alternative to bonjour hostnames

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Server, Xserve, and Networking' started by ZilogZ80, Mar 11, 2011.

  1. ZilogZ80 macrumors 6502a

    Aug 5, 2010
    I can connect to our intranet site via hostname (e.g. xyz.local/index.html) when I am on the LAN because (as I understand it) .local hostnames are advertised by the bonjour service. But this does not work over a VPN (becuase no bonjour services do) so I have to connect by IP address (e.g.

    Is there an alternative to using the bonjour advertised hostnames that doesn't involve connecting by IP address? Would having a local DNS server running on the server or router (Vigor 2820) be a solution?

    I realise I could edit the hosts file of every computer/device that connects via the VPN but I was after a more universal solution that can be implemented at the server end.
  2. etchtech09 macrumors member

    Jun 25, 2010
    Local DNS would be the main LAN side solution.

    There are also programs that can extent Bonjour services outside the local LAN, but that would be a VPN side solution on the individual clients.
  3. ZilogZ80 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Aug 5, 2010
    As I understand it there is no way to extend Bonjour over a VPN to iPhone/iPad clients so that option is ruled out for us.
    What software would you recommend for Local DNS? Or is it something I would need Snow Leopard Server for? Unless it is possible to configure our router for this purpose (Vigor 2820 - couldn't find any options relating to local DNS though)?
  4. myjay610 macrumors regular

    Jan 6, 2008
    I second setting up a local DNS, you could use BIND on an existing mac or recycle an old PC and install BIND on linux, use os x server, etc.

    Other things to consider, if your hosts are obtaining IP addresses via DHCP you'll have to configure your DHCP server to assign the local DNS server IP address, right now it's probably assigning the IP address of your router/gateway you'll also need to set the search domain for your hosts so you don't have to type full domain names everytime.

    If hosts have static IPs don't forget to manually set the DNS server IP and search domain.

    On your DNS server, just set the forwarder IP address to what the DNS IPs are in your current router configuration, your ISPs DNS or you could just use OpenDNS servers which is what I usually do if I set up a local DNS server.

    Did a quick search on the web and found this:'s_Built-in_DNS_Server ... could be useful. If you browse around enough you could find a way to do it on an existing Mac w/o installing server OS.

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