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Zeroconf Networking in Linux using Avahi

The following procedure enables Linux machines to talk to each other using host names through zero-configuration (zeroconf) networking, made possible by the Multicast DNS (mDNS) protocol on link-local address IPv4 (or IPv6 ff02::fb) port 5353/UDP.

This allows the ".local" top-level domain to be appended to the host name at run-time, turning it into a fully-qualified domain name (FQDN) accessible in the local area network (LAN).


1. Update the package list and upgrade the existing packages.

user@host: $ sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get dist-upgrade -y

2. Install Avahi.

user@host: $ sudo apt-get install avahi-daemon avahi-utils

3. Test the ".local" domain.

user@host: $ ping hostname.local


This is particularly useful in a LAN environment where Linux servers and devices operate as an integrated computing cluster. Units can then be added or removed as needed and still communicate continuously since no manual IP address adjustments are needed on any host or on the router.



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