While associating with a domain isn't required, it's still useful to associate with one to avoid problems with hostname lookups of the host in question getting forwarded higher up in the DNS hierarchy. In most cases, having
.local as domain is appropriate, as you will most likely be behind a router that does not forward your DNS name. I've also seen some systems use
.home in place of this.
.local is considered best-proctice, as a sensible router will not forward requests for hostnames belonging to this domain, so if you for some weird reason have a server named
microsoft.com at home, it will be treated locally, seeing as its FQDN will then be
Another approach is what I'm doing since I have various machines and servers spread all over, and at home I use my desktop computer as part of my domain name. My DNS servers has a DNS entry for my desktop, with my router forwarding various services (
ssh, mainly) to it.
Also, I find this to be highly relevant, as changing the domain of a server can be more complicated than changing your legal name.:
This hostname is going in dozens of remote config files. Changing a kid's name is comparatively easy!