Is there some way to specify the hostname (instead of default "raspberry") that is used when doing a NOOBS (ver. 1.3.4 or 1.4.1) installation?

The hostname is present in /etc/hosts and /etc/hostname after installation.

This is for use in a workshop, where 50 people make a headless NOOBS installation, and then should connect to their own board over SSH. Finding the specific IP given by DHCP is tricky, but it would be OK to modify the SD cards with a unique hostname before installation.

1 Answer 1


I cannot answer your question as asked; this would probably require the modification of the Raspbian image installed by NOOBS.

The following script sets a unique hostname, and you may be able to adapt this.

# script to set Pi hostname based on MAC (or Serial number)
# 2017-08-18
# This script should be run as root (or with sudo) to change names
# If run by a user it will report changes, but will NOT implement them
# Works for PiB (all models), Pi2, Pi3, PiZeroW with on board networking
# PiA models will set a unique Name based on Serial number

PDIR="$(dirname "$0")"  # directory containing script
CURRENT_HOSTNAME=$(cat /etc/hostname)
# Find MAC of eth0, or if not exist wlan0
if [ -e /sys/class/net/eth0 ]; then
    MAC=$(cat /sys/class/net/eth0/address)
elif [ -e /sys/class/net/enx* ]; then
    MAC=$(cat /sys/class/net/enx*/address)
    MAC=$(cat /sys/class/net/wlan0/address)

# NOTE the last 6 bytes of MAC and CPUID are identical
CPUID=$(awk '/Serial/ {print $3}' /proc/cpuinfo | sed 's/^0*//')
echo "Current Name" $CURRENT_HOSTNAME
echo "MAC" $MAC
# If you want to specify hostnames create a file PiNames.txt with MAC hostname list e.g.
# b8:27:eb:01:02:03 MyPi
# If not found a unique Name based on Serial number will be set
NEW_HOSTNAME=$(awk /$MAC/' {print $2}' $PDIR"/PiNames.txt")
echo "Name found" $NEW_HOSTNAME
if [ $NEW_HOSTNAME == "" ]; then

    echo "Name already set"
    echo "Setting Name" $NEW_HOSTNAME
    echo $NEW_HOSTNAME > /etc/hostname
    sed -i "/$CURRENT_HOSTNAME/$NEW_HOSTNAME/" /etc/hosts
  • Thanks the suggestion, but it does not address the fundamental problem of knowing what IP to change the hostname for. The idea is to prepare the initial installation with a unique hostname so each user knows the hostname for login. May 19, 2015 at 8:38

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