Avahi is a protocol implementation that is using the Zeroconf protocol specification to discover services available (and advertised) on the network. Avahi really does simplifying the configuration and use of certain services that are supporting it.
The number of application integrating support for Avahi is everyday growing and you can even interoperate with client of other protocol implementation like Bonjour from Apple.
Of course, Avahi is integrated with Ubuntu and it is pretty easy to activate it.
In the Gnome main menu “System” -> “Administration”, there is an item called “Services”. Simply launch it and scroll down the list of services until you find Multicast DNS service discovery (avahi-daemon). Select it and close the application.
Application like Rhythmbox, Gaim/Pidgin, etc. will now be able to use this service. You can for example share your music on the local network. So, your siblings can access your music library and listen to it too. I will write a short article on it soon.
On some of my Ubuntu systems, I had to tweak a system file before it was working. Continue reading if you are in this case.
Open a Terminal (Gnome “Applications” -> “Accessories” -> “Terminal”) and type in:
gksudo gedit /etc/default/avahi-daemon
Text Editor should be now open and you have the right to modify it. Make sure that you have a line like:
If it was “0” at the end, change it to “1” and save the file. You have now to restart the Avahi service. You can either reboot your computer or use the Services application we have just used to activate Avahi. In this application, deactivate and reactivate the service by deselecting and reselecting it.