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.


Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

Zappa tunes or characters therein

Shane's picture

Home setup is pretty bizarre but my kids kind of like it
Each kids computer is named based on a Frank zappa song Andy, Alley-Cat, Cheepnis, Valley-girl, envelopes, bow-tie-daddy, black-beauty, waka-jawaka, alien-princess (rather than Jewish princess), print server is known as Fr-oblivion and serves print jobs to st-alphonso, pancake and breakfast, other printers have been known as gregary peccary, etc, another print server was named nanook, some firewalls are known as calvin, hitchhiker-1 and hitchhiker-2, the webserver is known is known as megaphone-of-destiny and the hardrives on my main machine are known as peaches-en-regalia, pygmy-pony, big swifty, billy the mountain and uncle remus. Older machines, since passed on to silicon heaven, have had hds named zomby woof, the slime etc. Still over 200 names available if I use the entire Zappa catalogue.

server names

Anonymous's picture

A group of four servers used for automated recording with ecasound: Gene, Peter, Paul, Ace
A renderfarm: rawhide, reno, perfecttommy, pecos
my home fileservers: DeeDee, Johnny, Joey, Tommy, Marky, Richie, Elvis, CJ

Southpark Characters

Anonymous's picture

I used to collect people's old machines left by their garbage, all before the economic downturn. All pretty crappy machines with bare minimum memory and no harddrives ....

First there was Timmy then Kyle etc etc

Server names...

lnxguy's picture

Zoomer - Really fast.
Twister - Waaay fast.
Walmart - Paid $199.99 for it. Works great!
Smiley - Has a case with a smile-shaped design.
Sundown - Named after the physical location.
Dellio - The only Dell among them (duh).
Wally - Built from the original Walmart's parts.

I guess the naming convention is based on the personality of each of the machines.

Server names

Anonymous's picture

"Big Girls Blouse" is my all time favourite name, not a theme sorry.

B5 names

elwing's picture

File server (really big beefy thing): Kosh
firewall: Garibaldi
my desktop: Delenn
my husband's desktop: Sheridan
my laptop: lennier
his laptop: ivanova
our media center: vir

My home systems...

MikeM's picture

Main system - FX55, 2gb, dual 6800 Ultra in SLI : Rasputin
backup system - openfiler in iSCSI mode - AMD 2800+, 512mb, 520gb of drives in RAID0 : Stalin

Other systems : Lenin (Stalin's twin, repurposed for my GF's use)
Kerensky = retired laptop
Zinoviev = retired desktop
Trotsky = repurposed Intel 800EB w/512mb, random HD assortment - it's a media-access server with 2 different types of DVD-RAM, a Syjet, an EZFlyer, a Superdisk and other of my assortment of old hardware.

Server Names

MikeM's picture

Well, lessee :

Critical Application Servers : Buffy, Willow, Kendra, Tara, Dawn, Cordy, Anya
The room they are all located : Sunnydale
When referencing them - "The Slayers"

Naming conventions

Anonymous's picture

Last place I worked at we used states for the distributed servers... the bigger the state, the beefier the box... made it fun to keep track of things.

When we brought in our NAS and had to name it we went with countries... put a big ole maple leaf sticker on the side, played 'Oh Canada' and welcomed Canada into our mix. it was a riot.

Star Trek and Dragonlance names (hey, it works for me)

Terrell Prude' Jr.'s picture

DNS servers: mrspock and uhura
Mail server: fizban
K12LTSP server: takhisis
Web server: scotty
Packet sniffer/IDS: captkirk (due to "promiscuous mode" network card)
LDAP/Kerberos auth server: tasselhoff
OpenBSD Firewall: spamslayer (the only "oddball" name, in honor of the real-life anti-spam crusader of the same name)


Klingon, anyone?

El Perro Loco's picture

I am almost sure I missed it (among more than a hundred comments), but has anybody named their servers with names in Klingon? It would be fun to name the servers over the phone... :-)

Pet names

Anonymous's picture

My Linux machines are named after smart cartoon dogs:

Snoopy; NAS
Lassie: Print server
Rintintin: Desktop
Timmy: Desktop

My one Windows machine is named Odie because I needed the name of a stupid dog.

Star Trek

ChrisB's picture

My work machines are named after Star Trek:

Kirk - webserver
Spock - backup webserver
McCoy - database server
Scotty - web testing
Uhura - greylist/anti-spam
Chekov - Snort
Sulu - Work Desktop
Picard - new webserver
Riker - new testing web

The windows boxes are:
Vader - SQL
Palpatine - web

Good breweries

Bill's picture

I named our compute servers after good breweries. They had to be 1) good beer, 2) one word, 3) have a web page that I could mention in each machine's /etc/motd.

That gave us machines named adnams, alaskan, anderson, ayinger, bridgeport, chimay, deschutes, fuller, guinness, mcmenamin, mendocino, morland, newbelgium, northcoast, odell, pike, pyramid, redhook, rogue, schlenkerla, theakston, tiedhouse, uinta, wadworth, wasatch, widmer, young...

I reserved miller, coors, budlite, etc. for Windows machines, but luckily never had any.


Blue60's picture

I used names from a cartoon called Invader Zim.

Gir = Router
Dib, Zim = Desktop computers
Roomwithamoose = File Server

you get the Idea

naming scheme

ilan's picture

My personal systems are named after happy days characters.


BTVS names

Pablo's picture

spike, willow, giles ...

love this

Webmistress's picture


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

Trying to cling to my youth

Daniel's picture

Definitely not signs of a mid-life crisis, my home setup is:

mousetrap (router)
kerplunk (file server)
buckaroo (laptop)

When I get permission to add another one, it'll be hungryhungryhippos or yahtzee. Or maybe I should just accept adulthood...

hungryhungryhippos--good name for a *distro*

Terrell Prude' Jr.'s picture

That's what Canonical should've named Ubuntu 8.04 LTS: "Hungry Hippo". :-)


Computer naming

Anonymous's picture

Computer naming scheme:

Primary Desktop (Ubuntu latest stable) - Herc
Primary Laptop (Windows Vista, yuck) - Atlas
Linux Laptop - Hind (Ubuntu latest test)
Linux Server/NFS - Hydra (Fedora 10 Server)
Guest Laptop - Izzy (Windows XP)
PS3 - Daedelus

Your Laptop -:)

El Perro Loco's picture

You might want to rename your laptops "Sisyphus I" and Sisyphus II, since they run on Vista/XP. :-)
Just when he was almost getting there, Sisyphus had to reboot...

BTW, do take a look at the Wikipedia entry: See how they describe him. It sooooooo makes me think of a certain company, its tactics and products...! :-)

(OK, I ran out of smileys. I'll stop now.)


Michael Rudas's picture

I have a dual-boot PC. The Linux side is Ariel (it's magic). The WinXP side is Loki (the Trickster). My wife's laptop is Stevie, the wireless gateway is Lindsay, so my second PC is Green.

~~ ScienceMikey

I named my home cluster

jijin's picture

I named my home cluster after the owner's favorite drugs.

* meth - my desktop/gaming
* dxm - my laptop
* morphine - HTPC
* coke - girlfriend's desktop
* mdma - music fileserver
* lsd - roommate A's desktop
* thc - roommate B's desktop
* salvia - roommate B's laptop
* caffeine - router internal
* tobacco - router external
* crack - proxy/mail
* peyote - print
* alcohol - apache

Yes, I know I have alot of people living with me, but also look how many computers I have ;)

Muppet Names

TheGreatGonzo's picture

So I am not alone. My co-workers find it strange that my primary work laptops are Kermit and Gonzo and that there are machines dotted around the office with names such as Animal, Beaker, DrHoneyDew and SwedishChef.

Beats workpc or owens-work-office-machine!!

Server names

daFool's picture

My first home server was part of nullnet (modems with uucp) so the only option for it's name was of course "error". It is really nice to read logs which have errors in them while transferring data on the nullnet and everything is still fine.

Soon "error" was followed with "fault", "crash" and "coredump". My home servers, workstations and laptops have always been errors and when I installed first version of Ubuntu to my wife's former Windows laptop I was sure it would be a "mistake". It wasn't, but the name stuck.

The only windows box in the house is "evil" (used for testing AD integration and testing things that windows admins at work would hang me for).

When I worked for the university administration the shop was mainly windows workstations only and to terrorize the general public I installed two linux boxes: "horror" and "terror".

While I worked for the Exchange I named my boxes after demons, especially I was fond of Mammon (I played In Nomine a lot then).

For my current employer I started with mythical monsters (pih-si, kraken, ..., yes we had AD&D retro campaign and some Ars Magica). My character in Ars Magica was tempted with demonic lover and soon I was again naming boxes after the demonology (amon, baal, dantalion). After awhile even more darker mood took over me and I switched to Cthulhu Mythos (cthulhu, dagon, hastur,..., yes, you guessed it, we played Paranoia and Cthulhu). After several complaints from windows admins about how hard ghatanothoa is to type I switched to the ancient gods (ani, apsu, enki, innah, inanna, nimmah,..., these days I only have time to play real games with lives of mere mortals).

I have also used movies and series to name boxes, for example Xen-server called "borg" has two virtuals "picard" and "riker" in it.

The windows admins have got their revenge, current naming scheme for windows boxes produces names like fihkisrtd01.root.local and probably has some great logic behind it. And at late I have found that I have a better knack for remembering ip-addresses than server names.

Server Names

Peter's picture

At work we name our servers/machines after Family Guy characters:

Stewie: Our local dev server, since it's cute and fun to play with
Brian: Our main dedicated server, since it's nice and reliable
Quagmire: Our Windows VPS, since it's a mess and keeps going down on us :P
Chris: My dev machine, since it looks fat and slow, but hides a sharp wit and intellect

Antiquated names

porkchop's picture

Have a tendancy to name all my equipment at home with an old fashioned naming convention.

Archibald - Desktop/old file server
Beatrice - NLUS2 device
Cornelius - Dedicated File Server

n.b. will have to relabel a trial myth box I am playing with to Mavis to keep with above naming scheme!

Naming schemes

flyfishpanfish's picture

I fly fish so I have servers called Trout(testing) and Panfish(production oddities). Guppy1 and Guppy2 are two older servers that are being re-porpoised for a quick "can we do it" test. Initial buildout of some database servers last winter were named Brook, Brown, and Redband - I had just gotten a new 7ft 4wt and wanted to be on stream somewhere casting Kennebec Wulffs and Wooly Buggers to hungry trout but instead was in the server room building out boxes.

Had a database management server for years named in honor of a former DBA and enjoyed getting status emails from Emily. I use a Greco-Roman scheme for our contractors servers. Another bunch follow my agency's grand naming scheme(boring), leaving the fun stuff for use as user acct names and passwords that only SysAdmin or DBAs see.

I have a handful of virtual machines with their OS in their names because it annoys some staff that I don't use Windows. My work DT and LT have my name so our HelpDesk will stay away from them. And at home I have a G1G1 XO I bought last November named Finch (small, cute, colorful).

Of my machines at work only my DT runs Windows (with Xubuntu and Fedora guests), others are mix of Red Hat, CentOs, and Ubuntu(with a WinXP guest). And come January that WinXP DT is getting transformed into a Linux OS with a WinXP guest!

Christian saints

gus3-notloggedin's picture

I'm Eastern Orthodox, and the list of names is nearly inexhaustible:

joseph (original desktop--the breadwinner)
mary (the gateway--get it?)
peter (SPARC system--he had a fiery temper)
joachim and anna--used laptops ("those who went before")
paul (new desktop, dual-core AMD64--building on foundations)

Server Names

Ragi Sekaly's picture

My servers are named for penguin families:


with network name:

mountain ones

antoniorv's picture

I've named my lan machines after 8K mountains. So:

- The one a I use: Base-Camp

And the others: Everest, K2, Lhotse, Nanga-Parbat, Broad-Peak, Gasherbrum, Makalu, Manaslu, Kangchenjunga, Shisha-Pangma, Cho-Oyu, Daulaghiri, Annapurna and Hidden-Peak

Being a big fan of cooking,

jonfhancock's picture

Being a big fan of cooking, I've used herbs and spices.

rosemary (file server)
clove (TS server)
mint (AD server)
basil (proxy - linux - depriciated in favor of OpenDNS for filtering)
chili (firewall) har har
ginger (VMWare host machine - linux)

I've also used Tolkien characters and locations in the past, but I always chose the more obscure ones.

finduilas (web - linux)
tuor (file)
glaurung (firewall) har har again (Glaurung was a dragon)
erkenbrand (AD)
ugluk (proxy - linux)
feanor (TS)

For many years my

Anonymous's picture

For many years my experimental box has been named Phoenix, because it repeatedly rises from the ashes of my tinkerings. Maybe Lazarus would be a better choice.....

Computer naming convention

DrewS's picture

Well, I went through the whole list thinking I had a unique naming convention until I read Rollins' post. I use mineral names primarily because in university I studied Geology. So, here's my current list of names:




  Platinum (my XP box)
  Opal (kids)
  Diamond (wife's)
  Beryl (my Linux box)
  Jade (firewall)

Speaking of mineral names, there was one specific mineral we learned of which caused the entire class to roar with laughter (given that most of the students were guys). It was called "cummingtonite". REALLY!! Clearly, I wouldn't use that name in my home!

Constelations and Stars

TheTithe's picture

I've been using the named stars in the constellation of orion for quite some time. I found this very flexible because you can even do larger networks that have to bridge with this naming scheme, you just choose a different constellation and grab the named stars from there.

Naming Schemes

N600LW's picture

I have used several naming schemes over the years. When I first started building a network at home, I decided to go with cartoon characters, and I named my first Linux machine "opus" for obvious reasons. When "The Matrix" came out, I changed naming schemes and called my desktop neo, my wife's desktop trinity, etc.

With time and experience, I have gotten a little less original (okay, the "Matrix" scheme wasn't that original...) and now prefer names that actually have something to do with the services my servers provide, using such catchy and inspiring names as "www", "ns01", "samba" and "mail". We do, however, still have "stan" and "cartman" where I work, and I proposed "kenny" for one of our few Windows servers ;) Our Windows desktops follow a standard naming convention of 3-letter city code, primary user's user name, "XP" (since almost all of them are XP machines) and a two digit sequential number, as in ancjschmoexp02.


bartman's picture

I name my systems after elements because I can use the atomic number as the last octet of the IPv4 address (oxygen with atomic number 8, becomes on my home network. Since I already committed that table to memory why not use it as a DNS.

Reminds me of my years at Monsanto...

Bill's picture

Monsanto followed a similar naming scheme in the mid-1980s. I spent most of my time working on the machine named "Carbon".

My schema revolves around my

mcmillan's picture

My schema revolves around my football teams, NASCAR tracks and former nicknames I've "held".

I have started to name database instances after football teams, and my systems are NASCAR tracks and the nicknames:


I will not reveal my nicknames for fear of renewed heckling :)

But, I never reuse a name.


At home I use

mr.jester's picture

At home I use elements.

hydrogen - personal laptop
radon - work laptop
krypton - server
neon - PS3
carbon - private side of router
silicon - public side of router
iron - modem
oxygen - web server

At the office we use a Location/Environment/Code designation

HOUTS600 - HOU - Houston, TS - Test, 6XX - fire servers. The numbers breakdown roughly by 100s to differentiate the services provided. It is a pretty good system that provides a lot of information and still maintains the 8 character, alphanumeric hostname for legacy support.

A mix and ready to change...

xiaohaozi's picture

Currently I have a mix of anime (from samurai champloo) and sci fi:
some examples include...
mugen, fuu, jin, hotaru
then some descriptive...
ftpbox, server, powerbook, media, uberserver
then some others...
sunshine, icarus, atom

But my recent obsession has been on WWII history and may name them after battles... or maybe go with WWII era tanks for the big servers.

Server / desktop names

Raist's picture

Hihi, I don't think I need to explain:

Firewall is Kit / Kitiara
Fileserver (Samba) is Flint
Snort is Raistlin
Web Server is Sturm
SMTP server is Caramon
XEN server is Tanin

I'm keeping Tass for something special .. and he shows up sometimes on test machines, but always gets into trouble!

Workstations have minor names from the books!


p.s. the web site is a friends, I didn't actually do it.

Server Names

Angus McNitt's picture

I actually have multiple name schemas:

Linux boxes are Anime characters

Faye: web server
Spike: mail server
Jet: SQL Server
Auska: Desktop
Kitsune: Nagios machine and DNS
Alucard: Desktop/Slim client
Rei: Laptops (actually ReiII and ReiIII, ReiI was decommissioned. NGE fans will get the joke.)

Windows servers are Simpson's Characters

Marge: AD Master
Bart: AD File server
Homer: Terminal Server

Windows desktops (Non-AD and personal) are Bond, James Bond:

Connery: Laptop
Brosnan: Test VM Machine
Lasenby: Legacy machine (Win98SE)
Moore: GF Desktop (and her favorite Bond)
Craig: Vista test machine (Boss's idea as both were new at the time and nobody new if they liked them)

System names

Anonymous's picture

All my names take on the characters of the comic strip "Bloom County"

  • Milo - Laptop
  • Trapper - PDA
  • Opus(the penguin is appropriate here) - Linux File server
  • Oliver() - 2nd laptop
  • Bill(Old CPU's ready to die) - Compaq desktop
  • Binkley - Desktop PC
  • Portnoy - Network HP printer

My home workgroup is "BloomCounty"

Home Naming Scheme

Anonymous's picture

My home naming scheme is based chiefly on video game bosses:

motherbrain -- Powermac fileserver (Ubuntu Server 8.04)
jenova -- Dell workstation (Ubuntu Desktop 8.10)
warmech -- Lenovo laptop (Ubuntu Desktop 8.04)
rubicant -- Compaq experiment box (FreeBSD 7.0)

I started out with a Final Fantasy-only naming scheme, but decided that since the fileserver is a powerpc, it was a bit of a different animal; so I shifted gears accordingly.

I've reserved the name "zeromus" in case someone (e.g., Santy Claus) ever decides to donate something from IBM's Z series to my collection.

(the references, in no particular order, are from Metroid, FF1, FF2(us), and FF7.)

blacksheep - My Win2k

ivanvr's picture

blacksheep - My Win2k server... har har

Shakespeare and Futurama robots

Anonymous's picture

At home, I do obscure robots from Futurama:
* hedonismbot = wife's laptop
* fatbot = old heavy thinkpad
* calculon = current laptop
The next old junker machine I load up will be tinnytim.

At the office we have a tradition of Shakespeare characters, and where possible I like to enforce familial relationships. Virtual machines should be named as children of some king or queen, etc.

Greek gods

jaredmoore's picture

I typically name my machines after Greek mythological figures from the list on wikipedia.

ixion - my workstation
apollo - backup workstation
daedalus - laptop
thanatos - windows workstation

Chronos, Zeus, and Hera are names I've used in the past.

Server: Bart Router:

Anonymous's picture

Server: Bart
Router: Groening
Notebook: Bender
Workstation: Homer
HTPC: Zoidberg