[erlang-questions] reliably figure out hostname

Tim Watson <>
Tue Jul 31 14:43:13 CEST 2012

Is there a way to calculate the hostname reliably across platforms in Erlang? I have a non-distributed node that I wish to become a distributed node. Normally I call net_kernel:start([Name, shortnames]) and this is just fine. It also works with [Name, longnames] *sometimes and on some systems* - but other times it pukes. I've tried looking in the 'domain' or 'search' entries from inet:get_rc/0 but these are not always populated, even when dns config is clearly in place. I've also tried using 'inet_db:get_searchlist/0' but again, sometimes this returns [[]] but net_kernel:start([foobar, longnames]) doesn't work, whereas doing net_kernel:start([, longnames]) does.

Am I missing something incredibly obvious here? *is* there actually a simple way of determining what the proper fqdn for the machine should be, without breaking out to the os? I had even considered doing inet:gethostbyname/1 but again, the search domains entry seems to be empty, so I'd assume that -name foobar will work whereas in fact, -name  is required otherwise net_kernel won't start. 
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