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Server Naming Schemes?

A light topic for Friday...

Regarding "theme" server naming schemes (not stuff like DEVWEB01), what themes have you used or seen?
My servers are Rachel, Monica, Phoebe, and Ursula; my ISP has saltmine, ironmine, goldmine, and claymore (among others)

Also, any good stories about "unfavorable" names coming to light when a server went public? IIRC there were quite a few of these in the internet explosion of the mid-90's (for example, Texas Women's University had a server named "Venus")


Friday, April 4, 2003

What's wrong with Venus?! The servers where I work have really boring descriptive names.

John Topley
Friday, April 4, 2003

I remember someone figured out how to lookup the names of Hotmail's servers. Hotmail had many silly server names, but the stand-out favorite was "".  :-)

And I've heard there is an error message on SourceForge or GeoCrawler that reveals a device name that was probably not meant to be public:

"Unable to read configuration file /bigassraid/htdig//conf/12584.conf"

Friday, April 4, 2003

Pretty much the golden rule is that the name should not describe the machine or it s purpose or otherwise describe its location.

After that, whatever floats your boat (WFW00342 doesn't).

In our test lab we got a couple of machines called:
Dipsy, TinkyWinky, Laa Laa & Po. Somebody likes tellytubbies. Dipsy is my build machine. A few others are named after football teams & towns. some mythological deities too, but saturn & zeus imply somebody got their pantheons crossed.

Theres a Tom, Dick & Harry, and goofy sticks out like a sore thumb.

Friday, April 4, 2003

We use cartoon characters.

The more obscure the better, no anime names allowed though.

Steve Barbour
Friday, April 4, 2003

At home, I use character names from a favorite author. Roark and Galt are my laptop and desktop, although I do admit to boringly naming our router "router". :)

At my work, boring names. WS_FOOBAR, SV_WEB1, etc. :-p

At my wife's work, the server names for their team are Star Trek characters. Troi, Neelix, etc.

Brad (
Friday, April 4, 2003

Using geography is always fun: rivers, mountains, world capitals, cities with great breweries. And unless you're Google you're pretty much guaranteed not to run out of available names.

Chris Winters
Friday, April 4, 2003

One of my work computers is named "kuhli" (named after, I presume, the Kuhli Loach, a.k.a Acanthophtalmus kuhli kuhli, a tropical fish).

Steven C.
Friday, April 4, 2003

An ISP called had a machine named

I once heard the suggestion to name machines after famous monopolists.  billgates, naturally, was on the list.

Movie characters and Arthurian legend is always a good thing.

flamebait sr.
Friday, April 4, 2003

I worked somewhere that used classical composers. 

Bach was OK, Tchaikovsky (yes I used Google to spell that correctly) and a bunch of others caused more than a bit of frustration.

Rob Walker
Friday, April 4, 2003

We used sound effects: bang, crash, biff, poof, bampf, etc.

Basically, anything that would have shown up in a balloon in the old batman show. Drove our sysadmin guy nuts; he could never remember which computer was which.

Chris Tavares
Friday, April 4, 2003

One place I worked we set up using beer names - Carlsberg, StellaArtois etc. The single, despised iMac for compatibility testing was called BacardiBreezer or something.

Another place, senior management decided to start using planet names for the servers, then extended this scheme to clients (Er how many planets are there, exactly?). We ended up using fictitious planet names like Arrakis and Golgafrincham (Hitch Hiker's).

Friday, April 4, 2003

Back when I was working an atmospheric physics lab doing research into ice cores - particualry their dust content and how it got from the atmosphere into the ice, our first two machines were named 'ice' and 'air'.

Unable to come up with a legitimate research reason to name out next two servers earth and fire, we ended up going with 'dust' and 'lava' (we'd started looking at volcanic ash contnet in the ice).

Friday, April 4, 2003

At my office we use Simpson's charaters.  Our most unruly server was aptly named "Bart" and the most expensive server was name "Burns".  It was like the servers took on a life of their own.

Friday, April 4, 2003

We've got a bunch of muppet-name servers (piggy, animal, fozzy, etc.) and a bunch of simpson-name servers (homer, lisa, maggie, otto, etc.). And then, of course, we've got some random names thrown in here and there (matrix is the only one I can remember at the moment).

Benji Smith
Friday, April 4, 2003

our servers get thier names from the elements that make up the Periodic Table or Elements

Friday, April 4, 2003

once one of our client had a 2 machine cluster named Tom and Jerry

Friday, April 4, 2003

Currently Asterix characters, in Spanish version namely Asterix, Obelix, Asuranceturix, Panoramix, Ideafix and Edadepiedrix. Formerly I've had Koji, Sayaka, Mazinger, Kabuto and so on.
And have been in a place with a firewall called vito in the inside and corleone in the DMZ

People around computers are insane. Me too

Friday, April 4, 2003

Brad, who is Galt?

At home, I use character names from a favorite author. Roark and Galt are my laptop and desktop, although I do admit to boringly naming our router "router". :)

At my work, boring names. WS_FOOBAR, SV_WEB1, etc. :-p

At my wife's work, the server names for their team are Star Trek characters. Troi, Neelix, etc.

Brad (

Friday, April 4, 2003

Paul, Ringo, John & George...

Prakash S
Friday, April 4, 2003

anon is witty, although it's not clear if (s)he was intentionally so. :)

"Who is Galt?" indeed. :)

Forgot to mention that the first place I worked, the original PC naming policy was sexual fetishes (sometimes twisted a bit to be more appropriate). Personal machines had names like leatherandlace, handcuffs, etc. Some of the servers had interestingly twisted names like "vaxeline" for our Vax. :)

Brad (
Friday, April 4, 2003

Interesting how these names can stick..
A few years ago I named a server Socrates when it was taken into use.
I visited the place where its at the other week. Now, it has been renamed and reformatted a number of times, but the staffers still refer to the box as Socrates.

Eric DeBois
Friday, April 4, 2003

My college had one lab with machines named after single malt scotch whiskey, lagavulin, tallisker and so forth. I see one drawback with this; It is a bitch spelling laphroaig correctly :-)

The lab next door had names of pain killers.

Friday, April 4, 2003

At a space related company we used star names (but there were spelling problems, e.g. betleg... bettelj... ...). At another company they used trees. At another place we had four computers that we were setting up for a client and we named them after the A-Team.

Which brings up one issue, always make sure that there are lots and lots of potential names in the theme you choose. At least a hundred of the top of your head. Few things suck as much as bringing the eighth computer into the office when you've been naming computers after the seven dwarfs.

Bill Tomlinson
Friday, April 4, 2003

I personally use baby animal names: gosling, tadpole, etc.  Work is a mish-mash of actors, bands, etc.

Friday, April 4, 2003

I always liked naming pairs of servers WinterMute and Neuromancer.  :-)

Vincent Marquez
Friday, April 4, 2003

>> (not stuff like DEVWEB01)
I worked at a place with webdev1 as a name. was production and was development. Another place had Sid and Nancy as names

Friday, April 4, 2003

At work, we name them after planets.

There is nothing more satisfying then the following:

"Where can I find that file?"

"Look on Uranus"


Wayne Earl
Friday, April 4, 2003

At our last company, we used the names of trees, which seemed to nicely balance the need for interesting names, the odds that anyone would understand the origin of the naming scheme, and the desire for professionality.  So, you had computers named Maple, Cherry, Oak, etc.

One fantasy afficionado named his Yggdrasil, which I thought impressively inventive.

Brent P. Newhall
Friday, April 4, 2003

My first job after school had machines named after islands, so there was "kauai", "maui", "greenland", "iceland", etc.  My favorite was the machine called "noman", because as we all know, "noman" is an island.

Ben Combee
Friday, April 4, 2003

We have FS1 and FS2. Kind of typical of this company. :/

I like that islands/noman thing.

Friday, April 4, 2003

Wayne - of course the planet scheme also gives you the opportunity to say "I searched everywhere on earth, and still couldn't find the file."

Friday, April 4, 2003

Server name should be short, easy to spell, easy to visualize.

Body parts, 10 names, 30 letters...



Eclectic Echidna
Friday, April 4, 2003

My home network is the 'Dilbert' network. Currently there are the following:

dogbert - old box that's gathering dust most of the time
ratbert - my notebook
wally - the machine I set up to do work at home
alice - the 'family' computer the kid's games are on

My former employer had a *tom* of different networks - one for each dev group, test system and production group. I can recall the following network names (with a couple of examples):

Trees (oak, elm)
Sounds (bang, thud)
Weather (cold, sleet)
'D' (David, Dorsai)
Star Trek (warf, troi)
Booze (vodka, gin)
Mountains (everest)
Aircraft Carriers (nimitz, hornet)

There were *many* more - a coworker tried making a complete list but he was always finding a new network every so often...

Friday, April 4, 2003

I use contract bridge terms on my home network.

Each machine has a bridge-related name that also describes the machine in some way.

The dual P100 that runs email and web is "double".

The firewall is "pass".

The Windows box is "notrump".  (NT? :-)

The high-performance FreeBSD compile machine is "slam".

David Jones
Friday, April 4, 2003

My machines are named after Ren & Stimpy characters: ren, stimpy, mrhorse & sven.

Other machines at work are named after golf terms since we make http://StarCaddy so we have Putter, Rough, Dogleg, Bunker, etc. Those are mostly servers.

Workstations used to be named after their users but I found that to be terribly boring so I started to get a little sillier. My company's name is LinksPoint so Lucas Hjelle's machine is called hjellepoint (rhymes w/ jellypoint). Others are vaporlink and hotstuff.

Friday, April 4, 2003

That's.. uhh.. duh

Friday, April 4, 2003

I believe I am the only one who names his machines after infamous 20th century tyrants: mao, polpot, stalin, saddam, castro, hitler, pinochet ...

Saturday, April 5, 2003

dementia, schizophrenia, bipolar, etc.

Saturday, April 5, 2003

I have a blind spot about naming inanimate objects with anything like a name.  So, I tend to describe either their function of location or some discoverable feature when I use them in conversation.

So I tend not to use cute names, on closed networks with single or few servers, the workstations will probably get letters and numbers and the servers something like 'accounts' or 'engineering' or something.

And my own network is just OB followed by what ever number in letters comes next.

I name cats, people and software creatively though (of course software is animate).

Simon Lucy
Saturday, April 5, 2003

This place names work stations after users... servers have numbers.

My own machines... ex-girlfriends, and when I run out of those, its the beautiful women I know personally :)

Saturday, April 5, 2003

So your girlfriends were non-beautiful people that you knew impersonally?

Perhaps that's why they're 'ex' :-)

Simon Lucy
Saturday, April 5, 2003

Way too "geekish," I know, but we name our servers after people integral in the history of computing:


Saturday, April 5, 2003

At a Nortel lab where I used to work, all the groups called their machines according to a theme - cars, superheroes, cities, whatever.  You could tell what group used what machines by what theme they belonged to.

At a certain point, somebody in the IT department decided that all these whimsical names were just not befitting a serious, professional lab (or something).  So they came around and renamed all the computers to things like p920t56 - in essence, something as arbitrary and hard to remember as the IP address that the names were meant to help us with!

Saturday, April 5, 2003

Heh, fun topic this one.
At my previous job, all the servers had names from James Bond movies, which I found quite cool.
We had:


Saturday, April 5, 2003

Dartmouth named their mail servers after the reindeer.


Nick Brosnahan
Saturday, April 5, 2003

Would the tenth mail server have been named "Venison"?


Saturday, April 5, 2003

We have machines named after "stuff" from the 'Wizard of Oz' stories.



Joe Markham
Sunday, April 6, 2003

my isp uses animal names like fox, dingo, wombat etc.

Sunday, April 6, 2003

Some sweet suggestions in the list.

Personal favorite is the cartoon characters because of their diversity and the fact you can group them. Had a two tier app running over two servers named Ren & Simpy.

Another good one I've worked within used the names of race horses. Tulloch, Northerly, FarLap, Saintly...
Most of these are Melbourne Cup Winners, but you guys could pick the Kentukey Derby or something.

Best thing about horses, is some of them have truly cool and strange names like LetsElope & JustADash.

Only other naming scheme I've heard which is cool, is naming machines (especially servers) after large disasters, like Pompei and the hindenburgh. Apparently this was used at a local uni where a mail server crashing took out another, so the mail server was IceBerg, and the other was Titanic.

...but the horses have the mose fun and abstract names.

Arron Bates
Monday, April 7, 2003

---"I believe I am the only one who names his machines after infamous 20th century tyrants: mao, polpot, stalin, saddam, castro, hitler, pinochet ... "----

And Bush?

Ah, sorry! He's 21st century!

Stephen Jones
Monday, April 7, 2003

I don't really publically name servers on our network. They sometimes have names (usually civilisations from Culture novels) but the public names are all boring: ns1 is the nameserver, gw1 is the gateway, fs1 is the fileserver...

Because I got fed up of trying to remember which machine does which...

Katie Lucas
Monday, April 7, 2003

We have one machine called Jade, after the (in)famous UK Big Brother 3 contestant...

Monday, April 7, 2003

> I don't really publically name servers on our network.
> They sometimes have names (usually civilisations from
> Culture novels) but

I prefer the ship names.

Always wanted to name the mail server "seriouscallersonly" and the firewall "attitudeadjuster" though...

Monday, April 7, 2003

Ours are named after rocket launchers


The screen background is then a picture of the rocket, to help remind us which server you are working on

David Burke
Monday, April 7, 2003

A fried of mine called his machines after mythological creatures. This went fine until 'phoenix', which took most people several tries to spell right (English was not always a first language). When his next machine was called 'chimaera' he was ordered to switch to something simpler

David Clayworth
Monday, April 7, 2003

All of my servers were named from Monty Python  "Black_knight"  sparrow lumberjack eric etc.

Monday, April 7, 2003

At one company, we had Hal and Sal.  Too bad the naming scheme runs out there.

Monday, April 7, 2003

How about a lab of Borg workstations? 1of10, 2of10, etc.

Monday, April 7, 2003

Monty Python sounds like fun....

Monday, April 7, 2003

Characters from Fawlty Towers.

Tuesday, April 8, 2003

Damn I'm tempted by the idea of using Culture ship names.  But I shall resist.

Simon Lucy
Tuesday, April 8, 2003


Not My Real Name
Tuesday, April 8, 2003

forgot this the last time i responded to this thread:

at work, they have an obscure naming scheme for servers. It includes company name, node type, main function etc etc... but has to remain within 8 or 10 characters or so due to some limitation

turns out the oracle box got named "porn0" as the primary oracle box node zero!

Monday, April 14, 2003

We use characters from Thomas the Tank Engine. We have Thomas, The Fat Controller, and Daisy etc...

Nice to have a visual of the type of engine to compare with the machine or its function...

Wednesday, April 16, 2003

I have used several different naming schemes throughout my career. My favorite was types of alcoholic drinks - sherry, tequila, whiskey, etc. The reasoning is that the bigger the system, the stronger the alcohol.

Here we have a mish-mash of schemes, Simpson's for the HP servers, South Park for the W2K servers, local mountains, (within New England) for the AIX and Lord of the Rings for the Sun systems. This way, you always know the general use of the system from it's name.

Tuesday, May 20, 2003

Very Sad...

We have

empty, half, and full , and our backup machine for half...

other-half :)

and the dev machines, quarter, and third

Michael Smith
Thursday, February 19, 2004

We use the names of our favourite P0rnstars or movies, like:
private, tripleX, vivid, KrystalSteal, KobeTai, Rocco, HandyMan and RedLight (for the exchange server, hehe).

Most of the sysadmin know the names, but some people from the managment often ask us what those names mean?

Where do you get those files from? Well from HandyMan....

The PingMaN
Tuesday, February 24, 2004

Good suggestions - I added most of them to my list at enjoy!

Wednesday, March 17, 2004

For my own computers, I use Spanish army grades: comandante being my own, capitan, teniente, ...
I have an old commodore portable promoted to admiral.

Sunday, June 6, 2004

I set up a network at a ballroom I worked at. 
The primary office computer was an overworked incapable machine that seemed to breakdown only when you needed it not to.  I named it Rincewind.  Another one of the computers was responsible for a vast collection of music, some of which came from nowhere it seemed.  We named it Luggage.

Wednesday, June 30, 2004

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