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I'm setting up a Fedora 15 box in my local network. It's going to have Internet access and share media stuff like photos.

In one step of the installation process it asks for "hostname", what could this be? Can it simply be "server" or do I need a domain?

I would love to access shared folders from Windows like \\SERVER in Windows Explorer.

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@Jason: Reminder - If you are going to access the server from Windows, don't forget to install Samba to it. – grawity Jun 5 '11 at 23:05
If you run echo $HOSTNAME at the command line, what does it say? – Computist Jun 6 '11 at 2:34
up vote 10 down vote accepted

The hostname is the alias for the box on the (either global or local) network. If you call it "fedora-box", the box will be called "fedora-box" and is able to be addressed with this name on a network.

From Wikipedia:

A hostname is a label that is assigned to a device connected to a computer network and that is used to identify the device in various forms of electronic communication such as the World Wide Web, e-mail or Usenet.

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i can just enter "SERVER" in that field? – Jason94 Jun 5 '11 at 21:31
@Jason94 If you're not planning on setting up any complex networks, you can just enter anything you like. Just make sure it's unique on your network. – BloodPhilia Jun 5 '11 at 21:32
@Jason94: If you want to access it as \\server, then enter "server" in that field. – grawity Jun 5 '11 at 23:04
What happens when there are different servers with the same hostname? Any server to authenticate the hostname? – wliao Jun 6 '11 at 5:06
@wliao: Most of the local name resolution methods (NetBIOS, mDNS, LLMNR) depend on the second computer being nice and not using the colliding name. Microsoft's PNRP (little-used) uses cryptographic authentication. If the network uses dynamic DNS based on DHCP, the DHCP server will usually override old entries. For Windows-style dynamic DNS (computer sends updates itself), when on a domain, GSS-TSIG authenticated updates are sent; otherwise, no authentication is done and it's up to the DNS server. – grawity Jun 6 '11 at 7:19

Fedora itself does not greatly care what you put as the system's hostname. It does matter in the larger context of your LAN and the Internet though, as giving your system a hostname used by another system will impede your ability to access it.

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