Hostnames

Everyone has their own favorite host naming conventions. Usually it’s something arbitrary, like naming all machines after characters from a TV show.

My convention is to name everything after chemical elements. This is handy for a couple of reasons. Every element has an atomic number that can be used as the last digit of an IP address. On my LAN, hydrogen resolves to 192.168.1.1, lithium is 192.168.1.3, carbon is 192.168.1.6, and so on. Every element also has a standardized abbreviation, allowing for short CNAMEs (h.local.domain, li.local.domain, c.local.domain, etc). Elements have classifications that can be applied to hosts. On my network, hydrogen is my router, rack-mount servers are alkali metals, embedded devices are noble gasses, gaming consoles are halogens, and laptops are other nonmetals.

Naming hosts after elements was not originally my idea. I heard about it a couple years ago on a forum, but I can’t find the thread now. I admit this naming convention is more for the massive nerd factor than practicality. If you have more than about 20 machines, just give them numbered hostnames and be done with it.




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