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> even changing your host name at the command line was different between the various Linux distros

That was one of the things that the systemd people set out to remedy, in fact. Now, you run a Desktop Bus client that talks to a system-wide Desktop Bus server using a Desktop Bus protocol.

* https://freedesktop.org/software/systemd/man/hostnamectl.htm...

* https://freedesktop.org/software/systemd/man/systemd-hostnam...

* https://freedesktop.org/wiki/Software/systemd/hostnamed/

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