How to Change Hostname in Cisco Router & Switch Devices

In networking, handling devices can feel like a big job. It’s tough to keep tabs on all the routers and switches, especially in an extensive area. But naming rules can help. Suppose you give Cisco routers and switches clear, sensible names. In that case, it makes managing the LAN easier and cuts down on mistakes.

In this article, we’ll talk about why naming the hostname of Cisco Routers and Switches matters, give examples of naming rules you can use, and show you how to change a device’s name on a Router or Switch using GNS3—it’s easy!

Changing Hostname on Cisco Router

Credit: Cisco

The Importance of Naming Cisco Routers and Switches for Network Management

When you’re in charge of a network, giving Routers or Switches new names can be super helpful. If you choose names that make sense and describe what they do, it’s much easier to work with them later. This makes it less likely to mess up or get mixed up when you’re fixing things or making changes.

Plus, it helps when you’re writing down what you’ve done to keep track of everything. Renaming Cisco routers or switches might seem small. Still, it’s a smart move that makes managing the network easier in the future.

When you’re using GNS3, it gives the first Router to which you add the hostname R1 automatically. This helps GNS3 keep track of the devices. When you add more routers or switches, it names them. R2, R3, and so on, in order.

But remember, these hostnames are just for GNS3 and don’t show what the devices are called in real LANs. In real ones, routers usually have names that describe where they are or what they do.

It’s wise to give your Router easy-to-understand names on your network. When you use names that describe what each device does, it’s much simpler to figure out what’s what without needing to remember IP addresses or other tech stuff.

This is super handy, especially if you’ve got lots of devices or if you’re always adding or removing them. When your LAN is neat and organized, your appliances work better.

How to Change the Hostname on Cisco Router and Switch

This video will show you, step by step, how to set up the hostname for a Cisco Router or Switch using GNS3. It explains everything in detail so you can understand each part well.

Just follow along with the video, and you’ll be able to set up the name on your Router or Switch easily and quickly. This helpful tutorial will teach you all you need to know to do this using GNS3.

To change the Hostname of a Cisco Router:

  1. The first thing you do is switch to a particular mode called privileged mode. You use the configure terminal command in the Command Line Interface. This mode lets you access advanced settings and do things that need special permission. When you use this command, you get more control over the device’s settings. It’s essential if you want to do a more complicated setup or manage the device in a detailed way.
  2. To rename R1 to ARouter, just type hostname ARouter in the command line. This changes the device’s hostname from R1 to ARouter so you can recognize it with the new hostname. Remember, this doesn’t mess with how the device works or is set up—it’s a quick and easy thing to do, taking just a few seconds.
    R1(config)# hostname ARouter
  3. Once you’ve named your device, it’s crucial to save your changes so they don’t disappear if the power goes out or the device restarts. Just type wr to save your settings to memory that won’t fade. This way, your device will keep its hostname even if it turns off and on again.
    ARouter# wr

What are Some Examples of a Helpful Hostname to Use for a Cisco Router or Switch?

Having a good way to give a hostname Cisco Routers and Switch is super essential for handling network gadgets. When LAN admins or techs log in, the name is the first thing they see. If you’ve got an intelligent naming system, it can really help keep things organized and make managing the network easier.

  1. Location-Based Names

Giving equipment names based on where they are in the network is a great idea. It helps you know exactly where a device is, which is really handy when you’re trying to fix LAN problems. For instance, you could call a switch in the leading office network. Office-Core.

  1. Function-Based Names

Function-based names are all about naming equipment based on what they do. For instance, you could call a router that spreads traffic around the network Distribution. And for a switch that links up end-user gadgets, you might call it, Access.

  1. Vendor-Based Names

Vendor-based names are simple: you name appliances after who made them. So, you might call a Router Cisco-Router-01. This way, if your LAN has gadgets from different makers, you can still keep track of them quickly.

  1. Number-Based Names

Number-based names are really straightforward. You call devices using their serial number or some unique code. This helps a lot if you have tons of appliances and need to tell them apart. For instance, you might call a switch SW-01-0001 if its serial number is 0001.

  1. User-Based Names

Naming devices after the people who own or use them can be convenient on a network. For instance, you might call a router Johns-Router if it belongs to or is mainly used by someone named John. This makes it easier to know who owns each device and helps fix any problems that pop up on the LAN.


In summary, even though it seems simple, renaming the Cisco Router and Switch can help you keep your network in order. When you give your devices names that make sense, it saves time and lowers the risk of mistakes. With GNS3, changing a device’s hostname is easy and fast, and it takes just a few simple steps.

Just follow the tutorial’s steps, and you’ll be able to set up hostnames for Routers or Switches in GNS3. This makes your LAN more organized and works better.

If you want to assign an IP address to a Cisco Router, take a look at our article. It’s a helpful guide that shows you the steps to add an IP address. Just follow these steps, and you’ll be able to set up your device fast and get it ready for your network.

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