Create a Bonjour Bridge using Avahi and Ubuntu Server

With the adoption of Apple TVs in education, many network administrators are trying to find a way to advertise Bonjour services over multiple subnets. Aerohive recently released a Bonjour gateway, I found this troublesome to use and set out to find another solution. I discovered that Avahi, an opensource implementation of zeroconf, allows for Bonjour reflection to other networks, to get this to work in our environment I did the following.

Firstly I installed Ubuntu Server, if this isn’t your favourite distro I’m sure the following won’t be too different, especially if you choose another Debian based OS. I installed into a virtual machine and added network interfaces for all our subnets.

Secondly I installed Avahi by running the following, this is where you might need to change things if you’re running another distro.

sudo apt-get install avahi-daemon avahi-discover libnss-mdns

Once Avahi is installed we need to edit the config file, you can do this by using nano, or your favourite text editor

sudo nano /etc/avahi/avahi-daemon.conf

Find the the following line

#enable-reflector=no

and change it to

enable-reflector=yes

Restart Avahi by running

sudo restart avahi-daemon

Now test that the bridge is functioning by using an iPad on the different subnets to see if it can see all the Apple TVs, if you are having any issues, double check your network config by using the ifconfig command line tool. Also ensure that you have InterVLAN routing enabled for the VLANs that you want to bridge.

Haydn Cockayne

Haydn Cockayne wrote 17 posts

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