I changed the hostname of my Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) instance. However, when I reboot or stop and then restart the instance, the hostname reverts to its former name. How do I get the new hostname to persist? 

To be sure that a hostname persists when an EC2 instance is rebooted or stopped, you must add the hostname to the appropriate configuration files on your EC2 instance.

Note: The following steps apply to Ubuntu Linux. For instructions that apply to other distributions, see How do I assign a static hostname to a private Amazon EC2 instance running RHEL 7 or CentOS 7?

1.    Use vim to open the /etc/hosts file.

sudo vim /etc/hosts

2.    Update the /etc/hosts file to include your persistent hostname for localhost, similar to the following: localhost persistent-hostname

Note: You might have to create an entry for localhost if the /etc/hosts file on your EC2 instance does not have an entry for it.

For more information about the hosts file on Ubuntu, see the Ubuntu 18.04 hosts file manpage.

3.    If your EC2 instance uses IPv6, add the following configuration data.

::1 ip6-localhost ip6-loopback
  fe00::0 ip6-localnet
  ff00::0 ip6-mcastprefix
  ff02::1 ip6-allnodes
  ff02::2 ip6-allrouters
  ff02::3 ip6-allhosts

4.    Save and exit the vim editor.

Note: After making this change, press SHIFT+:[colon] to open a new command entry box in the vim editor. Type wq, and then press Enter to save changes and exit vim. Or use SHIFT + ZZ to save and close the file.

5.    Run the hostnamectl command and specify the new hostname. Again, replace the persistent-hostname with the new hostname.

sudo hostnamectl set-hostname persistent-hostname

6.    After you restart or reboot the EC2 instance, run the Linux hostname command without any parameters to verify that the hostname change persisted.


The command should return the new hostname.

Note: If you install any system updates that affect the /etc/hosts file, the hostname file, or the hostname utility, you must run these steps again.

Did this page help you? Yes | No

Back to the AWS Support Knowledge Center

Need help? Visit the AWS Support Center.

Published: 2015-09-02

Updated: 2019-02-01