Howl and Bonjour, Together Forever!

So – as my regular readers know, I have switched from Linux for my main OS at home. One of the reasons I jumped to Linux was due to my frustration with Windows 98’s issues. Yeah – that kind of dates me. My journey with Linux was wonderful. I still love the OS. However after the second Ink jet that I got failed to work with parts of it, I gave up. I work on problematic computers at work (windows 2000 mainly) and I really Just Wanted Stuff to Work at home.

Enter Mac OS X. The hardware was sexy (even before this Switch, I wanted a PowerBook), and the promise of stuff just working was really enticing. So, I got a Mac Mini. Even before I had left the store, I had bumped the RAM to 1 gig (the most it could handle). Got it home, and was like a kid at christmas.

First step – use the included CD to upgrade to Tiger. No problem. Worked right out of the box. Well, after a month of using Tiger and the Mini, I had made up my mind. Next was the Powerbook. Sweet machine. really sweet.

Anyways, to bring this back onto topic, I was left with several linux boxes laying about the house. I sold one to a friend for use as a firewall (nudge, nudge?). One was left behind (future web-server for the house) and the 1.6 gig machine was sitting, all alone. Busted out a new 250g HDD for it, and slapped it in. (Gawd, I love linux. Had it installed, configured, formated and data copied in about 10 minutes).

Now, the hard part. How to make Linux speak Mac. After some research, I found that Mac uses AFP (still) as their native file sharing protocol. Bonjour is used to discover services on the fly. So, my linux box needed to speak those two languages.

(warning – geekspeak follows!)

The Linux Box: Dell 1.6g P4 768 megs RAM, 1 20g HDD (/, boot, home, usr, var, etc) 1 250g HDD (/share). 1 Netgear 10/100/1000 NIC. Ubuntu Linux – Hoary Hedgehog all security patches etc.

So, first things first, let’s let appletalk running. Open Synaptic, and get netatalk. install it. presto.

Edit the /etc/default/netatalk file and turn off everything except afp

Next, we need to install Bonjour – called Howl under Linux. So, get howl-utils and mdnsresponder.

Edit the /etc/mdnsresponder/mDNSresponder.conf file and add a few lines to define your services

Add the services that you need – the one thing that took me a while to figure out is that afp is called afpovertcp and you need to put a .local after the servername

Restart both /etc/init.d/netatalk and mdnsresponder

That should do it for you.

There are some good howtos out there – I like this one quite a bit. Google is your friend!

I’ve been giving the protocol stack a good workout – I had 3 copies going at once (a 13 gig, a 5 gig and a 500 meg) and the box just keeps slurping it up.

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