[CentOS] Is avahi essential?

Les Mikesell lesmikesell at gmail.com
Thu Jan 12 02:27:30 UTC 2012

On Wed, Jan 11, 2012 at 8:12 PM, Warren Young <warren at etr-usa.com> wrote:
>>> It is for devices with IP, but to find names that aren't officially
>>> registered in a DNS server.  For example if you have a Playstation 3,
>>> or a newer blu-ray player that supports network streaming it will use
>>> DHCP to get an address.  But then suppose you install your own DLNA
>>> media server like ps3mediaserver (or have windows 7 home premium which
>>> includes one).   Without registering your new server name in DNS, the
>>> device will be able to find the service if it is on the same lan.  I
>>> think Macs use it to find printers too.
>> Wait a sec, I have that setup (just mediatomb instead of ps3mediaserver)
>> and there's no avahi on my network. Yet the PS3 is perfectly capable of
>> discovering and using the DLNA server.
> You're talking about the inverse case of Les.  An MDNS server on your
> Linux box lets it find services on the network via MDNS.  So, you could
> store movies on the PS3 and maybe play them on the Linux desktop without
> knowing the PS3's IP address, if you used an mdns/avahi-aware player
> program.

No, mediatomb and ps3mediaserver are both servers (slightly different
capabilities) and the ps3 is still a client/player.

> The plug-and-play nature of MDNS would evaporate if you had to set up a
> Linux box on the LAN just to act as MDNS server.

It's multicast - the client can make a query and anything on the lan
can answer so the applications providing the service can respond on
their own.   There is probably a way to set up a server that collates
things across lan segments or configure routers to forward,  but I'm
not that familiar with it and it isn't necessary in the usual case of
a single LAN subnet.

   Les Mikesell
     lesmikesell at gmail.com

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