On my home network I have both a desktop PC and laptop that dual-boot windows/linux. I assign static addresses to all my computers (I have other single OS ones as well).

I want to know whether it's better to keep the same IP address and hostname for both windows and linux on a particular machine or should I give them different ones. What are the advantages/disadvantages of each approach?


Assuming you'll never run both at once (e.g., one as a VM guest in the other), the only difference will be how it is seen on your network. If you think of the machine as the same host, just running different OSes, then one name suffices. If you think of each OS as a different host, then having separate names maintains that distinction on your network.

Your router, f/ex, may log internet accesses by host. Do you want that logging to be kept separate for each OS or for that physical device as a whole? Do you want to address that device from another one (e.g. for resource-sharing) with a different name when it's a linux box than when it's a Windows box? Or is it just 'the node that shares its printer', regardless of what OS is running?

I think of a hunk of hardware as almost bland until it has a configured OS running on it -- the OS and its configuration are what give its a personality -- so I give each OS-configuration running on a specific piece of hardware a unique name, including my guest-OSes. Actually, that's not quite true - I have a guest OS that I move back and forth between a desktop and a laptop. To me, that is one system with one ID. YMMV.

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If you use Static DHCP for your static IP assignment then you will get the same IP for both OSs since the MAC address doesn't change.

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  • yeah I know how to do it, and I can also set them statically in the OS itself and make them different. My question is more about which I should do and why. – Alb Mar 12 '11 at 14:00

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