Mounting Miss Piggy

I was in Houston last week, and I found myself doing some remote tech support over the phone. Everyone in the Houston office patiently waited for me to finish, but gave me the strangest look when I told my assistant back in Michigan, "You're going to have to reboot Gonzo and Fozzie, because they need to mount Miss Piggy."

Needless to say, out of context that conversation sounds a bit awkward. Knowing my servers are all named after Muppet characters, however, makes it pretty clear that Miss Piggy is my file server, and Gonzo and Fozzie need to mount the /home directory.

The truth of the matter is, all my servers are named after Muppet characters, because I have a single Windows 2003 Terminal Server that I wanted to name Animal, since it would be my least stable machine. Har har har.

I'm curious: What is your server naming scheme? Mine have varied over the years from hobbits to robots, and even cartoon characters. Looking around the office, there are some Linux Journal t-shirts and such -- let us know your server names, and why they're named that way, and we'll pick our favorites to send prizes to. I can't wait to hear your names!


Shawn Powers is a Linux Journal Associate Editor. You might find him on IRC, Twitter, or training IT pros at CBT Nuggets.


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My naming scheme has stayed

Adrian's picture

My naming scheme has stayed the same for years: Evil Movie AIs.

* Skynet - Work Desktop
* Proteus - Development Server
* hal9000 - My Laptop

At work for servers I tend to go with names that are apropos to the use: thermo-, hydro-, and chromodynamics - nodes in a computational cluster for mechanical engineers for instance.

Posted from skynet

I have been told that I have

Anonymous's picture

I have been told that I have the most boring server naming scheme ever. My server names include:

chfileserver - File Server
chfilestore - NAS file storage
devserver - development server (Linux!!!)
mailserver - Mail Server

there are a few more that all end in "server". I think naming servers is kind of silly, but I'm kind of boring too.

Brutal servers

Ghost_runner's picture

Can you check the FSTAB on KNIFE1 of the BLADE server?

Fruit names that are also colors

Flickerfly's picture

I have started, at small locations, naming the servers after fruit that is also commonly considered a color.


  • orange (running MPower which is branded orange all over)
  • grape
  • lime

I haven't had to think further than that. Clearly, this isn't a scalable theme, but I like the potential challenge of new names should one of these locations suddenly develop quickly. :-)

Dewey, Cheatum, and Howe.

Anonymous's picture

Dewey, Cheatum, and Howe. :-)


Pulpo's picture

we are all boys here and my boss has a weird sense of humor...

seka - file server
jennaj - print server
ron - application server
tracy - old but relialable general purpose server
jhaze - remote access server


If you pine for literary

Nick Saika's picture

If you pine for literary names, you can just use the characters from Gabriel Garcia Marquez's "One Hundred Years of Solitude" ("Cien anos de soledad"); this is scalable, too!

My naming scheme is somewhat slap-dash, though. My main desktop is named Q after my cat (or, to boost geek-cred, after the Q Continuum in Star Trek:TNG), my development box is DBOX, dad's computer is Petonium (a joke on his name and tendency to use terrestrial elements to name computers), the old beater laying about is Krypton, my netbook is Indie, mum's laptop is Peanut.

The printers, however, have not make the "funky names" list - I just use the model number, (HP1210 or HP4810).

Sci-Fi theme at home

Bill Morgan's picture

Laser Printer - R2D2 (Same printer for PDF/PS printouts - R5D4)
Ink Jet Printer - C3PO
NAS Server - K9
Main Linux Box - EnterpriseD

F.C. Inter Milan players

Stefano's picture

I’m a fan of Inter Football (soccer) Club of Milan, Italy. My servers take their names from the nickname of some players of the team: Deki (Dejan Stankovic), Matrix (Marco Materazzi), Capitano (Javier Zanetti), Mario (Mario Balotelli). It’s great!

I forgot el Cuchu

Stefano's picture

I’m replaying to myself. I forgot the little audio file server: Cuchu (Esteban Cambiasso).

Forza Inter!

Server names

Matt M's picture

When I joined the company I work for, I was impressed to see all their servers using Nato alphabet references. The first server I built and deployed was oscar. The only Nato names we have yet to use are Bravo and Mike. I spend quite a bit of time working with alpha, yankee, lima, whiskey, xray and so on.

For my personal systems I typically make up names, or use names I've heard that I think look neato in a custom bash prompt. My desktop/workstation/development system is named Factory-Prime. My laptop is free-fly-0. Other systems are helion and therion.

Planets (and Pluto)

pmbasehore's picture

Mercury is my netbook, because it is small and fast.
Venus is my Vista machine, because it is pretty and poisonous.
Earth is my Linux file/print server, because it is the source of life.
Mars is my Linux desktop, because it is dualbooted on Venus and thus constantly is waging war for disk space.
Pluto is my Dell laptop, because it is small, dark, and slow.

At home I use characters

Anonymous's picture

At home I use characters from Akira. But I call the media center 'Superama' which is what my daughter used to call Futurama.

At work it's boring stuff like firewall, print-server, data, workstation.

uname -n

Josmar's picture

Well, these are the ones with interesting names:

  • ARGUS is my Linux desktop
  • GANIMEDES is our Linux fileserver
  • ARLINGTON is an old Sparc server (still running SunOS and some application stuff)
  • TINDAK is our proxy (named after a dino from an old cartoon called "Valley of the Dinosaurs")
  • HADES is one of our Windows Domain Controllers (CERBERUS is the other one, of course)
  • GLEEP is a general Linux toolbox with plenty of developer stuff (named after a character from and old cartoon called "The Herculoids")

aon - minipc darkstar -

Anonymous's picture

aon - minipc
darkstar - linux server
revelation - win 2k3 server
deepthought - workstation
zeitgeist - laptop

Middle Earth

sharfah's picture

My university comp sci lab named its machines after London Underground stations:

* moorgate
* aldgate
* angel
* arsenal
* blackfriars
* paddington
* greenwich

I've named my home computers after places from Middle Earth (LOTR). It looks so cool when I see my prompt as:




When I built Earthlinks'

Jay Vaughan's picture

When I built Earthlinks' first net-ops center (yes, that was me), I decided on a naming scheme that would be moderately based on names of bodies in our solar system .. was the primary 'destination' for our customers, the 'internal homebase stuff', the DNS and other services machine, etc. It wasn't used much as a naming scheme after I left (early on), but for many years afterwards I was impressed to still see around in the domain registrars ..

(It was my goal to have one day had '' as a game server, lol, but .. alas .. the 90's were a wild time.)


AlexSam's picture

Funny names and idea :)
I would have used the Simpsons names: Bart, Homer, Lisa maybe LOL
Needless to say I laugh everytime I hear these names

personal machines

knorby's picture

My personal machines:

A few servers:


l33tmmx's picture

Firewall = Molly
Fileserver = Case
Webserver = Maelcum
Desktop = Wintermute
Desktop #2 = Straylight

You got it: Neuromancer (by William Gibson) :)

The worst naming scheme

Peyta Ouchnock's picture

The worst "naming scheme" is the one I saw at my new workplace. It is simply the ... Dell inventory number (I kid you not). Imagine working with servers named (these are actual names)
Needless to say the IT managers there are the most clueless people I ever had to see, it is frightening, but expected. What pride can you have in your work when you inflict yourself such braindamage?

been there seen that

Linuxrebel's picture

Obviously we have worked for the same "manager". I just started giving systems cnames, desktops are first initial last name of the user an servers go by function. Not as cute as muppets or moving names but it's a lot easier to figure out that qa-fs-1 is a file server for qa than if it was named snoopy.


Anonymous's picture

i had already been using the username 'notatoad' all over the web when i got my second computer and had a need to name them. now i go down the list of latin names of toads on wikipedia and pick names from there. my fileserver is grandisonae, my gaming PC is terrestris (the southern toad), my laptop is hoeschi, the linux box that i'm constantly tweaking and breakig is perplexus (the confusing toad - seriously, it's a real toad).

Currently, it's a random

khudgins's picture

Currently, it's a random assortment of names that has no purpose. This was established before I arrived, and I haven't needed to rename everything. (Yet)

Last gig, my servers were all American authors: Hemingway, Capote, Salinger, Longfellow, etc.

Personally, I had a naming scheme that ran into a problem: all were named after clusters of trees, but they all started with g: glade, glen, grove. That's all the English words that fit the subject. Luckily, server, desktop, and laptop were all I needed at the time.

Naming schemes

Anonymous's picture

I use names of cities in Arizona: phoenix, glendale, tempe, mesa, chino...

At a place I used to work, we had two locations.

One named the printers after candy: abbazabba, mars, snickers, sweet tarts...

the other location named the printers after classical composers: chopin, mozart, liszt...


Anonymous's picture

I grew up reading DC comics so I have:

batman - linux box
alfred - media server
riddler, batgirl, robin, and joker - XP boxes
twoface - beowulf/folding server
penguin - my linux laptop.

Server names

rlw's picture

In the begining, being as our founder is from Briton, our servers were named after places in Great Briton: Bristol, York, Essex, Sussex and Windsor. Later on, we had an influx of Trekkies, so we had Enterprise, Yorktown, Intrepid and Constitution. Currently, we are using planets: Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn.


Kenneth's picture

First personal computer was just my initials. I didn't expect I'd ever be christening KWF5 like I did this afternoon.

Nonpersonal computers were named after cats. HP-PAs were Panther#, Linux boxes either Lynx# (workstations) or Leopard# (servers).

Was going to use Dogs in the new data center overseas ("The-Kennel"), but turns out it was rather politically incorrect in the area (Dogs considered an unclean animal). There went two weekends renaming computers. Oops!

I have been using names from

PicoDeRyo's picture

I have been using names from the Bourne series of books and movies. for example

I have actually only used the first three on my home network, but lots of good possibilities

with my current company, ayn

james275's picture

with my current company, ayn rand inspired characters. galt, atlas, dagny, roark, etc.

naming in pairs

rocky's picture

in our classrooms we tend to install in pairs, with 2 on each side of a wall sharing a 5 port switch.

pairs like
Thelma and Louise
Mutt and Jeff
Laurel and Hardy
a threesome is Huey, Duet and Louie
Mork and mIndy
Stan and Ollie


Rex's picture

At various jobs and in various environments I've seen all of these:

Presidents: washington; adams; ... clinton; bush; obama
Periodic Table of Elements: hydrogen; lithium; ... plutonium; ...
Food: apple; banana; ... zucchini
Computer Scientists: knuth; dikjstra; wirth; ...
Seven Deadly Sins: avarice; greed; glutony; ...
Cartoon Characters: huey; louie; dewie; donald; daffy; ...
States: alabama; alaska; ...
Trees: pine; spruce; oak; ...

... there is a long, long list of collections.

Sometimes, hostnames were chosen from a related group (states, for example) where the purpose of the hosts were similar.

Gods of Wind

Eric Nelson's picture

I've never had more than a handful of boxes lying around, so they're named after the Greek wind gods:

Aeolus (current laptop)
Boreas (old laptop)
Zephyr (file server)

Sadly Notos doesn't exist yet.

Beers for workstations and

Anonymous's picture

Beers for workstations and servers. Brands of condoms for printers (!): durex, magic, sultan, trojan. I have no idea why, wasn't my idea. Very few users seem to notice, although they actually can see the list on their screens when selecting a printer for their job.

We recently installed a classroom with 20 or so machines and went with just numbering them.

A sadist might name servers

Chris Robison's picture

A sadist might name servers after single-word Autechre song names, e.g. "Cfern", "Uviol", "Nil", "Dael", "Yulquen", "Rsdio", "Glitch", "Vletrmx", "Gnit", "Drane2". Imagine having to spell these correctly, or pronounce them when talking to coworkers.

Or some of the more abstract song names like "", "C/Pach", and "P.:ntil", which might have to be escaped....


Cory Wright's picture

I currently use names of metals:

  silver, copper, nickel, zinc, etc

In the past I've used figures from history:

  napoleon, caesar, dandolo, etc

Someone told me once that they used the names of candy bars, which sounded original.

names are for people who don't have enough servers to watch

Ol Chappy's picture

In the good old days, my organization named servers after animals featured on the covers of the various great O'Reilly books: emu, camel, owl, ram, koala, etc. Never a shortage of names, since there's always another O'Reilly book, but once you start getting to chinchillas you know your scheme has had it.
Nowadays we've got so many machines that we're obliged to use a much simpler system: each host's name is a code determined by their role in the system, the order in which they got set up, and the data center location. Our first file server on the east coast, then: You can pretty much take it from there.
Not as entertaining, maybe, but it does make it that much easier to write scripts that iterate through a list of servers.

Hitchhikers theme

AJ's picture

The first pair of Sun workstations I was responsible for were named Soulianis and Rahm after the twin suns of the planet Magrathea (upon which the Restaurant at the End of the Universe was built). I later added a file-server called Garkbit, that being the name of the waiter at the Restaurant (according to the printed HHGttG radio scripts).


Jeri's picture

I go for sentient Heinlein computers/spaceships and extraneous characters at home.

Minerva, Athena, Mycroft, Dora, Lazarus, etc.

At work we do cities, almost everyone in IT has a server named after the city of their birth. (we have hundreds of servers)

My Personal Computers

Daniel Cousineau's picture

I've named my computers after the members of the band Dream Theater. My desktop I named "portnoy" (it was my first dual core machine and Mike Portnoy is famous for using dual bass drums), my laptop is "petrucci" (named after the guitarist, John Petrucci), my router is "rudess" (Jordan Rudess, keyboardist), any virtual machines are named "myung" (John Myung, bassist).

I name anything that has died "labrie" after James LaBrie, the singer, who's voice sometimes makes me want to die.

Idiot Comment

Brandon's picture

For those who didn't get the vague reference, the "You're all idiots!" comment posted anonymously earlier today is a "quote" from Sam the Eagle.

Looney Tunes

ChrisMason's picture

At home, all my machines are named after Looney Tunes characters:

  • laptop - roadrunner
  • desktop - bugs
  • server - daffy
  • server - elmer
  • server - taz
  • printer - foghorn
  • router - tweety

Machine personalities

crredwards's picture

Thus far, I've used a combination of Windows and Linux machines for various purposes and simply named the machines after their own "personalities." The pieced-together machine that sprawled out of the chassis was Fomorian, the bitchy one that corrupted everything was Lucretia_cyBorgia, and my current Windows/Linux creature is Moshpit (also partially named after my creative house/company). In time I'll be needing an FTP server, which will more than likely be called DrunkTank, and a laptop that's going to have to TELL me what her name is.

My husband's company has named their big-number-of-machines after underwater creatures, so there's flounder, grouper, skate, etc. This makes the SMS notifications during crashes and errors entertaining, at least.

I agree to a point with the above poster who claims this makes the IT department look unprofessional. In my case, looking unprofessional is half the goal since these particular machines are used in my home office for my work as writer and documentation expert. In my husband's company's case, they needed names to follow the alphabetic scheme already in place, and there's a sea creature name for every letter of the alphabet. It seemed a natural fit. They're up to U now. (After this I think they're using tree names.) So in some cases there are valid, important reasons for using easily memorized names. It's not always practical to use forgettable ones.

Server names

Anonymous's picture

Our servers have 3 name schemes, depending on who owns or administers the machine.

My machines are named after Knights of the Round Table (Monty Python version). My Linux desktop is king-arthur. My linux laptop is sir-galahad. My pocket PC is sir-lancelot. My Windows laptop is sir-bedevere, and the two old iMacs running Ubuntu are sir-robin and sir-gawain.

My roommate's machines are [something]nova. I don't believe it's any particular scheme, just something that sounds cool in front of 'nova'.

The shared servers, which are variously made up of parts that belong to both of us or are administered by both of us, have names based in sci-fi. The firewall/router is Galactica. The file server is Hiro. The FTP server is Babylon, etc.

A slew of weirdness

FredR's picture

One of my customer's at a previous job had two VAX machines Bert and Ernie. He also had two windows AD servers, Stan and Ollie.

A friend Dave named all of his servers after dead classic rock musicians: hendrix, bonham.

Umm at a previous job, we had all moons of jupiter: elara, europa, and the mail server was (hehe) IO.
At the same job, the windows servers were cerberus and pogo (because of how often it went up and down).

Personally, for virtual machines, I try and make up names, sometimes they're based on numbers:

x (roman numeral 10)

-- FLR or flrichar is a superfan of Linux Journal, and goofs around in the LJ IRC Channel

"You're all idiots!"

Anonymous's picture

"You're all idiots!"

We might be idiots...

goblin's picture

... but you obviously have nothing better to do than to read our posts.

Happy to keep you entertained!


Carlie Fairchild's picture

We love our Linux Journal readers. :)

Carlie Fairchild is the publisher of Linux Journal.

server names

lipbalm's picture

They used to all be named after Transformers:


At some point I got bored with that and (ironically) everybody got a much more boring name:
exforty (my ThinkPad X40)
mba (my MacBook Air
print (the print server)
nas (the file server)
and so on...

The new naming scheme isn't as fun, but it's a lot easier to remember what is what.

My own cartoon(y) network

Daniel Ramirez's picture

I laugh a lot readin' this article 'cause i usually give to every of my computers (it's a small home network setup) a cartoon character name:

My oldest pc on the net (from 1998, running a web server) is named Snoopy.
The second one is Daria, the ssh server is Garfield and i have also another one called Kermit; the last one is Gumby.

I wish to buy another machine: will be Ren_Hoëk, i think.

And about ugly names:
I always remember that random characters suggested for the Windows 9x setup:
-Whats your pc's name?
-Wel, it's JHK7B... something. Oh my...