How to change a droplet name, and all associated configurations?

I’ve seen other responses to this subject, but I’m still not sure. I bought my droplet with a friend, and since both of us have websites, we didn’t use a droplet/host name of either. we just used a random name (without any domain) for it.

But we are using this to host our websites and applications. Given that, we need email forwarding and SMTP capabilities (not necessarily a full blown SMTP server, but at least a way to forward emails to any domain pointing at the server, and ability to send emails through php’s mail() function without hassle).

I’ve seen tutorials for this and most of them require the droplet/host name’s to be a valid domain name.

Is there any other way to do it? If not, what else do I need to change, appart from renaming the droplet and changing the hostname of the server? Is it that simple? :)

I’m using Ubuntu 14.04.


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Maybe the user interface has changed since this question was answered in November. This is how I changed the droplet name:

  1. Login to the Digital Ocean Control Panel
  2. Click the droplet you want to rename
  3. Then, on the droplet detail window, click on the name of your droplet (you wouldn’t know you could)
  4. Change the name in the entry field and click the check mark


$ sudo hostnamectl set-hostname Use this command to change the name from inside the droplet.

Today (2017) the interface enabling direct name change: at the page of your Cloud Panel (…), simply click on the current name of the Droplet, and you will then be able to input whatever name you choose. Thanks @MikeG.

I renamed the hostname, but even after a restart the console was showing the old hostname. Didn’t want to spend time figuring it out, since this was new droplet so I clicked rebuild which of course changed it.

Will renaming a droplet impact my website? I have a website that is hosted on a droplet…I’m not that technical.


To change the name of a Droplet, you’ll need to login to the DigitalOcean Control Panel, click on the name of your Droplet and then navigate to Settings -> Rename. This will rename your Droplet in the system and generate a valid PTR based on the hostname you provide.

Ideally, you want to set the name to something such as:


Where host is what you want to name the server and yourdomain.ext is your domain name. You’d then want to login to the CLI and update the hostname on the server. To do that you’d run:

hostname host.yourdomain.ext

and hit enter.

You’ll also want to add an A entry for your hostname to your DNS Zone file.

A                host                DROPLET_IP

Where DROPLET_IP = your Droplet’s public IP address. Note, you don’t need the full domain in the A entry. Just substitute host above with whatever you wish to name your server.

Late to the party, but hopefully still helpful:

I could pinpoint the problem down to this file:


which was still having the old entry.

So I edited the file and set the new filename.

Afterwards in SSH I executed:

  1. newaliases (not sure if needed)
  2. sudo service postfix restart
  3. Then executed my custom bash script with mail.

And voila, the mail sent is from the new email address.

Answer also here: