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Is there a canonical way (no pun intended) to describe the purpose of a specific machine?

I have to administer serveral hosts all with the same hostname ("www"). On the shell prompt i can not distinguish, which machine i am currently working on. I'd like to have a textfile eg. /etc/purpose in which i can put the desription of the machine. Of course I could implement this quite easily, but would rather use a standardized solution. By the way, I am currently running ubuntu from 10.04 to 12.04.

Thank you, Andreas

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closed as not a real question by mdpc, Ward, Khaled, John Gardeniers, SvW Dec 31 '12 at 11:38

It's difficult to tell what is being asked here. This question is ambiguous, vague, incomplete, overly broad, or rhetorical and cannot be reasonably answered in its current form. For help clarifying this question so that it can be reopened, visit the help center.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

All of your hosts are called www ? –  Iain Dec 30 '12 at 14:08
www, ftp, and others are Well Known hostnames. They should not be the actual name of the server. The server should be named something reasonable for your normal naming scheme (eg www01 or server01, whatever); then the well known name should be an alias (DNS CNAME) to the server responsible for those services. Also, having the server display the whole FQDN instead of just it's PQDN helps. –  Chris S Dec 30 '12 at 14:51
there's no reason at all to name any one machine 'www'. let alone several. –  Javier Dec 30 '12 at 19:15
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1 Answer

up vote 3 down vote accepted

It doesn't seem like a good concept to me to give all of your hosts the same hostname as the idea behind a hostname is to be able to normally uniquely identify the host you're working on. So in my opinion the canonical way would be to rename your hosts.

If you, for what reason ever, can't do this or are not willing to do this the approach with the textfile could be a solution for you, too. Maybe you display the content of the file also as part of motd so you know where you are when you connect to a server.

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Thank you for the discussion. As you stated I have not the full control over all the servers since they belong to different customers. Even if my question is not regarded useful I appreciate your answer and give motd a try. –  Andreas Schosser Jan 1 '13 at 10:08
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