Computer Naming

What do you use to name your workstations?

  • Assigned User
  • Random Number/String
  • Asset Tag
  • Serial Number
  • Something else (Reply below please!)

0 voters

Couldn’t for the life of me see where I enter “something else.” I use their user ID plus the year. I forget why I started that but it has come in handy a few times over the years. I track purchase dates in my asset database but not the year a device was assigned to a person which in the world of hand-me-downs doesn’t always match.

We use a combination of campus short code, machine type (user) or use (server), and sequential number of that grouping.

MTP-CMP001 for a desktop computer at our Mount Pleasant campus
WST-LAP001 for a laptop computer at our West Ashley campus
AVL-MAC001 for a Mac computer at our Asheville campus
NCH-FILE001 for a file server at our North Charleston campus

We keep the user assignment in KACE (Windows & Macs).


Three Letter Client Name - Three Letter Location - Service Tag (Dell shop)

e.g. ABC-FST-7QVXL12

Some are user assigned plus computer type like: Diane’s Mac Mini. Some computers aren’t really assigned to a person, so we’ll use an internal location, task and then computer type.

So at a glance we know what computer and where. We keep a database with all the particulars of that computer: serial number, specs room number, licensed software, date deployed.

We used to use username -pc for a desktop or -lap for a laptop. Then giving a user a new computer became a naming hassle and we are now using username -model number. We’re all Dell so a computer might be named jsmith-7040. Non user specific machines are checkin01-3010 or avbooth-7500. It’s worked very well for us.

We use abbreviated department-user-location-(# if needed) for our units regardless of hardware type. Many of our units have multiple users in a department, so we may just have department-location. Likewise, we may just have user-location. If it’s a public access or is relative to the entire network, we use OBC first. This came from using Splashtop as our remote desktop service and just made for a better optics when trying to find the hardware in the list - they show up alphabetically, so it’s faster to narrow it down. Examples:


I use lastname and number of computers they have had


We use the pattern of (machine type)-(first initial)(lastname). So an example would be lt-aconner or pc-aconner. This helps with readability and ease of typing. Sensitive and shared workstations get a slightly modified pattern. We have tried alternative patterns including the last 6 digits of the machine’s mac address, but they proved too unwieldy to use during basic daily tasks.

For PCs we use the Dell Service Tag (or serial number) plus a 3-letter acronym for the ministry: 2VVQR71SMM. For Macs, we use a much more complicated system including the org, department, user’s name, and serial number- this makes for a very LONG computer name.

[Department Abbreviation]-[First Name]-[Computer Type]

For example, my MacBook Pro would be:
(Tech Ops, Chris, MacBook Pro)

We use asset tiger to look up asset tags and whatnot if needed.

We have special prefixes for non-workstation devices (i.e. servers begin with A- and VM Hosts begin with H-, and DMZ servers begin with DMZ-).

For remote campuses we’ll add a 2 character prefix for the campus, such as SF-VT-playback-iMac for the Santa Fe Video Team playback iMac.

Yeah, they are long, but super descriptive and we can typically guess at a name and get it right. :slight_smile:

For client machines, I’ve started naming


L for laptop, D for desktop. sccen-l1225 for instance.

Asset tags are recorded in the in either JAMF or Meraki depending on platform.

Function machines are based on area used.


Main service, kids ministry, and our Anderson location has two buildings (west and east). scand-west-cg or scgvl-main-red

Servers are named based on location and function.

We changed our naming scheme last year. We landed on:


Type = D for desktop, L for laptop, T for tablet
Year = last two digits of year
“#” = simply a sequential number

So, for example:


This naming scheme allows us to look at an inventory or AD and see exactly how many of a certain age, and how many of a certain type. In addition, because every computer has the computer name label on the outside of the tower/laptop, we can see the age of the computer upon walking up to it, or connecting to it remotely, for trouble shooting.

We keep a separate inventory document of what computer/device is assigned to an particular employee, service tag/SN, number of monitors, etc.


LOL! Looks like I’m the only lazy one that uses the default random string that comes with a new computer… I guess I should actually start naming these something else.

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