"We talked and looked at at least 20 foreign coaches, but after all we thought a native coach would be better," Hungarian FA president Sandor Csanyi told a news conference.
"Pinter is a fighter, knows the Hungarian players and sees what's behind the scenes in our football. His will to win is strong.
Pinter, coach at top-flight champions Gyor, replaces Sandor Egervari who resigned in October after Hungary suffered a demoralising 8-1 defeat against Netherlands in a World Cup qualifier.
The former Hungarian international and Ferencvaros defender said the country needed to have realistic expectations of success having not qualified for a major tournament since 1986.
"I think we cheated each other in the recent years, we targeted fake goals, after a win we thought we could beat any team, after a defeat we were the worst team in Europe," the 47-year-old said.
"It is time to get real, time to make the players understand that when they put on the Hungarian shirt, they play for a whole country."