During conferences, it is often useful to be able to connect to connect
to other people's machines (e.g. for collaborative editing sessions
with Gobby). This is a place where mDNS
hostname resolution can come in handy, so you don't need to remember IP
This is quite easy to set up on Breezy:
Install the avahi-daemon, avahi-utils and libnss-mdns packages
Restart dbus in order for the new system bus security policies to
take effect with "sudo invoke-rc.d dbus restart".
Start avahi-daemon with "sudo invoke-rc.d avahi-daemon start".
Edit /etc/nsswitch.conf, and add "mdns" to the end of the
Now your hostname should be advertised to the local network, and you can
connect to other hosts by name (of the form hostname.local). You can
also get a list of the currently advertised hosts and services with the
While the hostname advertising is useful in itself, it should get a lot
more useful in Dapper, as more programs are built with mDNS support.
avahi-browse is not able to show you a list of advertised *hosts*.
This is a limitation of the mDNS protocol. Only services may be
Assuming you run a SSH daemon, copy ssh.server from
/usr/share/doc/avahi-daemon/examples/ to /etc/avahi/services (iirc) and
Avahi will advertise your SSH server.
lp, avahi hacks around that fact by exporting a "workstation" service
It's not just avahi that does this. Apple does it too.
you can also add 'local' to the /etc/resolv.conf search line so that
non-fqdn's are automatically queried against .local. saves a few
keystrokes if you can stand the security implications.