Permanently setting FQDN in Google Compute Engine

Unlike Amazon’s EC2, Google Compute Engine allows you to choose the names for your instances, and takes meaningful actions with those names — like setting the hostname on the system for you. Unfortunately, this only affects the short hostname, not the fully-qualified domain name (FQDN) of the host, which can complicate some infrastructures. To set the FQDN at instance launch, we’ll need some startup script magic.

This script snippet checks for the domain or fqdn custom attribute on your instance and applies it to the host after the system receives a DHCP response. It’s based on Google’s own set-hostname hook included with the Google Startup Scripts package. Of course, you’ll need to bake this into your base GCE system image using Packer or another similar tool.

Place the following into /etc/dhcp/dhclient-exit-hooks.d/zzz-set-fqdn:



  1. Nice article! +1!

  2. doesn’t work in Ubuntu 16

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