A very elementary question:

When we speak of adding a name to a router or a switch, what do we mean by that?

Thank you very much.

  • Using the HOST command to configure a name on the switch/router?
    – CustomX
    Nov 7 '14 at 10:56
  • Or are you using the local hosts config instead of DNS?
    – cpt_fink
    Nov 8 '14 at 3:22
  • @t.thielemans so adding a name to s switch is tantamount to adding a hostname.
    – Note Three
    Nov 8 '14 at 4:42
  • @NoteThree, yes indeed. I guess that's what you needed. Looking at what Remi wrote, he was thinking along the same lines.
    – CustomX
    Nov 13 '14 at 7:33
  • Did any answer help you? if so, you should accept the answer so that the question doesn't keep popping up forever, looking for an answer. Alternatively, you could provide and accept your own answer.
    – Ron Maupin
    Aug 10 '17 at 22:50

I'll take it that you're talking about giving the device a hostname

There are no technical requirement to "name" a device. But as the name is often used to (depending on manufacturer/line)

  • Indicate the device you are logged into
  • Added to Syslog message when sent to a syslog server
  • Indicate the remote device in case of CDP/LLDP and some other stuff...

It's normally a good idea do name your device.

Depending on the particular device, there are variation on the method.


  • Cisco (config mode): hostname name-of-device
  • Juniper (config mode): set system host-name name-of-device

The device will now refer to itself by "name-of-device" instead of a generic name (ie: router, switch, etc) in prompts, syslogs, CDP/LLDP, etc... This is nothing much more than if you entered a computer name in your PC's windows setup.

A side effect of that is that it's wayyy more fun to refer to your router/switch name than it's IP and/or function

Instead of saying that the Core Switch has blown, you can say "insert-device-name-here died". another game often played is to name all your devices following a family/category of name. I've seen servers named after fighter planes (hornet, falcon, etc) named after LoTR character names, etc.

It's more satisfying to say that "MinasTirith (your firewall's name) is secure" than "FW-ASA-1000-BSMT-1 is secure".

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