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Using zeroconf to resolve local hostnames

If you bought one of those cheap WLAN-routers which provides a DHCP server but no DNS (why again?), you probably miss the feature to access your hosts in the LAN by their name, right?

If you’re running a fairly recent Linux distribution (yes, Etch works too), just try to ping them with the .local DNS suffix, like phoibe.local or hades.local. If that doesn’t work, check if avahi-daemon is installed on the machines you want to resolve. If not (which is unlikely on recent desktop machines), just install it and your machine will be available via hostname.local.

I wasn’t aware that I would ever need this “zeroconf crap” until I replaced my rusty old Dell Optiplex GXa router with a less energy consuming and much more silent Linksys WRT54G. Unfortunately I bought Version 7 which only comes with 2MB flash and is therefore not supported by openwrt. So without my precious dnsmasq on my router, I was suddenly blind in my own LAN – and very thankful to find out that zeroconf already took care of my problem.