Linux devices have a unique identifier called machine-id. Here is how to change it.

July 11, 2021

What is a machine-id, and why should you randomize it? From the machine-id man pages, it is defined as:

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.

https://www.man7.org/linux/man-pages/man5/machine-id.5.html

In an effort to promote privacy, having a unique and unchanging identifier tied to your device seems like the wrong approach. It’s quite possible that poorly coded or even maliciously coded software could fetch this ID from your system. Let’s make sure that even if that does happen, that the value is constantly changing so that your device can not be uniquely identified as your device.

This is an incredibly simple and quick adjustment to your default Linux system. What we’re doing is showing you how to either adjust this value manually by hand, or by running a cronjob to change this value every minute with a new, randomized value.

Lets get started, after the jump.

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