Recipe 17.8 Finding Your Own Name and Address

17.8.1 Problem

You want to find your (fully qualified) hostname.

17.8.2 Solution

First, get your (possibly qualified) hostname. Try either the standard Sys::Hostname module:

use Sys::Hostname;

$hostname = hostname( );

or POSIX's uname function:

use POSIX qw(uname);
($kernel, $hostname, $release, $version, $hardware) = uname( );

$hostname = (uname)[1];             # or just one

Then turn it into an IP address and convert to its canonical name:

use Socket;                         # for AF_INET
$address  = gethostbyname($hostname)
    or die "Couldn't resolve $hostname : $!";
$hostname = gethostbyaddr($address, AF_INET)
    or die "Couldn't re-resolve $hostname : $!";

17.8.3 Discussion

Sys::Hostname tries to be portable by using knowledge about your system to decide how best to find the hostname. It tries many different ways of getting the hostname, but several involve running other programs. This can lead to tainted data (see Recipe 19.1).

POSIX::uname, on the other hand, works only on POSIX systems and isn't guaranteed to provide anything useful in the nodename field that we are examining. That said, the value is useful on many machines and doesn't suffer from the tainted data problem that Sys::Hostname does.

Once you have the name, though, you must consider that it might be missing a domain name. For instance, Sys::Hostname may return you guanaco instead of To fix this, convert the name back into an IP address with gethostbyname and then back into a name again with gethostbyaddr. By involving the domain name system, you are guaranteed of getting a full name.

17.8.4 See Also

The gethostbyname and gethostbyaddr functions in Chapter 29 of Programming Perl and in perlfunc(1); the documentation for the standard Net::hostent and Sys::Hostname modules