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 is Associate Editor here at Linux Journal, and has been around Linux since the beginning. He has a passion for open source, and he loves to teach. He also drinks too much coffee, which often shows in his writing.


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7-Deadly Sins

jborgmann's picture

I name all mine after the 7 Deadly Sins

Lust - iPod Touch
Gluttony - desktop
Greed - Windows
Sloth - Server machine
Wrath - Mac
Envy - Firewall
Pride - BSD/Mudserver

Only 7 machines?

FredR's picture

If you have more than seven machines, you'll run out of names and have to revert to congressmen...

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

I currently use Russian

Broderick's picture

I currently use Russian literary giants for my naming scheme at home.

Gogol - Server
Tolstoy - Massive Desktop
Bulgakov - Dell Mini
Chekhov - Media Center
Dostoevsky - Girlfriend's Laptop

The two below are not on my home network, but named by me none the less

Pushkin - Linux laptop I put together for my sister.
Nabokov - Linux laptop I put together for my friend Rachel.

In the past I've named them after characters from favorite books, such as Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace.

The Devil's work and the Greek alphabet.

Anonymous's picture

Back in the 90's when I got my first PC, I managed to erase the operating system (Windows 95) by accident within 3 hours of plugging it in. After much cursing and faffing about, I got it working again, but decided the damn thing was the spawn of the devil, and christened it 'Satan'. Since then, this tongue in cheek reference has stuck, each subsequent machine has been called Satan, but distinguished by a Greek letter after the 'name'. This has stuck even though I have moved over to Linux and stopped breaking operating systems now ;-)

My main desktop - Satan alpha
Secondary desktop - S. beta
Laptops S. Gamma, S. Delta and S. Epsilon
The network - Hades (of course)

I did have a powerful desktop replacement laptop from work that was named 'The beast' (because it really was one) until the motherboard packed up :-(

I guess that when things get more complex and I have built proper servers in to the equation, I will probably name them after the circles of hell - Limbo, Lust, Gluttony, Greed, Wrath, Heresy, Violence, Fraud, and Treason - for want of anything better to do.

Or I might get bored with the theme, and start getting sensible with number location and function ;-)

Muppets and Fraggles

mS's picture

All of my internal boxes are named after Muppets. Beaker's my primary. All of my external facing boxes are named after Fraggles, with Mokey as my firewall.

Harry Potter System Naming Theme

ScottMGS's picture

We set up our home network with a Harry Potter theme. The kids were really into Harry Potter at the time (and still are, mostly). We're home-schoolers so each of our personal computers was named after one of the school houses; "gryffindor", "slytherin", "hufflepuff" and "ravenclaw". The little Buffalo NFS used as file and music library and backups is "madamepince", named after the Hogwarts librarian. I named my old laptop "pensieve" after the glowing shallow stone basin carved with runes where people can revisit memories. My current laptop is "greathall" which is the cafeteria and ballroom at Hogwarts. My daughter's new laptop is "minerva" after the head of Gryffindor house Minerva McGonagall - a taskmaster that will keep her focused on her schoolwork.

PLoS (public library of

Anonymous's picture

PLoS (public library of science) uses a Harry Potter theme for their colo'd servers (they're a row over from ours).

Family Guy

Carlie Fairchild's picture

All Family Guy characters here.

I'm Stewie... you know, big head and all.

Carlie Fairchild is the publisher of Linux Journal.

Not exactly servers, but...

goblin's picture

I name my machines after characters in the movie "Aliens".

Hudson: Current Desktop (its Celeron processor makes it a bit wimpy about huge tasks, but does the job when the going gets tough. "Game over, man!")
Apone: My first desktop PC (an old, tough 80486 I keep around, just in case. "Nobody touch nothin'!")
Vasquez: Server-toy (a SLUG/NSLU2 I use as a test server. "Vamos!")

my desktop computer: schmu /

paniq's picture

my desktop computer: schmu / shmoo (a cuddle word for my girlfriend and me)
the laptop of my girlfriend: magnolia (after the movie)
my laptop: lichthupe / light honker

I thought that was my word!

Webmistress's picture

heh heh... Shmooooooooooooooo!

Katherine Druckman is webmistress at You might find her on Twitter or at the Southwest Drupal Summit

Characters from the Reboot Cartoon

Steven Price's picture

I use Character names from the Best cartoon ever Reboot

phong macbook
megabyte fileserver (linux)
bob windows laptop
dixon imac
dot windows desktop
enzo ubuntu laptop

Server Names

Chris Henn's picture

I only have control over the computers I actually use personaly, but I have named them this:

Primary Computer/Laptop: lolcakes
Old Laptop I fixed up: Bunkem (or something like that, I havn't used it in a while.


Stuart Freeman's picture

I name the (Debian) machines in my home network after Japanese giant monsters.

Gamera - desktop
Minilla - eee
Mothra - laptop
Barugon - server
Megalon - media-center

and my wife named her Ubuntu laptop Wall-E.

Server Names

Daniel Bartholomew's picture

I favor mnemonic names to help me remember their function. Our servers also have two or more names. One is the "real" name, and the other is the function name (a DNS CNAME record pointing at the real name). For example, our Wiki server's real name is 'carnegie'. Named after Andrew Carnegie and the Libraries he built. So the name reminds me of what the server does, but doesn't tie the server to that particular function. The function name is 'wiki' and everyone connects to 'wiki' when they want to go to the wiki. So, if we ever replace carnegie we just have to update the CNAME and everyone will be redirected to the new server seamlessly with minimal disruption.

This naming scheme is only for the rather small collection of servers that provide things like jabber, wiki, http, smtp, imap, nfs, ldap, kerberos, and other core infrastructure services. Our large collection of application servers have more boring 'host001'-type names.

Wallace and Gromit

Anonymous's picture

We have a small number of machines in my house named after the Wallace and Gromit characters. Systems include:

  • Desktop: Wallace
  • Laptops: Gromit, Preston
  • MythTV: Feathers
  • Server: Shaun

    The side advantage of using such a small number of available names is it helps keep my machine purchasing habits under budget! :-)

  • Personal Vs work

    Chris J's picture

    Most of my personal boxes have an Underwater Archaeological naming scheme:
    Alexandra (as in the Library of)
    Asherah (the first underwater sub used for Archaeology).

    The only personal box that doesn't fit that is my laptop, which is named after a droid from a series of Starwars novels.

    For work: When I get to name a back end server (front end servers have a standard format of business unit, office, descriptor, and number) I tend to use fictional locations.

    Watchtower (JLA)

    agree with Rollins

    Cesar Diaz's picture

    I agree with Rollins, using cute names for productions servers eventually makes you look unprofessional. I always like to use server names that make it easy to tell the purpose of the server.

    With that said at home I don't need to be professional. Currently I use characters from the Godfather movies. Main FreeBSD server is Corleone. File server is Mike, kid's computer is Fredo, wife's computer is Connie and laptop is Sonny. At other points I've had a Clemenza, a Barzini and a Tessio.


    I work in a biology research

    Anonymous's picture

    I work in a biology research lab and all our computers are named after scientists: Galileo, Nobel, Pasteur, Shrodinger etc...

    Currently I use different

    ajh's picture

    Currently I use different varieties of chillies (jalapeno, habanero etc).

    In a previous job I used characters from Wheel of Time which gave a lot of name space.

    For my personal equipment (servers, laptops, phones, pda) I use characters or objects from the Sprawl trilogy.

    internal VS external

    James123's picture

    Based in San Francisco, we use for our internal servers the names of the former mayors/alacades of the City.
    Starting with 'Francisco', who hosts the virtual servers, 'Jose' for DEV environment, 'Ignacio' for QA etc.

    For our external/production servers, we use a numbered scheme. Boring, but better to handle.

    A couple of years ago I worked at a startup where the names where taken from the team's ex-girlfriends/boyfriends. Victoria was the Mail-Server (man, she talked a lot). Big Berta was the fileserver etc. ;)

    Andy Griffith characters

    Paul Tourville's picture

    At home, Desktops and Servers are named after Andy Griffith Show characters (opie, andy, barney, gomer, goober, auntbea, clara, et cetera). Laptops are named after cops and cop cars... like ramrod, car54, adam12, bullitt, powell and doyle.

    At work, I agree with "Rollins" above, that "cute names" don't cut it when you have more than a couple machines.

    wopr, bigmac, and peta were

    theillien's picture

    wopr, bigmac, and peta were the primary servers at the last place I worked.

    Non-scaling naming conventions

    Ex-Tivolite's picture

    Tivoli had over 7,000 server-class machines at one point.

    Personal developer servers, the under the desk kind, were beer names. And at Tivoli, we knew our beers (Whip In, a local distributor, dispatched a full van to our sites every Friday about beer-thirty).

    "Real" development servers had names of planets and moons. Io, Tycho, etc.

    And then IBM came, and now we have comfortable, easily remembered servers like ADB306Y023 (AIX database server at building 306, test server, #023). (Okay, I'm making up that nomenclature, but it's close.)

    Question to grumpy scaling guy is this: is it easier for real people to remember FostersBitters than a server name only the Illuminati could relate to.


    I am nostalgic gamer

    Skarn86's picture

    At home I name my computers after the AIs from the videogame "Deus EX" (yeah, still greek mythology)

    helios the desktop
    daedalus the laptop
    icarus the fileserver
    morpheus the smartphone

    At work all servers are named after mushrooms, like amanita or boletus, as the boss loves mountain trips.

    Vintage Games

    Devin's picture

    The company I work for used to use vintage video games:


    Now we tend to make more useful names, however.

    My naming scheme

    atoponce's picture

    You can read all about it here: post 1, post 2, post 3 and post 4. Basically, I go after the standard, rather overused, but still interesting Greek Gods.

    Science, FTW!

    Anonymous's picture

    I usually use names and words from nature, such as the names of plants, animals, stars, constellations, etc. Some examples:



    Me too...

    Anonymous's picture

    This is funny. I also name my computers with muppet names.

    Miss piggy is a very old laptop I have that is always very dirty.

    Gonzo and Camilla are two twin servers that are standing right next to each other.

    I also have waldorf, kermit and beaker.

    That's sorta bizarre to read. :)

    Shawn Powers's picture

    It's like you're peeking in my server room, Anonymous. :)

    Miss Piggy = File server
    Kermit = Email server
    Gonzo = LTSP (Terminal server)
    Fozzie = LTSP
    Animal = Windows 2003 Terminal server
    Beaker = LDAP server
    Statler = Xserve (for Mac apps)
    Waldorf = BackupPC machine
    Rizzo = Finance server
    Zoot = Web server
    Scooter = Proxy/Web Filter
    Crazy Harry = Old test machine

    Shawn is Associate Editor here at Linux Journal, and has been around Linux since the beginning. He has a passion for open source, and he loves to teach. He also drinks too much coffee, which often shows in his writing.

    Looks like Shaawn wins for

    Adrian's picture

    Looks like Shaawn wins for "Most Muppet Characters Named"

    Named after prisons

    Gumnos's picture

    Previously working for a company that developed software used in the law-enforcement sector, we had

    • Alcatraz (email and domain-controller)
    • Sing-Sing (VSS Source-code repository)
    • Leavenworth (testing server)
    • (San) Quentin (OpenBSD, then Debian, for SFTP and my play)
    • Attica & Folsom were still pending deployment

    Sadly most of them were Win32 and were a bit too easy to break into.


    Server names

    Rollins's picture

    I've over the years been saddled with many naming schemes..... planets, gods, characters of this or that tv show....




    Stop the insanity! All these schemes are 'fun' and 'cute' when you have 3 or 4 servers, but quickly make the UNIX group look like a bunch of unprofessional twits once you get any real visibility or have to start supporting 10+ servers. At all work places I go, I quickly work to change things over to boring names like svr0001, or sun0023, etc....

    At home sure I use 'cute' names, but I at least know I don't have to be professional at home. FWIW I use precious stones, and metals. So this was written on Jade(laptop), and transfered via gold (web proxy) to silver (router) onto the internet...

    The Blues Brothers

    David Lane's picture

    Back in the late 1990s , I had a suite of Penguin servers. The first two that came in were Jake and Elwood. Followed by BroZ (Brother Z) and Mighty Mac. I had two left over, so one was Cab, after Cab Calloway and I forget what the sixth one was called...but I want to say Matt. Our UX based system was named after members of the extended McDuck family...our HR server was named Daisy (our VP of HR was a woman).

    I have also used straight letters and the ever popular directions (left, right, center, top, bottom - hey, don't laugh it was descriptive).

    I know, you should always be logical in your naming convention with a purpose, location and model...but personally, I would rather be mouting Ms. me twisted.

    David Lane, KG4GIY is a member of Linux Journal's Editorial Advisory Panel and the Control Op for Linux Journal's Virtual Ham Shack

    server names

    Mike D. Johnson's picture

    One previous company I worked at used all Star Trek character names for systems (shocker). I've seen others that use the names of all their different food products. Or named after different trees.
    My personal preference is to name my servers after favorite beers or brewpubs.

    My dogs and TV

    Stu's picture

    Most of my linux boxes are now named after my dog (nicknames being the variations).

    Abbey (her real name)
    Mule (as in Ani"mule")

    Some have been named after stuff from TV shows:


    My creativity at "install" time is usually pretty basic.

    On a work term way back before I really knew anything about Linux my boss suggested I come up with the name for this Red Hat Linux computer I was to work on (sometime around 1998). I offered "pengu" because it came with a little stuffed penguin.... he looked at me like I had a 3rd eye and chose to name it companyname_04...yeah... he was lame.