various components of a URL referred to in the paper Phishing URL Domain Phishing URL Hostname Table 3: Illustration of the phishing domains to defacement URL comparisons Phishing Domain Name Defacement Hostname/URL
Most users run Microsoft Windows, which assumes a mapping between the "hostname" and the IP addresses of the sites.
This is due in part to recommended client use of the DNS load-balanced hostname
These search strings may be in the form of a domain, hostname, URL, IP address, email address, MD5, SHA1 or SHA256..Rapid Insight checks that information against intelligence found in over a dozen sources, including: Alexa, DNS Lookup, IP Geolocation, Google Custom Search, Google Safe Browsing, IID ActiveTrust, Passive DNS, Reverse DNS, Reverse WHOIS via DomainTools, Virus Total and WHOIS via DomainTools.
Figure 11 illustrates this situation showing the hostname of a malicious backtrack VM as suspended and the username of the malicious user inserted in the blacklist.
IT professionals can use the tools to search for a specific device based on IP address, MAC address, or Hostname. They can then shut down the port or ports that the device was attempting to access, effectively barring it from the network.
The website,, returns the message "Bad Request (Invalid Hostname)".
Structure and example of automatically collected event data EDDI database table structure: observation (timestamp int, hostname int, event_type int, sender int, message int); Examples in EDDI notation: observation [much less than] [49462484,1,2,2,7]; observation [much less than] [49492937,2,2,1,5]; observation [much less than] [49523578,2,2,2,7]; observation [much less than] [49519937,1,2,4,11]; The summary of the events was collected and presented to the instructors in the OME environment in time windows of one minute (Figure 4).