The /etc/machine-id file contains the unique machine ID of the local
system that is set during installation. The machine ID is a single
newline-terminated, hexadecimal, 32-character, lowercase machine ID
string. When decoded from hexadecimal, this corresponds with a
The machine ID is usually generated from a random source during
system installation and stays constant for all subsequent boots.
Optionally, for stateless systems, it is generated during runtime at
early boot if it is found to be empty.
The machine ID does not change based on user configuration or when
hardware is replaced.
This machine ID adheres to the same format and logic as the D-Bus
Programs may use this ID to identify the host with a globally unique
ID in the network, which does not change even if the local network
configuration changes. Due to this and its greater length, it is a
more useful replacement for the gethostid(3) call that POSIX
The systemd-machine-id-setup(1) tool may be used by installer tools
to initialize the machine ID at install time. Use
systemd-firstboot(1) to initialize it on mounted (but not booted)
The machine-id may also be set, for example when network booting, by
setting the systemd.machine_id= kernel command line parameter or
passing the option --machine-id= to systemd. A machine-id may not be
set to all zeros.
Note that the machine ID historically is not an OSF UUID as defined
by RFC 4122, 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 = (id & 0x0F) | 0x40;
/* Set the UUID variant to DCE */
id = (id & 0x3F) | 0x80;
(This code is inspired by "generate_random_uuid()" of
drivers/char/random.c from the Linux kernel sources.)
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project. Information about the project can be found at
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report for this manual page, see
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COLOPHON (which is not part of the original manual page), send a mail
systemd 231 MACHINE-ID(5)