FYI: Bonjour / Zeroconf on Raspbian

12 posts
by Sander » Sun Sep 23, 2012 3:21 pm

With Bonjour / Zeroconf activated on your Raspbian, it's easy to reach your Raspberry Pi from other devices on your LAN: just use hostname "raspberrypi.local" in your ssh / ping / browser, and it should work. That is, if the other device has Bonjour / Zeroconf installed too. That's true for OSX and Ubuntu. On Windows, it works if you have itunes installed, or "Bonjour Print Services for Windows".

On Raspbian, type this:
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sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install libnss-mdns

The last command will also install avahi-daemon.

And that's it. From my Ubuntu, I can now reach my Raspi easily:

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sander@R540:~$ ping -c 4 raspberrypi.local
PING raspberrypi.local ( 56(84) bytes of data.
64 bytes from raspberrypi.home ( icmp_req=1 ttl=64 time=96.6 ms
64 bytes from raspberrypi.home ( icmp_req=2 ttl=64 time=3.56 ms
64 bytes from raspberrypi.home ( icmp_req=3 ttl=64 time=2.71 ms
64 bytes from raspberrypi.home ( icmp_req=4 ttl=64 time=2.65 ms

--- raspberrypi.local ping statistics ---
4 packets transmitted, 4 received, 0% packet loss, time 3003ms
rtt min/avg/max/mdev = 2.652/26.385/96.604/40.542 ms

sander@R540:~$ ssh -X pi@raspberrypi.local.
pi@raspberrypi.local.'s password:
Linux raspberrypi 3.2.27+ #160 PREEMPT Mon Sep 17 23:18:42 BST 2012 armv6l

On Ubuntu, you can use "avahi-discover" to see all Bonjour services on your LAN.

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by inder » Wed Sep 26, 2012 5:35 pm
Just curious; what happens when there are two Rpis in the same network? Does Avahi assign the second one another default name?
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by titusmagnus » Thu Nov 22, 2012 2:07 pm
If there are name collisions on the same network, the newer device will automatically append a number that uniquely identifies itself. For example, if a device called "GameServer" already exists, the new one called "GameServer" that joins the network will detect the collision and rename it to "GameServer #2" or perhaps "GameServer (2)".
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by raspberrycraig » Fri May 10, 2013 1:45 am
Ah, so in this case, the second Raspberry Pi would be "raspberrypi.local #2" or something similar?
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by tweakdeveloper » Mon Sep 02, 2013 10:09 pm
If this becomes a problem, just give one of them a different hostname (substituting "desired-hostname" for your own, of course ;) ):
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hostname desired-hostname

For example, if I wanted to name my Pi GLaDOS, the command would look like this:
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hostname glados
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by geekuskhan » Wed Jan 01, 2014 12:16 am
This works great. On my ubuntu laptop and my gf's iphone everything is perfect. Any ideas how to get this to work with my android phone? Oh I should mention that i am running a little webserver on the pi so I would like to be able to just type in raspberry.local into the browser.
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by Joe Schmoe » Wed Jan 01, 2014 12:23 am
As usual:

Keep in mind that avahi-daemon is a nifty thing - when it works.

It works about 1/3 of the time. Again, as I say, it's really neat when it is working.
And some folks need to stop being fanboys and see the forest behind the trees.

(One of the best lines I've seen on this board lately)
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by hgreen » Sun Mar 01, 2015 2:18 pm
Realise this is a little late, but I just wrote a blog post about connecting to the Raspberry Pi from an Android Application using its Zeroconf/Bonjour hostname. It turns out there are two ways to do it, and you have to specifically use either the NSD (Network Service Discovery) library or the jmDNS Java library from your application. As far as I know browser apps in the Play Store don't have the capability. There is an app called Bonjour Browser that will let you test the functionality.

Here's my blog post:
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by sim667 » Fri Jun 05, 2015 6:57 pm
I've been using this and its been working well on my internal network. However I'm trying to get it to reflect bonjour names across a pptp VPN (pptpd).

Does anyone know if this is possible, basically I'd like the devices still to appear in the finder sidebar, when I'm connected to vpn from work or somewhere like that.
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by a.corkran » Sat Sep 26, 2015 5:04 am
tried to use the method described to change hostname. it created an error.
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pi@raspberrypi ~ $ sudo hostname
pi@raspberrypi ~ $ sudo hostname bearpi
pi@raspberrypi ~ $ sudo hostname
sudo: unable to resolve host bearpi
pi@raspberrypi ~ $ hostname
pi@raspberrypi ~ $ sudo hostname
sudo: unable to resolve host bearpi
pi@raspberrypi ~ $ hostname
pi@raspberrypi ~ $ hostname bearpi
hostname: you must be root to change the host name

as shown it failed to correctly update. shows the correct procedure. paraphrased below.

Two things to check (assuming your machine is called raspberrypi, you can change this as appropriate):
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pi@raspberrypi ~ $ sudo nano /etc/hostname

1. check that the /etc/hostname file contains just the name of the pi: "raspberrypi"
2. change to name of choice

3. then
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pi@raspberrypi ~ $ sudo nano /etc/hosts

/etc/hosts has an entry for localhost. It should have something like:
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::1             localhost ip6-localhost ip6-loopback
fe00::0         ip6-localnet
ff00::0         ip6-mcastprefix
ff02::1         ip6-allnodes
ff02::2         ip6-allrouters       raspberrypi

4. change last line to same as step 2.

finally commit the changes
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sudo /etc/init.d/

then reboot
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by tmetro » Tue Jul 05, 2016 3:41 pm
At some point since this thread was created Raspbian added support for ZeroConf. Sometime on or prior to Release 2016-05-27 (which is the first release I tried) it was found that avahi-daemon (an alternate ZeroConf daemon) was installed and running, and it was confirmed the Pi was publishing a 'raspberrypi' host name.

(The discussion above on changing the host name is still relevant.)
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by DirkS » Wed Jul 06, 2016 8:11 am
tmetro wrote:At some point since this thread was created Raspbian added support for ZeroConf.

Avahi was added in the 2015-05-05 image (see ... _notes.txt)
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