I wiped out Mac and reinstalled (Mojave) (logout from Cloud, Messages, deauthorized iTunes, erase disk, reinstall). Now my terminal is showing a name that I set up through Preferences -> Sharing on previous instance of system (before reinstall).

I checked Preferences -> Sharing computer Name is: Kathy’s MacBook Pro

When I check in bash:

red-panda:~ kathy$ scutil --get ComputerName
Kathy’s MacBook Pro
red-panda:~ kathy$ scutil --get LocalHostName
red-panda:~ kathy$ scutil --get HostName
HostName: not set

My questions: 1. Why red-panda is still there after reinstallation? Where that information is stored? If I want to sell the Mac, how can I be sure to wipe all out? 2. Can HostName: not set make any troubles?

  • In the erase step, did you erase from the running OS or from internet recovery or an external USB boot device? support.apple.com/en-us/HT201065
    – bmike
    Jun 29, 2019 at 12:06
  • From Mac OS recovery.
    – Kathy
    Jun 29, 2019 at 12:35
  • Wow, you’re right to be suspicious. I always enable file vault and the erase without entering the passcode. Feels better to get FileVault on as soon as I can and then blow away everything right before selling. Note macOS recovery can be a recovery partition on your previous system so your host name would move through in that case as opposed to internet recovery.
    – bmike
    Jun 29, 2019 at 12:44
  • I haven't dumped NVRAM lately, perhaps a name or setting persists there?
    – bmike
    Jun 29, 2019 at 12:56
  • <shrug> So whatever DHCPd you're using is assigning you an address that reverses to that name. It's not a big deal. Jul 1, 2019 at 4:14

1 Answer 1


1.) red-panda is your current computer name.

  1. Click Apple Menu on Top Left
  2. Open the System Preferences... App
  3. Type Computer Name in Search
  4. Change the red-panda to whatever you like, I would suggest something short, like KM, if you plan to use Terminal a lot
  5. Close System Preferences... App

To securely wipe your hard drive, do an after-restart system reinstall and pick the proper option.

For more info and useful tips on how not to lose your own data before doing it, read some articles like this:

2. No, no trouble for no hostname. The hostname is not set by default upon install.

However, if you wish to set it, execute: scutil --set HostName desired-hostname-here-again-I-suggest-a-short-name-like-kmp in Terminal.

  • By my understanding my computer name is Kathy’s MacBook Pro (in System Preferences) AND red-panda - showed in terminal. I reinstalled it step by step with link that bmike attached: support.apple.com/en-us/HT201065
    – Kathy
    Jun 29, 2019 at 12:38
  • In System Preferences... > Sharing > Click Edit Button. Is Use dynamic global hostname option checked? Jun 29, 2019 at 12:50
  • Hm, no it's not. I think that's by default.
    – Kathy
    Jun 29, 2019 at 13:14
  • Yes, try to check it, and see if something is somehow set there. (It should not be) Jun 29, 2019 at 13:21
  • 2
    So I unchecked and checked and after restart it changed and now matches computer name. Thanks @Lucifer Morningstar. Can you explain why such behaviour in simple words (lets call me a newbie;))?
    – Kathy
    Jul 11, 2019 at 8:21

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