how to use a specific host alias for node name?

Garry Hodgson garry@REDACTED
Thu Aug 31 18:31:45 CEST 2006

in our application, a master server has a list of nodes
that it can use for computation.  in principle, we'd like
the machines named node1, node2, ...nodeN, so the nodes
would be node@REDACTED@nodeN.  but some of our
installations have their own naming conventions for machines.
adding aliases in /etc/hosts doesn't help.  so we resort to a
config file, which seems kind of klunky.

is there a way to cause the nodes to come up using a specific 
host alias?  or better yet, is there a better way for the master to find
out who's out there?  the nodes check in when they come up,
but this won't help if they're already up when master starts.

and no, we're not using otp, alas, though i'd also be interested 
in otp approaches.

Garry Hodgson, Senior Software Geek, AT&T CSO

But I'm not giving in an inch to fear
'Cause I promised myself this year
I feel like I owe someone.

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