Fixing an Unexpected Prompt Hostname in OS X

In Mac OS X, you may have noticed if you use the Terminal that OS X automatically picks up what it thinks your hostname should be and sets it. This is nice, but the problem with it is if any utility uses your hostname to set config files, you’ll have a different config file every time.

How to fix a “Strange Hostname” in an OS X Prompt

If you are getting varied prompts that look like this…:

rcogley@em60-123-194-6 ~>

…where what you’re expecting is something like this:

rcogley@rickmac ~>

To fix this, you can use scutil. Here’s how I did it:

scutil --set HostName ""

Substitute the rickmac bit with your own hostname and domain and you’ll be good to go with a static prompt. Try these also:

scutil --get HostName

scutil --get LocalHostName

scutil --get ComputerName

man scutil

I hope this helps someone. Enjoy!


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—by Rick Cogley