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View Full Version : Want to play with a Wide Area Bonjour service?



teej
18th June 2009, 08:19 PM
If you have more than one Mac and you'd like to use services (file shares, screen sharing, etc) on them when they're not on the same local network, Wide Area Bonjour might be a good fit for you. I've been building a service that takes care of the DNS side of things and am looking for a tester or two. If you're interested please send me a PM.

In the latest round of bug fixes I've added a registration limit so if you'd like to try it out, just head over to Global Hostname (http://www.globalhostname.com/) and register. If you don't have a domain name to play with, feel free to use 'yourchoice.globalhostname.org'.

The limit on registrations is solely to keep it manageable whilst the service goes through growing pains. On that note - if you've been using a <something>.globalhostname.org zone, a fix was pushed this morning that resolves a few issues.

Cheers

Peter_Pan
18th June 2009, 09:57 PM
Yeah..... I am using a dial in VPN at the moment, but I have to manually afp:// to each computer.

Back to my mac is so up and down it's a joke!

I would be interested in testing out your service, but I don't know a whole heap about bonjour and how it works.

Cheers

Cheers

teej
18th June 2009, 10:39 PM
Thanks for volunteering Peter_Pan :)

I'll send out some details to yourself and the other folks who've PM'd me tomorrow morning.

In case anyone's put off by not knowing about Bonjour/DNS don't worry, you hopefully won't have to do much more than register on a website and then put some details into the 'Computer Name' section of the Sharing system preferences ;)

Beau
18th June 2009, 11:48 PM
Is it too late to volunteer to be guinea pigs? I notice my AirPort Express supports wide area bonjour - printing to home from school would be neat =p

Lutze
19th June 2009, 12:45 AM
I'd be interested - I've got an Airport Extreme that's got it enabled.

teej
19th June 2009, 01:24 PM
Is it too late to volunteer to be guinea pigs? I notice my AirPort Express supports wide area bonjour - printing to home from school would be neat =p


I'd be interested - I've got an Airport Extreme that's got it enabled.

Unfortunately the Airport firmware/utility seems to be broken when it comes to setting up Wide Area Bonjour :( If you'd like to give it a go anyway just let me know but it will probably be an exercise in frustration.

teej
21st June 2009, 07:31 PM
I've opened up registrations a little - see the first post (http://forums.mactalk.com.au/20/66964-want-play-wide-area-bonjour-service.html#post806082).

bennyling
21st June 2009, 08:04 PM
Sooo... what kinds of things is Wide Area Bonjour useful for?

teej
21st June 2009, 09:07 PM
Sooo... what kinds of things is Wide Area Bonjour useful for?

Fair question and one that I'm not sure I have a succinct answer for yet ;)

Bonjour let's software discover network services. Some examples of where it's used in OS X are File Sharing, Printer Sharing, Screen Sharing, Remote Login and iTunes Library sharing (although that's wide-area disabled). Safari will also discover web servers. Outside of Apple's software, in general if it's a native OS X app and it uses the network in someway it probably has some Bonjour discovery functionality the majority of file transfer and chat apps certainly do.

I use it in a number of ways but for me the killer use is remotely accessing my iMac from my MBP. Wide Area Bonjour means the iMac shows up in Finder for file sharing/remote desktop seamlessly regardless of what network my laptop's connected to.

Hope that give you an idea of what it's useful for :)

Dog Knight
22nd June 2009, 01:29 PM
Definitely something I am interested in. I am assuming this sets up a sort of VPN between the computers.

Is this limited to programs that have Bonjour support built in? Or once a Wide Area Bonjour network (WABN) is established, will it work like a VPN where all networking services will work as if physically connected. EG: Gaming for example. Games probably wont have Bonjour support built in, but once the WABN is established, will they work the same as if the computers were networked?

I will be signing up when I get home tonight.

teej
22nd June 2009, 07:29 PM
WAB takes care of making a service accessible and discoverable by setting up port-forwarding (most routers with NAT-PMP or uPnP are supported) and then publishing a series of DNS records advertising the service type, IP address, port and any other miscellaneous information needed to connect to the service. Unfortunately this doesn't help with clients that aren't Bonjour aware (servers don't necessarily need to be Bonjour aware) so it won't help unless the game has support built-in.

For those interested there's a good video on Google Video (http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-7398680103951126462) as well as more information on DNS-SD.org (http://www.dns-sd.org/) that go in to further depth.

adamd
4th August 2009, 01:50 AM
This looks awesome, but I think I'm going to need some help setting it up with my domain... :|

DeKa
4th August 2009, 03:47 AM
It does look awesome. I've just registered on the website.

teej
4th August 2009, 12:37 PM
This looks awesome, but I think I'm going to need some help setting it up with my domain... :|
No worries I'm happy to help you can reach me via contact@globalhostname.com (mailto:contact@globalhostname.com). For most people setting up Global Hostname with your own domain is a matter of picking a name for your Bonjour zone (eg: bonjour.mydomain.com) and creating two NS records with that name which point to the GlobalHostname DNS servers.


It does look awesome. I've just registered on the website.
Cool let me know if there's anything I can do to help you get started or to improve the site :)

adamd
5th August 2009, 04:46 PM
No worries I'm happy to help you can reach me via contact@globalhostname.com (mailto:contact@globalhostname.com). For most people setting up Global Hostname with your own domain is a matter of picking a name for your Bonjour zone (eg: bonjour.mydomain.com) and creating two NS records with that name which point to the GlobalHostname DNS servers.


Cool let me know if there's anything I can do to help you get started or to improve the site :)

I'm going to need help with that bit... Trying to set up a subdomain of i3network.net, but I need an IP address to point it to.. Cant find the NS records for it :confused:

teej
5th August 2009, 05:08 PM
I'm going to need help with that bit... Trying to set up a subdomain of i3network.net, but I need an IP address to point it to.. Cant find the NS records for it :confused:
Sure two NS records need to be created named whatever your Bonjour zone is called (eg: 'bonjour.example.com.') that point to 'wabns1.globalhostname.com.' and 'wabns2.globalhostname.com.'. A bind configuration would look like:


bonjour.example.com. 3600 IN NS wabns1.globalhostname.com.
bonjour.example.com. 3600 IN NS wabns2.globalhostname.com.
In the above, the first column is the record name (some web interfaces will force you truncate it to just bonjour), the second column is the TTL, third is the type of record and the last is the record data. Some web interfaces get a bit funky about the dots on the end so if it says an invalid name try taking the dot off the end. Similarly, some won't like having a TTL that low, just bump it up till it accepts it.

adamd
6th August 2009, 12:46 AM
Sure two NS records need to be created named whatever your Bonjour zone is called (eg: 'bonjour.example.com.') that point to 'wabns1.globalhostname.com.' and 'wabns2.globalhostname.com.'. A bind configuration would look like:


bonjour.example.com. 3600 IN NS wabns1.globalhostname.com.
bonjour.example.com. 3600 IN NS wabns2.globalhostname.com.
In the above, the first column is the record name (some web interfaces will force you truncate it to just bonjour), the second column is the TTL, third is the type of record and the last is the record data. Some web interfaces get a bit funky about the dots on the end so if it says an invalid name try taking the dot off the end. Similarly, some won't like having a TTL that low, just bump it up till it accepts it.

I can only get to the A-Records for my domain name... I'm guessing I might be looking in the wrong place.. Starting a chat with my host now..

DeKa
6th August 2009, 02:47 AM
I can only get to the A-Records for my domain name... I'm guessing I might be looking in the wrong place.. Starting a chat with my host now..

A records means you're looking at your DNS host. You need to look at your domain registrar's site (which could be the same company).

teej
9th August 2009, 03:32 PM
I've opened 10 more spots on Global Hostname (http://www.globalhostname.com/accounts/register/) for anyone who'd like to try it out.

If you run into any bugs, would like a feature added, etc please email contact@globalhostname.com (mailto:contact@globalhostname.com).

rmac
9th August 2009, 04:15 PM
i dont have more than one Mac but very interested in this idea when i do. how do you connect to your second Mac while away from your local network? do you enter an IP address in Finder's Connect to Server and get a generic icon in Finder, or is it all automatic and your Mac will still be viewable in Finder with a little Mac icon?

DeKa
9th August 2009, 04:15 PM
I've set it up but I don't have any other Macs to test it with. Bit silly of me.
teej - your site doesn't explain that you need to create a key, and what to do with it. It took me a while to figure it out...

Cybix
9th August 2009, 04:28 PM
i dont have more than one Mac but very interested in this idea when i do. how do you connect to your second Mac while away from your local network? do you enter an IP address in Finder's Connect to Server and get a generic icon in Finder, or is it all automatic and your Mac will still be viewable in Finder with a little Mac icon?

when it's all configured and set up, your finder will just 'see' your other bonjour services... machines, url's, whatever you set up :)

teej
9th August 2009, 04:45 PM
teej - your site doesn't explain that you need to create a key, and what to do with it. It took me a while to figure it out...
I have been dragging my feet with documentation thanks for calling me out on that. What I thought I'd do is a one-page tour covering adding a zone, adding a key and setting up the key in Sharing would that be a good way of getting started?


when it's all configured and set up, your finder will just 'see' your other bonjour services... machines, url's, whatever you set up :)
Couldn't have said it better myself ;)

rmac
12th August 2009, 04:18 PM
when it's all configured and set up, your finder will just 'see' your other bonjour services... machines, url's, whatever you set up :)

cool thats like i thought it would be, all automatic!

teej
1st September 2009, 10:41 AM
For those of you who wanted to use an Airport with the service, one of the fine folks testing the service has found exactly what the bug is along with a work around see here for the solution (http://frozenriver.net/2009/08/30/wide-area-bonjour-apples-airport/).