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Old 02-11-2006, 06:06 AM   #1
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hostname of computer changed suddenly for no apparent reason; recovered by reboot


I was installing some software on my computer (blender and openal to be exact, though I think these had nothing to do with the current situation), when all of a sudden, X applications refused to startup (while I was already in X with xfce, a terminal and firefox running)! So I logged out of X relogged in and saw that my hostname had suddenly changed from "thabox" to "-s".

What the hell??!!! How did that happen? A reboot undid this, but this is downright scary

Do I need to be worried for the security of my box. Is it possible that an external threat (hacker) did this. My firewall is up and running though, and I check if everything is in order by going to and have my security checked.

Please advice!!


Last edited by schatoor; 02-11-2006 at 06:09 AM.
Old 02-11-2006, 05:30 PM   #2
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You always need to be concerned about security. You might download and run chkrootkit and rkhunter just to be on the safe side. Maybe a buggy install script did it, though> How were you installing the software (source or package)? Also which distro was this?
Old 02-11-2006, 07:24 PM   #3
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No, I got the problem. The software that I was trying to install, blender, did after all cause the problem. I was installing this from source, and for some strange reason, it wanted to change the hostname of the computer. Why on earth that???
Oh well, another problem solved. Now if I could only get blender compiled (not easy!).
I'm running linux from scratch btw.



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