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billymayday 05-29-2006 04:36 AM

Do I need avahi?
I hate to ask a dumb question, but looking at google on avahi isn't helping me a lot (I know it's a multicast DNS service discovery service).

I have a pretty basic network with a server with 2 NIC's, one connected to a router (to ADSL) and the other to my LAN, all of the LAN being on one subnet (192.168.1).

Various devices are connected to 192.168.1, such as printers, a wireless AP, laptops (windows),PCs (windows too), I assign IPs by DHCPD on the server. I also run Samba for files only, no printers. Bind is my name server.

I get the feeling from what I've found that avahi is used to "show" devices on different subnets, since I can find devices on my LAN using Bind or from Samba (for shares, etc.).

Question is: do I need avahi running at all, or am I simply wasting resources?

Secondary question, can anyone direct me to a simple real-world description of what avahi does?


uselpa 05-29-2006 02:47 PM

AFAIK avahi is an implementation of Apple's Bonjour and implements a protocol where services available in a network are advertised to the the machines in the same network. So if your services get advertised and somebody connectes a laptop to your subnet with a Bonjour client, say an Apple laptop, he will find his way round the network, discover all the services and connect to them, without knowing your topology in advance.

Do you NEED it? No, nobody absolutely needs this, it's a recent technology and the networks have worked before this. It can be convenient though on networks available to the public, but if you administer your network you know where services are.

billymayday 05-29-2006 02:56 PM

Does that mean that if I don't have any Apple clients it's not doing anyhting for me (does Windoes recognise the Bonjour protocol)?

What does AFAIK mean?


uselpa 05-29-2006 03:03 PM

AFAIK = as far as I know
Bonjour is also implemented by some Linux distros, obviously, that's why avahi exists. I don't know about Windows.
But basically even without it your Apple, Windows and Linux client can still use your services, they just won't find them "automatically".

billymayday 05-29-2006 03:10 PM

Aside from othe computers and printers on the network, what sort of servicies would it find?

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