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I have a domain name: I am setting up my CentOS 6.3 server's FQDN, it used to be centos63min.

Reading on the internet, I found a lot of examples, where people name the server something like this:

Am I supposed to put in something like the client50 in front of the domain name, or can I just call it

Can someone please explain to me what that is for, et cetera?

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The server's FQDN name have to set for two purpose:

  • For aestetic terms, as Daniel Lockard said
  • For programs and services what uses FQDN to identify the server or as an identity, e.g. configuration manager stuffs, monitoring stuffs, Apache's ServerName, SMTP banner in most SMTP servers, etc.

There is many convention what people following to name their servers, based on served domain or giving a nick for it.

There is one convention what you have to follow: the first part of FQDN must same as the short name of the server (what you see after @ sign at SSH prompt). So e.g. if your server name is client50 then you have to set FQDN like or It is needed because most of programs assumes the server name is predictable based on FQDN.

To set FQDN, open /etc/hosts file with your favorite editor, and find where the 'localhost' name set (usually it's two entry: and ::1) and set names like in following example: client50 localhost
::1 client50 localhost

If your hosts file is already has a short name of server, type the choosen FQDN before the short name. Some installers are set simple name for the configured IP address of the server if you configured fix IP address during setup.

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The domain name of the server doesn't really matter, it's purely for aesthetics most of the time. What are you attempting to accomplish by changing it? Are you attempting to get a website to load off of this server? In that case you will need to set up DNS that points to your servers IP address and set up a webserver to serve content on that address.

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Yes, I will be hosting my website from this server. Apache was complaining about my FQDN - so I changed it to: I am worried about sendmail of php not being marked as spam. does the FQDN have anything to do with that? – louis_coetzee Aug 2 '12 at 21:34
What exact error were you getting from apache? I doubt it's actually related to the FQDN of your server. – Daniel Lockard Aug 2 '12 at 21:35
No, I am not getting it anymore, after I followed this tutorial: just wondering about of the FQDN has anything to do with spam filters for my email. Sorry if I was a bit unclear. Thanks for the help so far. – louis_coetzee Aug 2 '12 at 21:44
No, FQDN doesn't have anything to do with spam filters, though it will affect what domain the mail server sends mail as if you don't specify otherwise. Also, please realize that just setting up Apache to host on a domain will not make that domain magically resolve for you on the internet. – Daniel Lockard Aug 2 '12 at 21:48
If you are satisfied with my answers, can you please accept the answer I've given? – Daniel Lockard Aug 2 '12 at 21:59

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