Avahi Discovery GUI showing discovered services
|Developer(s)||Lennart Poettering, Trent Lloyd, Sjoerd Simons|
|Stable release||0.6.31 / February 15, 2012|
Avahi allows programs to publish and discover services and hosts running on a local network with no specific configuration. For example, a user can plug their computer into a network and Avahi automatically finds printers to print to, files to look at and people to talk to, as well as advertising the network services running on the machine.
 Technical details
Avahi implements the Apple Zeroconf specification, mDNS, DNS-SD and RFC 3927/IPv4LL. Other implementations include Apple's Bonjour framework (the mDNSResponder component of which is licensed under the Apache License).
Avahi provides a set of language bindings (Python, Mono, etc.) and ships with most Linux and *BSD distributions. Because of its modularized architecture, major desktop components like GNOME's Virtual File System and the KDE input/output architecture already integrate Avahi.
 Avahi vs. Bonjour
The Avahi project started because Apple's Zeroconf implementation, Bonjour, used the GPL-incompatible Apple Public Source License. Subsequently parts of Bonjour have been relicensed under the Apache License. However, Avahi had already[when?] become the de facto standard implementation of mDNS/DNS-SD on open-source operating systems such as GNU/Linux.
Avahi's performance resembles that of Bonjour, sometimes exceeding it; however Avahi can lose services when managing large numbers of requests simultaneously.
Avahi has been developed by Lennart Poettering and Trent Lloyd. It is the result of a merger of Poettering's original mDNS/DNS-SD implementation called "FlexMDNS", and Lloyd's original code called "Avahi" that happened in 2005. While most of today's code originates from the former project, the name of the latter was used for the joint project. Development on "FlexMDNS" started in late 2004, and work on the original "Avahi" began in early 2004.
The name Avahi is the Malagasy native name and scientific Latin name of a genus of woolly lemur, a family of primates indigenous to Madagascar. Trent Lloyd found the name, liked it, and it stuck. The logo reflects this.
 See also
- freedesktop.org - the site that formerly hosted Avahi
- Zeroconf - the standard upon which Avahi is based.
- Bonjour (software) - a mDNS implementation by Apple Inc., used in Mac OS X, iTunes, and other software.
Protocols providing similar functionality
- Service Discovery - list of protocols that provide similar functionality
- Analysis of Peer-to-Peer Protocols Performance for Establishing a Decentralized Desktop Grid Middleware
- Trent Lloyd, Lennart Poettering (2007) (ogg). Using Avahi The "Right Way" (Presentation). linux.conf.au. http://mirror.linux.org.au/linux.conf.au/2007/video/monday/monday_1150_GNOME.ogg.