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“ At the end of

the day, the

are the means
to the end, not
the end in itself


• What is Ze ro C onf igu ra tio n Ne twor ki ng ?
– Origin: IETF
• De scr ip ti on of Pr ot oc ol s
– IP Address Auto configuration
– Name Resolution Without DNS
– Service Discovery
• Avai lab le I mpl em ent at ion
• Supp or t
• Con cl usi on
Zero Config ur at io n
Net wo rking
• The goal of the Zero Configuration Networking
(ZER OC ON F) Working Group is to enable
networking in the absence of configuration and
• “ Ze roc on f ” is an umbrella term for a number of
underlying technologies which used to deploy
Automatic Configuration.
Orig ins : IE TF

• Stuart Cheshire posted on the Net-Thinkers mailing

list in 1997
• Put forward before IETF meetings on the subject of
"Networking in the Small" (NITS).
• Zero Configuration Working Group was established
in September 1999.
• In May 2002, Apple announced its trademark
"Ren dez vou s” for the Zeroconf technologies.
• April 2005, Apple announced the new Apple name
for the Zeroconf technologies: "Bon jou r."
Des crip tio n of Pro to cols

The Zeroconf technology,

• IP Address Auto Configuration
(Addressing without DHCP)
• Multicast DNS
(Name resolution without DNS)
• Service Discovery
IP Addre ss Aut o
co nfig ura tio n
• Absence of DHCP Server:
– Automatic selection of an IP address in the absence
of a DHCP server or network administrator

• Selection of addresses is done in a distributed

manner ie Each device is responsible for choosing
its own address and then verifying that it can use the
selected address.
Assigning an IP address
Manually configuring IP printing
Li nk -local Add re ss ing

• Automatic self-assigned link-local addresses, which

are guaranteed to work even when everything else
has failed, providing the solution.

• Link-local addressing is intended for two main

– For tiny ad-hoc local networks where communication is
desired without the overhead of setting up a DHCP server
– To provide a minimum safety-net level of service on
networks where there's supposed to be a DHCP server but
it's failed.
Link-local addressing…

• Link-local address range:

– Some of the IP addresses listed in RFC 3330 as being
reserved for local private use are:
• to
• to
• to
• to 169. 254.255.255

• Last set of numbers is the range that Zeroconf uses

when no DHCP server is available.
Link-local Addressing…
• Claiming a Link-Local IP Address (Probing)
– The address is selected randomly until you test that no one
else on the network is already using it.
– Probing for address availability (Address Resolution
Protocol )
Link-local Addressing…

Name Res olutio n With out
• Absence of DNS Server,
– Perform DNS queries via IP Multicast

• Multicast DNS
– Does not require any changes to the DNS Protocol
(messages, resource record types, etc).
– Resolve locally unique hostnames.
– ‘Answer list’ in Multicast-DNS will have details of the
mDNS Querier and Responder, and other mechanics of
where the messages are being sent and which devices are
Mu ltica st DNS

• Multicast DNS Queries

– Set the destination address to (IPv4 address
that has been reserved for mDNS), set the destination port
to 5353, and send the UDP packet as usual. When the
UDP response comes back, the DNS client receives and
handles it.
– When a machine receives a response to a query, other
machines on the network receive the response too and can
add it to their own caches for future use.
Multicast DNS…

• Claiming Your Local Name

– Probing to Check for Uniqueness done after a hostname is
chosen for a particular device.
– .local is used in Mac OS, Windows and Linux to identify a
name as being link-local.
Multicast DNS…

– Check for Conflicts

– If no conflicting Multicast DNS response is received, then
– a second query is sent 250 ms after the first and, in the
absence of conflicts,
– a third query is sent 250 ms after that.
– After waiting an additional 250 ms, (total of 750 ms for
the three queries), if no conflicting Multicast DNS
response has been received, then the host has successfully
verified uniqueness.
Multicast DNS…

• Create a Multicast DNS Address Record

– Host has a Unique name and an IP address selected or
– Next step is to create a local Multicast DNS address record
that will maps the name to the IP address.

• Device have a mechanism to display an error

message, to prompt a human user from manually
select another name.
Multicast DNS…

Multicast DNS…
• Structure of the Multicast DNS Message
– Multicast DNS Message format is similar to that of
Unicast DNS Message format.
– In fact, software can decode and display mDNS packets
using the same decoder as uDNS packets.
• Minor differences:
– uDNS packets are limited to, at most, 512 bytes. mDNS
packets are allowed to be up to 9,000 bytes.
– mDNS uses UDP port 5353 instead of port 53.
– mDNS uses UTF-8, and only UTF-8, to encode resource
record names. uDNS, use variety of encodes for a
compatibility reasons.
Se rvice Dis co very

• DNS Service Discovery (DNS-SD), the mechanism in

Zeroconf that discover what services are available on
the network without having to know device or
service names in advance.
• Finding Services, Not Devices
• Client software store the chosen service name, type,
and domain, instead of resolving the named service
to an IP address and storing that.
Ava il able Impleme nta tio n

• BENJOUR is Apple Computer’s implementation of

Zeroconf in its.
• Introduced in Mac OS X 10 .2 (“J aguar ”)
operating systems.
App li cat io ns

• iTunes which uses

service discovery
to find music available
on the local network.

• iChat instant messaging

Supp ort

• General purpose operating systems now running the

Zeroconf protocols.
• Major vendors have announced support for
Zeroconf in their products. It including Apple,
Epson, HP, Lexmark, Philips, Canon…
• Many dedicated hardware devices now implement it
to advertise the services they provide.
– networked printer
– laptop, desktop computer, digital camera…
– iTunes/iPod
When & Where …
• Zeroconf is not appropriate
– Large networks or in Large public access networks.
– Networks where a high degree of security and control is
– Networks with low bandwidth and high latency
• Zeroconf is appropriate
– Home and small office networks, LAN.
– Ad hoc networks at meetings and conferences (especially
wireless networks)
– Two devices needing to spontaneously share or exchange
Conclu sio n

• Zero configuration networking is all about ,

providing real plug and play usability for
applications and devices.
• Networked applications can provide a friendly
networking experience to the user.
• Reducing support costs and increasing customer
• It is platform independent.
• Zero Configuration Networking:
– The Definitive Guide By Stuart Cheshire,
Daniel H. Steinberg
• Zero Configuration Networking:
– Novel Interactions Ltd.
• Internet protocol journal 2007
• (IETF site)