OpenVZ - Hostnames & Systemd (ovzhostname.service)

Posted on Dec 19, 2017

The problem?

For weeks, I’ve been battling with an issue with a new CentOS 7 template for cPanel and Plesk, I built for the OpenVZ hypervisor. Even when setting the HOSTNAME= in the /etc/vz/.conf the container still rebooted with the hostname which was used when the template was created. Meaning the new and correct hostname would never be remembered. Causing various issues with BIND, Apache etc.

Even trying to set the hostname with the following failed!

[email protected] /]# hostnamectl set-hostname Could not set property: Activation of org.freedesktop.hostname1 timed out

Today it finally clicked! It all starts with the with the base template I downloaded from

It seems that embedded in the template is a Systemd script which sets the hostname when the container starts.

The solution?

The hostname is taken from /etc/sysconfig/ovzhostname within the container. So you have a few options.

  1. Set the hostname in  /etc/sysconfig/ovzhostname

  2. Disable the ovzhostname service

    [email protected] /]# systemctl disable ovzhostname.service

This will then hopefully mean that when the container restarts, the hostname will be persistent.


Further reading…

There isn’t a lot I can find about this, apart from:

Here’s the ovzhostname script so you can see what it’s doing:



if [[ -f /etc/sysconfig/ovzhostname ]]; then source /etc/sysconfig/ovzhostname if [[ -n “${OVZHOSTNAME}” ]]; then echo “${OVZHOSTNAME}” > /etc/hostname hostname “${OVZHOSTNAME}” hostnamectl set-hostname “${OVZHOSTNAME}” fi fi