MACHINE-ID(5)                     machine-id                     MACHINE-ID(5)

       machine-id - Local machine ID configuration file


       The /etc/machine-id file contains the unique machine ID of the local
       system that is set during installation or boot. The machine ID is a
       single newline-terminated, hexadecimal, 32-character, lowercase ID.
       When decoded from hexadecimal, this corresponds to a 16-byte/128-bit
       value. This ID may not be all zeros.

       The machine ID is usually generated from a random source during system
       installation or first boot and stays constant for all subsequent boots.
       Optionally, for stateless systems, it is generated during runtime
       during early boot if necessary.

       The machine ID may be set, for example when network booting, with the
       systemd.machine_id= kernel command line parameter or by passing the
       option --machine-id= to systemd. An ID is specified in this manner has
       higher priority and will be used instead of the ID stored in

       The machine ID does not change based on local or network configuration
       or when hardware is replaced. Due to this and its greater length, it is
       a more useful replacement for the gethostid(3) call that POSIX

       This machine ID adheres to the same format and logic as the D-Bus
       machine ID.

       This ID uniquely identifies the host. It should be considered
       "confidential", and must not be exposed in untrusted environments, in
       particular on the network. If a stable unique identifier that is tied
       to the machine is needed for some application, the machine ID or any
       part of it must not be used directly. Instead the machine ID should be
       hashed with a cryptographic, keyed hash function, using a fixed,
       application-specific key. That way the ID will be properly unique, and
       derived in a constant way from the machine ID but there will be no way
       to retrieve the original machine ID from the application-specific one.
       The sd_id128_get_machine_app_specific(3) API provides an implementation
       of such an algorithm.

       Each machine should have a non-empty ID in normal operation. The ID of
       each machine should be unique. To achieve those objectives,
       /etc/machine-id can be initialized in a few different ways.

       For normal operating system installations, where a custom image is
       created for a specific machine, /etc/machine-id should be populated
       during installation.

       systemd-machine-id-setup(1) may be used by installer tools to
       initialize the machine ID at install time, but /etc/machine-id may also
       be written using any other means.

       For operating system images which are created once and used on multiple
       machines, for example for containers or in the cloud, /etc/machine-id
       should be an empty file in the generic file system image. An ID will be
       generated during boot and saved to this file if possible. Having an
       empty file in place is useful because it allows a temporary file to be
       bind-mounted over the real file, in case the image is used read-only.

       systemd-firstboot(1) may be used to initialize /etc/machine-id on
       mounted (but not booted) system images.

       When a machine is booted with systemd(1) the ID of the machine will be
       established. If systemd.machine_id= or --machine-id= options (see first
       section) are specified, this value will be used. Otherwise, the value
       in /etc/machine-id will be used. If this file is empty or missing,
       systemd will attempt to use the D-Bus machine ID from
       /var/lib/dbus/machine-id, the value of the kernel command line option
       container_uuid, the KVM DMI product_uuid or the devicetree vm,uuid (on
       KVM systems), and finally a randomly generated UUID.

       After the machine ID is established, systemd(1) will attempt to save it
       to /etc/machine-id. If this fails, it will attempt to bind-mount a
       temporary file over /etc/machine-id. It is an error if the file system
       is read-only and does not contain a (possibly empty) /etc/machine-id

       systemd-machine-id-commit.service(8) will attempt to write the machine
       ID to the file system if /etc/machine-id or /etc are read-only during
       early boot but become writable later on.

       Note that the machine ID historically is not an OSF UUID as defined by
       RFC 4122[1], nor a Microsoft GUID; however, starting with systemd v30,
       newly generated machine IDs do qualify as v4 UUIDs.

       In order to maintain compatibility with existing installations, an
       application requiring a UUID should decode the machine ID, and then
       apply the following operations to turn it into a valid OSF v4 UUID.
       With "id" being an unsigned character array:

           /* Set UUID version to 4 --- truly random generation */
           id[6] = (id[6] & 0x0F) | 0x40;
           /* Set the UUID variant to DCE */
           id[8] = (id[8] & 0x3F) | 0x80;

       (This code is inspired by "generate_random_uuid()" of
       drivers/char/random.c from the Linux kernel sources.)

       The simple configuration file format of /etc/machine-id originates in
       the /var/lib/dbus/machine-id file introduced by D-Bus. In fact, this
       latter file might be a symlink to /etc/machine-id.

       systemd(1), systemd-machine-id-setup(1), gethostid(3), hostname(5),
       machine-info(5), os-release(5), sd-id128(3), sd_id128_get_machine(3),

        1. RFC 4122

systemd 245                                                      MACHINE-ID(5)
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