A hostname is used to distinguish devices within a local network. Not only that, but computers can be located by others this way, and can interface with them through a network. You’ve long since been able to change your hostname on other operating systems, and for those who don’t use their devices on a network or shared server, it can be a fun way to feel a sense of ownership over it. Primarily, though, it’s a way to identify your specific device while troubleshooting network issues and such. Now, Chrome OS is gaining a new feature which will allow users to update their device hostname as well, simplifying much of this going forward.
Dinsan over at Chrome Story did report on this last year, but Google continued to toss around the idea of either implementing it or killing it off. Luckily, Android Police just uncovered a bunch of repository commits that show it’s still alive and kicking. The image above is actually showing off the ability to set the hostname directly through the Settings app under ‘About Chrome OS’. Near the bottom, of the page, a ‘Device name’ option will eventually exist. Clicking it once it’s fully rolled out will show ‘ChromeOS’ by default, and you can type in whatever you wish.
While it’s not working at this time, it is a great feature and I’m glad it’s being considered. Anyone who needs to identify their device in Crosh or elsewhere will then be able to type the alphanumeric chosen name instead of the full IP address, making network diagnostics more straightforward. That’s not to mention locating it on a network to connect it to Bluetooth devices (even though I just did).
The new diagnostics app for Chrome OS is helpful, but doing things directly through a command line will always be superior for those who are capable. Let me know in the comments what device name you’re going to choose when you finally can! I’m going to name all of my Chromebooks after Final Fantasy Tactics characters because I’m a huge dork!