How to Retrieve the System Hostname Using Python

finding system hostname

Understanding the importance of hostnames and knowing how to retrieve them using Python can be crucial in various applications and scenarios. In this article, we will explore different methods to retrieve the system hostname in Python using the os, platform, and socket modules. We will also discuss what a system hostname is and provide examples to help understand the concept better.

What is System Hostname?

Hostnames can be human-readable, making it easier to identify and remember the devices in a network. As an individual, we have unique names to address ourselves similarly system hostname is the unique label given to a device connected to a computer network. The main mottois it uniquely identifies the device in various forms of electronic communication. Read more here.

Examples of hostnames:

  • : www, this will direct us to the web
  • : images
  • : products

In the above examples www, images, and product are the Fully Qualified Domain Names (FQDN). These FQDNs are associated with specific services and resources provided by the domain.

Code Implementation to Retrieve Hostname using Python

Let’s get right into the implementation to get the hostname of your system using Python. We’ll display multiple ways to achieve the same results here.

Example 1: Using the Platform Module

This method is suitable for simple hostname retrieval tasks and works across different operating systems.

import platform

hostname = platform.node()
print("Hostname:", hostname)

platform module in python assists in performing platform-related operations like receiving and processing operating system names, versions, etc. platform.node() function gets the information from the operating system and returns the string representation of the node name which is usually the hostname of the machine but it can also be a domain name or IP address.


Platform Output

Example 2: Using the Socket Module

This module is particularly useful for more advanced networking applications and operations.

import socket

A socket is an endpoint of a two-way communication link between two programs running over a network. With a socket, you can perform a variety of networking tasks, including sending and receiving data, creating and connecting to servers, and implementing custom network protocols. Sockets are great for making real-time applications like chat applications, notification engines, or any app that updates data in real-time.

The socket module is used to provide low-level network functionality, by the low-level network I mean the ability to work with the basic building blocks of network communication, such as sockets, IP addresses, and protocols like TCP and UDP. With that, it provided functions and classes for managing sockets and transferring data. The gethostname() function retrieves the system hostname.


Socket Output

Example 3: Using Platform and OS Modules

This method allows for a more tailored approach, depending on the user’s operating system, ensuring compatibility and accuracy.

import platform, os

if platform.system() == "Windows":

We import two modules in the above code : platform and os modules. We then use an if-else loop to check if the system is windows or not using platform.system() function if it is it will return the system hostname by platform.uname().node function.

Otherwise, use the command os.uname()[1].

Note: uname() function does not work for the window system.


Os Output

Example 4: Using Socket Module with IP Address

This method can be useful in scenarios where the IP address is known, and the hostname needs to be discovered, particularly in remote network situations.

import socket

In this example, we again import the socket module but unlike before we mention the IP address as a parameter to get the hostname. On remote networks, it may return remote hostnames, but in this case, it will return the local hostname.


Gethostbyaddr Function Output


We have demonstrated four methods to retrieve the system hostname. Each method has its advantages and use cases, depending on the specific requirements and the level of complexity involved in the task. These methods can be useful for:

  • System administration: Identifying and troubleshooting issues, configuring, and managing systems effectively.
  • Networking: Establishing and maintaining connections, handling network errors, traffic, and exceptions.
  • Security: Restricting access to a system based on its hostname, such as configuring a firewall to allow or deny traffic.

Knowing and managing system hostnames is essential in many areas of system administration, networking, and security. Which method do you find most effective for retrieving the system hostname in Python?

You can read more interesting articles at AskPython.