Unix and Linux Zeroconf Networking

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About Zeroconf

This project supports the IETF zeroconf protocols, and other techniques used to configure IP networks without needing either a sysadmin or any kind of master server. The OS support is for UNIX, with a focus on GNU/Linux and BSD type systems.

There are four main areas of work:

  • Allocate addresses without a DHCP server.
  • Translate between names and IP addresses without a DNS server.
  • Find services, like printers, without a directory server.
  • Allocate IP Multicast addresses without a MADCAP server.

A final requirement is that the solutions in the four areas must coexist gracefully with larger configured networks. Zeroconf protocols must not cause harm to the network when a zeroconf machine is plugged into a large network.

It is important to understand that the purpose of zeroconf is not solely to make current personal computer networking easier to use, though this is certainly a useful benefit. The long-term goal of zeroconf is to enable the creation of entirely new kinds of networked products, products that today would simply not be commercially viable because of the inconvenience and support costs involved in setting up, configuring, and maintaining a network to allow them to operate.

It is expected that most applications will require updating to take advantage of these features. That is also in-scope.

This website is currently maintained by Brad Hards. You can post comments/suggestions to him, or directly to the mailing list.

Mailing Lists

There is a zeroconf implementers mailing list available for any discussion of zeroconf integration issues.

Archives of the previous postings to the list are available.

There is a dedicated zcip mailing list available for any discussion of the zcip package.

Archives of that list are also available.