I’ve been looking for a good naming scheme for my personal devices for a long time. With naming schemes, it is kind of a difficult thing: They need to be distinguishable but at the same time memorizable to you so that you don’t have to look them up all the time. In addition, they need to be somewhat future-proof and extensible. Ideally, they’re also meaningful, but this is not a hard requirement for me when it comes to personal devices (as opposed to servers).

For some time, I’ve just used the device type as the hostname, e.g. phone or pc-desk. However, this scheme has the flaw that my brain just can not remember whether it was pc or pc-desk or pc-desktop. In addition, when you get two devices of the same kind, you end up with ugly hostnames such as phone-2 or phone-new.

In the last year, I came up1 with a naming scheme that works for me: Counter-Strike maps. As a follower of professional Counter-Strike and a long-time player, memorizing these hostnames feels quite natural to me. They’re just one single word, usually even only a few syllables long, but still distinguishable from each other.

Most importantly, I associate something visual with each map, which makes it way easier for my brain to build a connection between the device and the hostname. I’m not sure why it works better this way, maybe it’s just how my brain is wired. As long as it works, I’m fine with it. 🤷‍♂️

Last but not least, this scheme is extensible to some degree: there are probably hundreds of Counter-Strike maps, way more than the amount of devices I own simultaneously.

This is the list of potential hostnames I selected (for now):

  • ancient
  • assault
  • aztec
  • cache
  • cobble
  • dust2
  • inferno
  • italy
  • militia
  • mirage
  • nuke
  • office
  • overpass
  • train
  • tuscan
  • vertigo

Even if you are not a Counter-Strike fan, schemes of this kind may still work for you. Maybe you’re a manga fan, then you could name your devices after different mangas. Or, if you’re a car nerd, why not name your devices after different car models?

  1. Disclaimer: I’m pretty sure that I cannot be the only one that uses it, so I’m not claiming the invention of this scheme. ↩︎

  2. This is intentionally missing the 2 suffix because I think it’s much cleaner without it. And there’s no point in having both, dust and dust2↩︎