Host name changing on its own



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Host name changing on its own

Postby Marco De Vitis » Fri, 07 Apr 2006 06:26:27 GMT

I've got an iBook G4 running on OS 10.4.5, and since a few days I'm 
experiencing a strange problem: something on my machine seems to be 
changing the machine name on its own.

I've correctly set up my chosen hostname in Sharing preferences, and it 
is correctly applied upon system boot. But when I put the iBook to sleep 
and then wake it up again the hostname is changed to 
"", which I absolutely have no idea where it comes 
from. I noticed this thanks to my custom Terminal prompt, which shows 
the current hostname (and entering "hostname" returns 
""); I couldn't find this name elsewhere in my system.

I connect to my router through AirPort, using a static IP address, no 
DHCP server is present in my LAN.

I'm pretty sure I didn't do anything strange recently to cause this.
Do you have any idea about what might have happened, or how to find out 
what is causing this?
System logs did not help, I can only find the following line each time I 
wake up my iBook:

configd[36]: setting hostname to ""



Re: Host name changing on its own

Postby Stephen C. » Sat, 08 Apr 2006 01:14:35 GMT

On Wed, 5 Apr 2006 14:26:27 -0700, Marco De Vitis wrote
(in message <7CWYf.69002$ XXXX@XXXXX.COM >):

Just a guess, but do you use a German DSL connection? If so, I'd say that 
somehow the dsl modem is setting the hostname. Disconnecting the dsl modem 
from the LAN would tell you if the modem was the culprit.


Re: Host name changing on its own

Postby Marco De Vitis » Sat, 08 Apr 2006 05:53:59 GMT

Stephen C. ha scritto:

No, I have an Italian ADSL connection. I connect through a wi-fi router 
(Zyxel 660HW).
The connection must be related to my problem somehow, because indeed if 
I disable the AirPort card and then set the iBook to sleep and wake it 
up again, the hostname does NOT change.
Instead, it is changed even if I simply disable AirPort and enable it 
again. So it seems the change happens whenever the connection to the 
router goes up.

Unfortunately, I can't find anything at all in the router configuration 
which might be related to this problem. DHCP is disabled, the only 
active LAN<->WAN rules in the firewall are the ones I did set myself, 
any "do-it-automatically" stuff is disabled... I really don't know where 
else can I look.
What's more, even supposing that my iBook is being assigned this name 
from the outside (router or WAN), there *should* be a way to disable 
this behaviour in MacOS itself.


Re: Host name changing on its own

Postby Stephen C. » Sun, 09 Apr 2006 02:28:30 GMT

On Thu, 6 Apr 2006 13:53:59 -0700, Marco De Vitis wrote
(in message <HdfZf.71249$ XXXX@XXXXX.COM >):

Unfortunately you are getting above my abilities. I do not know exactly why 
your iBook would pull a host name from the dsl modem, or how to keep it from 
doing so. Good luck, though!


Re: Host name changing on its own

Postby Simon Slavin » Sun, 09 Apr 2006 06:09:47 GMT

<7CWYf.69002$ XXXX@XXXXX.COM >:

The Mac is using a particular numeric IP address.  When it starts to use
that address it looks it up and find the name assigned to that address. 
It then adopts that name as its own.

To get rid of that address, use a different numeric IP address for your


Re: Host name changing on its own

Postby Marco De Vitis » Sun, 09 Apr 2006 07:48:32 GMT

Simon Slavin ha scritto:

Thanks, the trick works, although I can't see how on earth can the name 
"" be assigned to the private IP my 
machine had (now I'm using .4)... 8-/


Re: Host name changing on its own

Postby Marco De Vitis » Mon, 10 Apr 2006 18:05:44 GMT

Marco De Vitis ha scritto:

I found that the public DNS I was using as primary had a record pointing 
to from IP So that's why that hostname 
was being assigned to my iBook having that same IP.

I now changed my primary DNS, also because that one does not seem to be 
in use anymore (it was one of the two public servers on, 
and surely was there recently, but it's not there anymore now), and I 
can finally go back to my IP without being assigned any 
foreign name.

Thanks for the pointer.


Re: Host name changing on its own

Postby Simon Slavin » Wed, 12 Apr 2006 07:49:01 GMT

<4%BZf.72309$ XXXX@XXXXX.COM >:

This is just a guess.  The organisation 'surfplus' has their own private
name server which allows them to name their own computers.  They have
their own computer called 'dslcore' purely for their own use, inside their
own network.  Their name server has a configuration error and is leaking
this name, meant for internal use only, to other name servers outside
their system.


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