Bonjour - what the hell is it?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Karvel, Jul 26, 2007.

  1. Karvel macrumors regular

    Jun 27, 2007
    I was just reading the Bonjour page on the Apple website and this caught my eye;

    Now, assuming that scenario could be replicated the same with an iMac and a MacBook, how can I use Bonjour to share files? The Mac OS X Help seems a bit confusing... it seems to be going on about OS X Services which seems a bit of a hidden place for this Bonjour technology to hide :confused:

    But I think I'm not even sure what it is...

    So if I have an iMac and a MacBook connected wirelessly to a Netgear router wired up to my Windows PC, does that mean in essence that all three machines are essentially in a "network"? How does Bonjour come in then? Am I able to send, say, a file from the iMac to the Windows PC since they are both 'feeding off' the Netgear router?

    Apologies for my n00bness, I don't really get networking :D
  2. chaoticbear macrumors 6502

    Jul 25, 2007
    I don't actually know anything about it, but it sounds to me like it's creating an ad-hoc network across which you could transfer files. An ad-hoc network is one where two (or more) computers connect directly, instead of going through a router.
  3. Karvel thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 27, 2007
    It seems to imply that there is no log-in - isn't that a bit.. unsafe?
  4. numediaman macrumors 6502a

    Jan 5, 2004
    Chicago (by way of SF)
    Through Bonjour you decide what is accessible and who you connect with. I suppose it is similar to the way your Bluetooth file sharing works.

    In this way, it is very secure.
  5. Karvel thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 27, 2007
    How do I do that then? (say, iTunes sharing and Shared Photos in Front Row)
  6. chaoticbear macrumors 6502

    Jul 25, 2007
    I imagine the same way that you would over a standard wireless network, but I don't know - I haven't ordered my MBP yet, and have only very limited knowledge of Macs. (Waiting for my refund check to come in this semester before I make the switch. :cool:)
  7. After G macrumors 68000

    After G

    Aug 27, 2003
    Bonjour is a technology to get your devices and services to communicate easily with each other. Instead of having to wade through a mess of configuration for your iTunes, or iPhoto, or file sharing, you just check a few boxes and go.

    An example of how it works is if you enable printer sharing on OS X on one computer in your network, you don't have to walk around to every other computer and configure it to find the shared printer. OS X shows you in the printer dialog that a new shared printer is available, and it does this without you having to do anything.

    For getting sharing to work with iTunes and iPhoto, look in the preferences menu in each application.

    Also check the Sharing tab in System Preferences and make sure each service you want is enabled through the firewall, if your firewall is on.
  8. Bulldog VII macrumors 6502

    Bulldog VII

    Jul 10, 2007
    Bonjour - what the hell is it?

    French for hello! :)
  9. Karvel thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 27, 2007
    So if I activate the sharing in iTunes/iPhoto, (and have started the "Personal File Sharing" service in the Sharing preference in System Preferences), but I have not opted to require a password to gain access to the Music/Photos which I have decided to share, does that mean that anyone within range can access them?
  10. chrisfender0 macrumors newbie

    Mar 9, 2008

    You can send pretty much any kind of files thru bonjour and your CPU's will only create a network if you set it up but then you can manage an internal network and get other people on your network. As long as your CPU's have built-in airport cards or you have connected them thru a router you can set that up with the network wizard on a PC easier than on a mac (and safer because it only establishes a short connection once during the entire setup). From there it's a matter of people wanting to connect to your network and you can expand to your entire neighborhood ;)
  11. DAbrams macrumors newbie

    Feb 19, 2008
    Seriously, reading this thread has made me more confused on how this actually works. :confused::)

    So then what would I do in this scenario: I want to use my iMac to connect to a new printer that is Bonjour equipped. What is the order of operations I would have to do?
  12. frosse macrumors 6502a

    Sep 23, 2007
    I too am veeeeery confused about this Bonjour thingy.

    I read that Bonjour for example makes a mac and a PC work really well with each other and that Bonjour makes file sharing sooo much easier.

    Therefore I tried it out, installed Bonjour on my PC (winxp home) but all it kept nagging 'bout was Printer Sharing. I dont want Printer Sharing - I want [easier] file sharing? I don't see why Bonjour would help me, doesnt file sharing between two comps work like really well? Atleast it does for me...

    How can Bonjour help me with file sharing? And how do I configure it?
  13. richard.mac macrumors 603


    Feb 2, 2007
    51.50024, -0.12662
    all the major printer companies include the Bonjour protocol in their printers as i assume they liked what Apple had done with it. because of this printers pretty much set them selves up on Macs and it is very easy to share a printer to other Macs wirelessly.

    it starts to get hard when you want to print wirelessly to a printer that is attached to PC. believe me i know as thats my setup at home. i found the only way around this was to use CUPS which is the printing protocol in Un*x.

    it gets easier if its the other way around; printing wirelessly to a printer connected to a Mac from a PC. that is what Bonjour for Windows is for.

    Mac OS X and Windows dont file share using Bonjour they use SMB. two Macs on the same local network file share using AFP.

    also looks like this thread has had a few views! maybe Apple hasnt explained Bonjour well enough and new users are curious?

    Screencapture 1.jpg
  14. MacBoobsPro macrumors 603


    Jan 10, 2006
    If you have two macs both wireless equipped and one has a printer attached to it but you want to print from the mac not attached. Turn printer sharing on, on the mac with the printer connected to it. Bonjour takes over and now the other mac is able to see it without any setup on your part. You can now print (wirelessly) from the remote mac. This works for other things like file sharing, music sharing etc. Before bonjour you would then have to go to all the macs you wanted to be able to see the printer and manually tell them to search for it.

    There is more to it than that but I wont pretend I fully understand it. However Bonjour is a technology not an application.
  15. eRondeau macrumors 65816


    Mar 3, 2004
    Canada's South Coast
    Seriously, there's nothing to understand -- just turn on Sharing and it is "just there". It surprised the heck out of me when I first saw it work. Go into your Sharing preferences on the "target" computer (that is, the computer that will be shared) and turn on Print Sharing or File Sharing, and password-protect if desired. Then your other Mac's will show it as a source in the Finder. It really is that easy. I have my iMac set-up as a "shared" computer and my iBook can easily see it and share files, or print through it. Again, don't try to make it unnecessarily complicated -- it's a Mac!

    Further to that, you can independently turn on iTunes Sharing and iPhoto Sharing through those program Preferences and, again, it just works. I was shocked and amazed to fire-up iTunes in a hotel room recently and find a half-dozen shared iTunes Libraries just waiting to be explored. Very, very cool! :apple:
  16. thewhitehart macrumors 6502a


    Jul 9, 2005
    The town without George Bailey
    Just connect the printer and enjoy! If it's bonjour enabled, your mac will see it when it advertises its services.

    When I bring my mac to work, it sees all the networked bonjour printers, and has the drivers for them already.

Share This Page