Master Series: Changing the Fully Qualified Host Name (fqhn) in IBM WebSphere

VToalby Victor Toal

Over the last few years many of IBM’s products have begun to include WebSphere as a component to a greater or lesser degree, depending on  which software package you are dealing with. IBM Connections, IBM Sametime, IBM Docs … all of them require that you sharpen your WebSphere skills and learn – at the very least – how to install WebSphere and the product on top of it.

But now that you have WebSphere in your environment you will be tasked not just with starting it, but maintaining, migrating, updating, moving, merging it … all those things that you also have to be able to do with any other software suite.

If, for instance, you need to install Connections, the documentation will cover the base install. When it comes to actually running the system you are left to your own devices, therefore I am starting an article series to help you learn some additional skills in WebSphere that will help you deal with some more unusual scenarios involving WebSphere.

Why Would I Want to Ever Change Host Names in WebSphere?

Moving servers or whole environments from one DNS realm to another is not that unusual. Recently I had to help a client create a new Sametime environment to replace an existing one and do an upgrade at the same time. We decided to build in parallel on the same hardware but to use different host names for the new servers.

We installed, configured and tested without impacting the existing environment. When the time came to cut over, all that was left to do was to change the host names of the WebSphere servers and make sure that our Sametime components all start up listening on the correct IP addresses. This allows the cut-over to be invisible to the end user and we did not have to change a lot of rather complicated firewall rules.

Changing the Host Name – It All Happens on the Deployment Manager

The one thing you have to get used to when dealing with WebSphere is that ALL configuration steps always happen on the Deployment Manager (most often referred to as Dmgr or DM). Changing the host name of any WebSphere Node or WebSphere application sever all happened on the deployment manager and not on the actual node itself. To change the settings you have to utilize both the IBM console (a web based administration interface) and the wsadmin configuration tool.

First you need to change the fqhn of the Node and Application Server using wsadmin, then you change the port settings for the application server(s) and the virtual host settings.

wsadmin – The Command Line Interface into WebSphere

I work most often with servers running on Linux, so my examples below will all reflect the Linux command line. The only difference to Windows is the folder structure and the fact that you would execute a batch file to start wsadmin instead of a .sh file as in Linux. Once inside the wsadmin tool all commands are the same.

Start wsadmin:

Open a command line interface to the WebSphere deployment manager either over putty or from the server directly.

Go to the /bin folder of the dmgr profile and execute wsadmin:

./wsadmin -lang jython -username wasadmin -password ****

Once in the wsadmin shell enter the following command to get a listing of all Nodes and Servers on your system:


In that list identify the Node/AppServer combination that you wish to change, in my case it is


To change the hostname of this Nodes and Server  to my new host name enter the command:


Now, to verify the command took, enter the command‘(cells/Cell01/nodes/Node01|serverindex.xml#ServerIndex_1)’,’hostName’)

And verify the results, then enter “” to save the results permanently


Now all that is left is to make some port changes using the IBM console in your browser and to sync the changes and restart the Application server and you are done!

About the author: Victor Toal is a messaging and collaboration architect and engineer with more than 15 years experience with Domino (since R 4.1), Sametime, Quickr, IBM Connections, and WebSphere. Victor’s clients include the Pentagon, US Army, banks, as well as manufacturing, tourism, and medical companies. He has worked in the US and overseas (Japan, Austria, Great Britain, Germany, France, Italy, Hungary, Poland, and Czech Republic) and speaks fluent German and Japanese. He is certified in Domino R4 – R8.5 and Sametime 7.5 and 8.0. Email Victor directly.

2 comments on “Master Series: Changing the Fully Qualified Host Name (fqhn) in IBM WebSphere

  1. hi Victor – great article. One question – what if you make a clone of your Dmgr system [eg] to another system [eg] then how do you change the cloned Dmgr to now use the hostname:

    • If the clone you take can be started successfully with the current fqhn/IP address then yes (one idea would to be to make hosts file entries for the fqhn to resolve to the IP address of the clone). You need the Dmgr process started to be able to make these changes.

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