Bonjour (software)

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Image:Apple Bonjour Icon.png
Developed by Apple Inc.
Operating system Mac OS X, Windows 32 bit and 64 bit, Linux, iPhone OS
Type Zeroconf
License Apple Inc. - Proprietary Freeware; portions under the Apache license

Bonjour, formerly Rendezvous, is Apple Inc.'s trade name for its implementation of Zeroconf, a service discovery protocol. Bonjour locates devices such as printers, as well as other computers, and the services that those devices offer on a local network using multicast Domain Name System service records. The software is built into Apple's Mac OS X operating system from version 10.2 onward, and can be installed onto computers using Microsoft Windows operating systems. Bonjour components may also be included within other software, such as iTunes.

Bonjour is released under a terms-of-limited-use license by Apple. While it is freeware for clients, developers and software companies who wish to include it in a software package may need a licensing agreement. The source code for mDNSResponder is available under the Apache License.[1]


[edit] Overview

Bonjour is a general method to discover services on a local area network. It is widely used throughout Mac OS X and allows users to set up a network without any configuration. Currently it is used by Mac OS X and on other operating systems to find printers and file sharing servers. It is also used by iTunes to find shared music, iPhoto to find shared photos, iChat, Adobe Systems Creative Suite 3, Proteus, Adium, Fire, Pidgin, Skype, and the Gizmo Project to find other users on the local network, TiVo Desktop to find digital video recorders and shared media libraries, SubEthaEdit and e to find document collaborators, and Contactizer to find and share contacts, tasks and events information. Additionally it is used by Safari to find local web servers and configuration pages for local devices, and by Asterisk to advertise telephone services along with configuration parameters to VoIP phones and dialers. Software such as Bonjour Browser or iStumbler can be used to view all services declared by these applications and more. Also, Apple's "Remote" application for iPhone and iPod Touch uses Bonjour to establish connection to iTunes libraries via Wi-Fi.[2]

Without special DNS configuration, Bonjour only works within a single broadcast domain, which is usually a small area.

Bonjour is sometimes misunderstood to make services on a personal computer (for instance, file sharing) available to the public Internet, which could be considered a security risk. In fact, Bonjour does not provide any extra access to services, even on the same local area network (LAN); it merely announces ("advertises") their existence. For example, a user can browse a list of nearby computers which share files—Bonjour on these computers has told the user that the service is available—but he or she must still provide a password to access any protected files on these machines. Additionally, Bonjour works only in a close range; by default, its messages only reach users of the same link. Thus, the security impact of Bonjour is that advertised services are no longer protected by security through obscurity on the local network. If the services are protected through a means other than obscurity, they will remain protected. However, given the security ability of the general user, this may represent a significant change in the user's security level. See also comments below under Microsoft Windows implementation.

Bonjour services are implemented at the application level largely using standard TCP/IP calls, rather than in the operating system. Although Mac OS X provides various Bonjour services, Bonjour works on other operating systems. Apple has made the source code of the Bonjour multicast DNS responder, the core component of service discovery, available as a Darwin open source project. The project provides source code to build the responder daemon for a wide range of platforms, including Mac OS 9, Mac OS X, Linux, *BSD, Solaris, VxWorks, and Windows. In addition, Apple provides a user-installable set of services called Bonjour for Windows as well as Java libraries. A number of Windows programs use Zeroconf, including Adobe Systems Creative Suite 3, iTunes, Cerulean Studios' Trillian Pro 3, Ruckus Music Player from Ruckus Network, and the text editor e.

[edit] Microsoft Windows implementation

Version 1.0.6 was released on December 15, 2008 and works with Windows 2000, 2003, XP, and Vista.[3] It is primarily used in order to ease the installation, configuration, and use of network printers and thus runs from startup. When Bonjour is fully implemented on MS Windows, some features such as iChat allow for communication between the Mac OS and MS Windows. Bonjour for Windows also adds Zeroconf capabilities to Internet Explorer, and provides a Zeroconf implementation to Java JVMs.[3][4]

Besides Apple software such as iTunes, Bonjour is also delivered with some third party applications, such as Adobe's Photoshop CS3 suite,[5] to take advantage of Zeroconf technology.

Bonjour is normally placed in a folder called "Bonjour" within the "Program Files" folder. Bonjour modifies Windows system registry entries related to internal network configuration and operation. In the list of MS Windows startup services, Bonjour runs as the name mDNSResponder.exe. Communications across the network take place over UDP port 5353, which may require reconfiguring some personal or corporate firewalls that may block Bonjour packets. A full installation of Bonjour for Windows will include a plug-in for Internet Explorer, a printer wizard and the network communication services. Not all components are included, when installed as part of a third party application or as a component of other Apple software such as iTunes.

Some VPN clients are configured so that local network services are unavailable to a computer when VPN software is active and connected.[3] In such a case, no local Zeroconf services are available to Bonjour or any other Zeroconf implementation.

The open source IM clients Pidgin and Kopete support the Bonjour IM protocol.

[edit] Criticism

Bonjour services are installed without explicit user permission and the software is often not necessary for running the programs that bundle it. While there are no documented conflicts with anti-virus software packages or the Microsoft Windows operating system, some corporate firewalls[which?] may raise a warning when Bonjour attempts to broadcast the availability of network services.[citation needed] Some technical forums[which?] have reported that the service can break a configured internet connection and also can conflict with system files on certain versions of Windows. Other programs with which it interferes include Juniper Network Connect, a VPN client.

Stability of the software varies with each version. Misbehaviour on larger corporate or ISP networks caused when Bonjour issues excessive or malfunctioning broadcasts are unwelcomed by IT managers,[which?] especially given the limited technical support Apple provides for this product. Users who manually disable the service will often find it re-enabled by Apple's regular software updates.[citation needed]

Like many zeroconfig networking tools, user customization is non-existent. This often causes unnecessary and unwanted network traffic that cannot be stopped unless the service is disabled completely.[citation needed]

Uninstalling the software from Windows is usually problematic, due to a poorly implemented uninstaller. After uninstalling Bonjour, it commonly leaves processes running in the background. mdnsresponder doesn't show up in one's TCP/IP stack (and causing corruption) using tools such as lspfix.exe until after killing the leftover processess, deleting the process files and then rebooting.[citation needed]

[edit] Naming

Bonjour's original name, when introduced in August 2002 as part of Mac OS X v10.2, was "Rendezvous". On August 27, 2003 Tibco Software Inc announced that it had filed a law suit for trademark infringement.[6] Tibco already had an enterprise application integration product called TIBCO Rendezvous on the market since 1994, and the company stated that they had tried and failed to come to an agreement with Apple Computer. In July 2004 Apple Computer and Tibco reached an out-of-court settlement;[7] specifics of the settlement were not released to the public.

On April 12, 2005 Apple announced that Rendezvous was being renamed to Bonjour,[8] a French greeting whose literal meaning is "good day" in English.

[edit] See also

[edit] References

  1. ^ "Bonjour Downloads". Developer Connection. Apple. Retrieved on 2009-02-07.  File 'LICENSE' within each Bonjour source code download.
  2. ^ "Android DACP Remote Control". Android DACP Remote Control. Jeffrey Sharkey. Retrieved on 2009-02-23. 
  3. ^ a b c "Bonjour for Windows". Apple Inc.. December 15, 2008. Retrieved on 2009-02-07. 
  4. ^ Apple Inc. "Leopard Sneak Peek - iChat". Retrieved on 2006-11-28. 
  5. ^ "CS3 Doesn't Install Spyware". Adobe Systems. January 4, 2007. Retrieved on 2009-02-07. 
  6. ^ TIBCO Software (2003-08-27). TIBCO Software Inc. Sues Apple Computer, Inc. for Trademark Infringement. Press release. Retrieved on 2006-10-11. 
  7. ^ Daniel Drew Turner (2004-07-22). "Apple Settles TIBCO Suit, Renames Rendezvous". eWeek.,1759,1626397,00.asp. Retrieved on 2006-10-11. 
  8. ^ Marc Krochmal (2005-04-12). "Rendezvous is changing to...". rendezvous-dev mailing list. Apple Computer. Retrieved on 2006-10-11. 

[edit] External links

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