How To: Change the hostname on Raspberry Pi (or norns shield)

Problem: Having two or more Norns Shields and they all show up with the same name (norns) on your network.

Solution: Change the device hostname

Note: The procedure below is geared specifically towards raspberry pi’s running the norns software stack (i.e. norns shield or fates devices).

For a more general description for any raspberry pi please see this tutorial


The easiest way to handle this is with a terminal application using SSH. Login to your device (norns docs for reference)

sudo raspi-config

This brings up a “graphical” interface to configure various aspects of the Raspberry Pi system.

Use your arrow keys to navigate, select the second item Network Options and press enter.

Screen Shot 2020-04-04 at 5.18.56 PM

Press enter again for Hostname and answer OK to the prompt.

Screen Shot 2020-04-04 at 5.20.18 PM

Then enter a new hostname and hit enter.

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Right arrow twice to select Finish hit enter again and then confirm yes to reboot

Screen Shot 2020-04-04 at 5.24.35 PM

After reboot, your device will have a new name on your network.

From MacOS you might see them show up a Shared devices (norns devices have SAMBA networking enabled, but this might not apply to other Raspberry Pi devices by default)

Screen Shot 2020-04-04 at 5.25.33 PM

Using .local notation

This change will also allow you use the new hostname and .local notation to access Maiden or use SFTP.

In my case I changed the hostname to shield and now I can use http://shield.local/maiden to access maiden on that device instead of the IP address.

Screen Shot 2020-04-04 at 5.28.15 PM

Screen Shot 2020-04-04 at 5.32.53 PM


After months of fun with my Fates I decided to add a Norns shield so I can sequence one with the other or run effects over another’s output etc… Mainly to use both at the same time. Obviously they are both called ‘norns.local’ on the network. Is there a way I can rename my original Fates to ‘fates.local’ so I can tell them apart on the network? Would doing so have any unintended side effects?

I have mine setup this way (fates.local and shield.local).

You just need to remember that you set it that way when accessing with maiden, ssh, etc. :slight_smile: