Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 3rd Feb 2009 19:06 UTC
In the News If you were to break into my network, getting to the contents of the right computer would be easy. I facilitate digital burglars by naming my computers according to what they actually are; my main desktop machine carries the label "Desktop", my Aspire One is imaginatively named "One", and this trend continues down to "PowerMac G4", "Ultra 5", and "T2". I always found giving computers real names was a tad bit wacky, but as it turns out, it can actually be very useful to give your servers and computers whimsical but meaningful names.
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States and cities
by quad3d on Tue 3rd Feb 2009 20:01 UTC
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I like the idea of using states and cities.

I've used cartoon/anime characters, military terms and gods names.

Reply Score: 2

Lord of the Rings
by thecwin on Tue 3rd Feb 2009 20:14 UTC
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I use Lord of the Rings characters for my home.
Laptops are named after hobbits, servers (VMs included) after elves, desktops after humans and the router is treebeard ;) Too bad it's not a ring network.

At work, everyone used to use whimsical names, but now they've switched to using WEB{n}, {Country Code}WRK{n}, etc. I'm finding it a lot harder to remember who/what is what, and repurposing/giving compuers extra tasks becomes a lot more difficult.

I think every machine should have a whimsical names, but have CNAMEs and such for purposes and regional organisation. That way, http.servers.domain and ftp.servers.domain can both contain a CNAME to a machine called Gimli! Now if only SRV records were more supported...

Reply Score: 2

RE: Lord of the Rings
by Delgarde on Tue 3rd Feb 2009 20:20 UTC in reply to "Lord of the Rings"
Delgarde Member since:

I use Lord of the Rings characters for my home.
Laptops are named after hobbits, servers (VMs included) after elves, desktops after humans and the router is treebeard ;) Too bad it's not a ring network.

Heh... you're far from being the only geek doing that... I saw a claim once that there were over a hundred thousand machines called 'frodo' scattered across the internet... no idea if it's true.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Lord of the Rings
by StephenBeDoper on Tue 3rd Feb 2009 23:47 UTC in reply to "RE: Lord of the Rings"
StephenBeDoper Member since:

Hah, "frodo" was the name of my desktop machine at my first job. All the machines there had names of either cartoon / comic strip characters or other fictional characters (the Sun server was Dilbert, there were two Macs called Mickey and Minnie, a pair of Linux servers called Popeye and Olive, etc).

Reply Score: 2

RE: Lord of the Rings
by erikharmon on Tue 3rd Feb 2009 21:52 UTC in reply to "Lord of the Rings"
erikharmon Member since:

I was a network intern at my high school back in the early-nineties where we had a token-ring Netware network with servers named after LOTR characters. A friend of mine working for the school district about four years ago pulled "Frodo" out of a dumpster and gave "him" to me. I managed to scavenge a SCSI drive out of it that's still working today, at least 14 years old.

My computers are all named after underworld deities, Persephone, Hades, Styx, etc, roughly according to the task they perform. Hades is my main file server, Styx is my router. Persephone is my laptop because it goes in and out of my network.

Reply Score: 2

It does help
by REM2000 on Tue 3rd Feb 2009 20:17 UTC
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I agree i think it helps giving the servers names which add just a little bit of recognition over the standard "Server01" etc.

Personally i name servers after matrix characters. The main server is always called Neo, second is Trinity, Usually the dev server is called Smith and various other servers get the rest (Switch, Apoc).

Although for a single server installation i have used "Skynet" a few times ;)

Client names im a little more boring a just give the name of the department they are in, i.e. account01, sales01 etc.

Edited 2009-02-03 20:19 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: It does help
by Delgarde on Tue 3rd Feb 2009 20:23 UTC in reply to "It does help"
Delgarde Member since:

Personally i name servers after matrix characters. The main server is always called Neo, second is Trinity, Usually the dev server is called Smith and various other servers get the rest (Switch, Apoc).

Surely Smith should be used for a cluster of some kind?

Reply Score: 3

Comment by merkoth
by merkoth on Tue 3rd Feb 2009 20:29 UTC
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I don't run any servers, but my desktops tend to use anime-related names: For example, my main home desktop is always Lime and my main workstation is always Firebomber. If I change one of the machines, the replaced one gets a new name so those two names always refer to my main computers ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by merkoth
by MamiyaOtaru on Wed 4th Feb 2009 01:54 UTC in reply to "Comment by merkoth"
MamiyaOtaru Member since:

You might actually know what Otome-Kairo (the name I use for my main machine) is from then ;)

I tend to give machines names that have something to do with what they are. An old Gateway was The_Cow. A later Gateway laptop was Portable_Cow. When the screen died and I took it off (rendering a large keyboard that has to be plugged into a monitor) it became Headless_Cow. Silver_Streak was the far smaller silver colored laptop that replaced it. My eee is called Heater because it keeps me warm (literally).

This is not, as the article says, "a naming system that is at once arbitrary and consistent". It's mostly just whimsy, but each name is attached to a specific machine in a way that's hard to forget.

At work things are a little more staid though, with stuff like front_desk and back_desk.

Reply Score: 2

Some of mine...
by sonic2000gr on Tue 3rd Feb 2009 20:51 UTC
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I'll treat you to some of my system names:

- atlantis (my FreeBSD Desktop)
- joshua (my FreeBSD public facing web server)
- netw1 (my Debian www server)
- pegasus (my -mostly- Windows laptop)

For customers, I normally use planets, mythology characters, animals. A few years ago I created a network for a client with about 60 systems. I used planets, moons, constellations. These days, I usually give Windows clients boring names. I still try to give nice names to Windows / *NIX servers.

Reply Score: 2

by Buck on Tue 3rd Feb 2009 21:01 UTC
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I remember giving a file server running Mac OS X Server a name "XFiles".
And there were other instances... It always just makes more sense and keeps you happier.

Reply Score: 2

My server names are...
by BluenoseJake on Tue 3rd Feb 2009 21:02 UTC
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In my home, my network consists of:

Continuity - File/print/media and backups
Wintermute - Windows development box
Neuromancer - My Desktop

My network is named reality, and the webserver is named relativity. my smoothwall is named spacetime.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by smashIt
by smashIt on Tue 3rd Feb 2009 21:24 UTC
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obelix, asterix and idefix

you can guess 3 times what my laptop is ;)

Reply Score: 1

RE: Comment by smashIt
by rhavenn on Tue 3rd Feb 2009 22:18 UTC in reply to "Comment by smashIt"
rhavenn Member since:

Well, reverse psychology would indicate obelix, but I will say it's idefix

Edited 2009-02-03 22:18 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Comment by smashIt
by smashIt on Tue 3rd Feb 2009 23:49 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by smashIt"
smashIt Member since:

100 points for you ;)

i give them the names based on their size

Reply Score: 1

RE: Comment by smashIt
by wanderingk88 on Wed 4th Feb 2009 16:56 UTC in reply to "Comment by smashIt"
wanderingk88 Member since:

One of our client PCs at work is named "asterix".

At work they're mostly named after fictional characters, from either cartoon shows or comic strips. The heavy servers are named after constellations, and the generic Windows terminal servers got a generic name.

At home I usually stick to ship names from sci-fi/mecha/space opera anime (Bilkis, Albion, Macross...).

Edited 2009-02-04 16:57 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE: Comment by smashIt
by Havin_it on Thu 5th Feb 2009 14:21 UTC in reply to "Comment by smashIt"
Havin_it Member since:

The uni AI dept. gave all its Unix workstations dog names, e.g pluto, snoopy, etc.

I always tried to get dogmatix, for some reason - they were all identical apart from the name, so I guess there is some effect in a name!

Personally, I tend to go with outright filth: porn terminology, sweary stuff, since nobody really sees the machine-names most of the time. My server is the exception: I got it second-hand with a sticker on the front saying "BRAZIL", so once I'd wiped the Windows NT4 install off it (including all the personal documents the seller left on it - good old eBay...), brazil it remained.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by Thom_Holwerda
by Thom_Holwerda on Tue 3rd Feb 2009 21:34 UTC
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Ok, this is kind of fun. I decided to step away from my boring naming scheme - renaming my machines right now. I'm naming them after favourite albums of mine.

My main desktop, a brand new quad-core powerhouse: "Extraordinary Machine", after Fiona Apple's third album.

My Aspire One, my machine for mobile, on-the-go computing: "Gran Turismo", the highly stylised masterpiece by The Cardigans.

My test rig, a little older but still fairly powerful, running several different operating systems side-by-side: "No Need To Argue", afte the album by The Cranberries.


Edited 2009-02-03 21:39 UTC

Reply Score: 1

As we're sharing
by Michael on Tue 3rd Feb 2009 21:40 UTC
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Back in the day, I had a Windows 95 machine named Katayama after the charming but unsuccessful F1 racing driver Ukyo Katayama. I chose the name because the machine, like the driver, was always crashing.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by Dr_J
by Dr_J on Tue 3rd Feb 2009 21:58 UTC
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Are we playing "name that computer?" Mine are pinot, zinfandel, barbera, cabernet, merlot, shiraz, port, sirah, chianti and (ahem) hoover. Hoover is the server, and it sounds like its name.

Edited 2009-02-03 22:03 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE: Comment by Dr_J
by wakeupneo on Wed 4th Feb 2009 12:22 UTC in reply to "Comment by Dr_J"
wakeupneo Member since:

Hoover is the name of my cat coz he eats like one ;)

Desktop - Black
Thinkpad - HAL
Toshiba Satellite - Tripitaka

Reply Score: 2

by erikharmon on Tue 3rd Feb 2009 21:59 UTC
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I recommended to our UNIX guys at work to name the servers Heineken, LaBatts, and Corona so that we could petty cash expenses by receipt from a nearby convenience store ;-)

"We spent approximately 800 dollars on Heineken this year?" "Yup."

Reply Score: 2

I'm Not the Only One!
by weildish on Tue 3rd Feb 2009 22:13 UTC
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I thought I was the only one who did this-- being a mix between a creative writer and a computer nerd. I'm glad I'm not the only one. ;) I've named my computers with Latin names often, but have gone astray from that and named them whatever I please as well. Mine are as follows:

Caeruleus (my personal desktop)
Leitilus (my PPC)
Netty (my netbook)
Butler (my Ubuntu server)

And other people who use my network but I didn't necessarily name them:

Mama (my mom's computer)
Sweethappylife (my sister's lappy)
Richard (my brother's lappy)
GusgGus (my friend's lappy)

My router SSID is Hobo-Haven-- don't ask me how that came about. It makes no sense.

Reply Score: 1

of course it matters :)
by rhavenn on Tue 3rd Feb 2009 22:16 UTC
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Of course it matters ;)

firewalls = cerberus or fluffy
nameservers = tweedledum and tweedledee

Of course, to the non-techs in the office the names they see are far more generic ;)

Reply Score: 1

Oh yes, been doing this for years.
by Ressev on Tue 3rd Feb 2009 22:34 UTC
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For my home network computers and servers have a pretty consistent naming structure:


Reply Score: 1

Star Wars
by jayson.knight on Tue 3rd Feb 2009 22:34 UTC
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I use Star Wars characters for all of my local boxen. I'm not even that big of a Star Wars fan, but tradition has stuck for almost a decade now, so why break the trend.

Reply Score: 1

by bobbo on Tue 3rd Feb 2009 23:08 UTC
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I use "animals" as my naming scheme. There are a few rules:

1 - Must be short (2 or 3 syllables)
2 - Should somehow represent the computer

For instance, my old desktop (now "media center", ie. it has a big screen plugged in and stream movies to it) is called "penguin" because it is the first computer I used Linux on. My newer desktop is "Tiger" because compared to penguins, tigers are faster at running (I also like Tiger beer, so double-win). My Eee PC is "Koala", because it is small and lightweight (compared to Tigers, Koala's are on the small side) and it is also white.

A name I am saving up is "rhino", for a crap P2 computer that someone at my LUG gave me and I have yet to find a use for.

Reply Score: 1

Stars and Planets
by DrillSgt on Tue 3rd Feb 2009 23:14 UTC
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I used stars and planets for server names at a place I worked. The printers were all planets, stars and constellations were the servers. It did get interesting though with the printers. We skipped over Uranus as none of us wanted to tell the CEO where his papers would be coming out of ;)

Reply Score: 2

Comment by benhonghu
by benhonghu on Tue 3rd Feb 2009 23:20 UTC
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I use the name of characters in the Hitchhiker's Guide for my computers, so they are Zaphod, Marvin, Slartibartfast, etc

Reply Score: 1

by Yossarian on Tue 3rd Feb 2009 23:29 UTC
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Desktop: discordia
Server: eris
PDA: pentabarf
Laptop: malaclypse

Reply Score: 1

Names and Usage
by qroon on Wed 4th Feb 2009 00:55 UTC
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In my former company, I use local names:

Mail - Sulat/Kalatas
Web - Dahon/Sapot
Firewall - Kalasag/Muog
File - Baul
Cluster - Kumpol

At home, much much local ;) (local vernacular)

Asus A6 - Biyabit
Acer Aspire One - Kwaderno
Apple iBook - Aklat
Router - Daanan

While on various clients, I use greek, roman and other mythologies.

Reply Score: 2

Breaking the rules
by Gent on Wed 4th Feb 2009 01:05 UTC
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I used to use pretty static themes such as major cities London, Cairo, Moscow, etc... but with recent development of the network infrastructure in the current company I work for I've been using more abstract names that are more meaningful:

Providence - Primary server responsible for a number of functions e-mail, secure web services, etc...

Circus - Web development and application playground for various demoed web-apps/test beds, etc.

Boulevard - Terminal Server and DAV server for sister company employees, partners, etc.

Reply Score: 1

by Devils_Advocate on Wed 4th Feb 2009 01:43 UTC
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from Sci-Fi stories, films, cartoons. Anything except Disney.

Reply Score: 1

tails of machines
by xeoron on Wed 4th Feb 2009 01:46 UTC
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At home the server is Thneed (yes, from the Lorax) and Rage (a NAS that loves to store and throw data at things). As for desktops, laptop, n800, vm's etc are named after space related things, such as, starfire, moonlight, starscream, Quasar XP, etc.

The work machines are labeled based on their task. Example Kiosks are named after their creators (Cameo, Kodak, etc), PoS machines are based on where they fall in the order in real life, etc. May not be a fun or silly, but makes things straight forward finding things or teaching new people where things are (main reason for this... since the owner does not want to deal with this stuff, but if he ever does really does not want 1 more thing to go WTF about just by looking at the computer name).

Reply Score: 1

Star Wars Characters
by TaterSalad on Wed 4th Feb 2009 02:20 UTC
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My computers on my home network are all named after Star Wars characters ;) At work, they follow the standard "City, function, Production, number" scheme so its nice to have a little fun when I'm at home.

Reply Score: 2

Computer Names
by hmckee on Wed 4th Feb 2009 06:34 UTC
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I like naming my computers after "bugs". My laptop is "fly", my wife's is "butterfly", my work machine is "termite", the web host machine is "spider" and the music server is "cicada". The names are appropriate to their uses and easy to remember and type.

Reply Score: 1

by stln on Wed 4th Feb 2009 08:11 UTC
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Oh, I got it. It's a riddle game. I give some names and you have to guess the naming scheme.

Ok, I can do that.

Servers: Stella, Hoegaarden and Celis
Workstations: Kwak, Jupiler and Leffe.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Riddle
by MaxKlokan on Fri 6th Feb 2009 15:31 UTC in reply to "Riddle"
MaxKlokan Member since:

Oh come on, that's too easy!

For servers I would have rather chosen, say, Corsendonk, Kaiser Karel and, of course, Duvel.

Reply Score: 1

TV couples
by pdkrocul on Wed 4th Feb 2009 14:49 UTC
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A friend worked at a company that used removable striped RAID disks for projects. They named the disk pairs after TV couples (ie: Lucy&Ricky, Fred&Wilma, Mork&Mindy).

The worst naming convention I saw was a company that used the number from the property tag on the computer or printer. "Where is printer Q7656723 located?"

Reply Score: 1

RE: TV couples
by Soulbender on Wed 4th Feb 2009 15:54 UTC in reply to "TV couples"
Soulbender Member since:

Nothing wrong with using the property tag, we do that for workstations (well we use the serial tag really).

Edited 2009-02-04 15:54 UTC

Reply Score: 2

my computers..
by cordis on Wed 4th Feb 2009 20:52 UTC
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Mine are all named after characters from Gilligan's Island. It's a useful because it reminds me to ditch some of them after I get more than 7 going at once. Typically I use Ginger and Mary Ann for laptops, although I did break pattern and name the EEE pc 'coconut'.

Reply Score: 1

Mine are after Lost characters
by Armeck on Fri 6th Feb 2009 23:38 UTC
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Sawyer, Kate, Hurley, and Jack. Seemed whimsical at the time, now I feel so validated!

Reply Score: 1