Working With Computers on a LAN
I have an old laptop that I installed Ubuntu server on and hooked up to my network.
I've been using it for testing applications that might accidentally delete all of
my files, but remembering its IP address is a hassle. I thought that it was possible
to assign a name to my laptop which I could use to access it, so I set out to do that.
If you work with GNU+Linux machines, your probably familiar with the concept of a hostname. If you use bash, your prompt probably looks like
For example, my prompt is
hunter@mars $. The hostname is how we will
access this computer on our network, so you should change it to what you want. If
you want to change your hostname, just edit
There are multiple ways to make our computer accessible by its hostname, but the easiest method is to make changes on our router. I have a Mikrotik hAP Lite, but the required changes should be similar on other routers. First you want to log in to your router's admin page, for me that means visiting
in my browser.
Our next step is to modify our DHCP server settings. On my router we go to
IP -> DHCP Server -> Leases. My router lists all currently connected
devices and their hostname, which makes this a lot easier. You may need to look up
specific steps for your router, but if you need to find out your computer's IP address,
ip addr in your shell. Next I double click the device I want and select
Make static. This means that whenever this device connects to the network
it will be assigned the same IP address.
The laptop we are working with has hostname
and static IP
Now that we have a static IP setup for the laptop internally, we need to make sure that the router sends requests for
marsto the laptop. For this we want to modify the router's DNS settings. For my router we go to
IP -> DNS -> Static. Click on
Add Newand set
Nameto your hostname and address to the laptop's internal IP address.
Once again the relevant entry has name
mars and address
That's it! If you have a web server running on the computer you just set up, you can visit the hostname in your browser, or just run