Bonjour Hostname Resolution
Every server on the Internet has a unique IP address. Even though we can connect to Internet servers by their IP addresses, it is hard for humans to remember numbers. To solve this problem Domain Name Servers or DNS were created.
DNS convert a name into an IP address. So when we type in our browser www.openmediacentre.com.au a DNS somewhere on the Internet will convert that name into an IP address.
In our homes, if we have a wifi router, or just a plain router, we can have mini Internets. All our devices (phones, computers, Raspberry Pi) connect to this router and the router automatically assigns them a unique IP address. However, unlike the Internet, we don't usually have a DNS at home.
If we only have one Raspberry Pi in our home network, it is easy to keep track of it, but if we start adding other Raspberry Pi, keeping track of them can become challenging.
To solve this problem, Apple created something called Zero-configuration networking (Zeroconf) or Bonjour. When we use devices that are Bonjour capable, they normally broadcast their name to the network, so a DNS is not necessary.
When devices are running Zeroconf, they can be easily accessed from other computers on the local network…provided they’re also running Zeroconf. Zeroconf It’s needed at both ends.
In the Raspberry Pi and other devices running Zeroconf for Linux (avahi-daemon), what the Zeroconf daemon does is add a ".local" suffix to the end of the name of the server. For example, if you Raspberry Pi is called raspberrypi, in Zeroconf it will be called raspberrypi.local. If your Raspberry Pi is called openmediaserver, in Zeroconf it will be called openmediaserver.local and so on.
If you want to learn to change the name of your Raspberry pi, you can change the tutorial How to Change Your Raspberry Pi Name. This will also apply to many other Debian based Linux distributions.
Installing Zeroronf (Bonjour) in Apple Products
Bonjour comes built-in with Apple's OS X and iOS operating systems, so you don't have to do anything. It is already there.
Installing Zeroronf (Bonjour) in Windows
To install Bonjour in Windows you normally have to install other Apple products, such as iTunes or Safari Bonjour normally comes bundled in those products.
If you don't want to install iTunes or Safari, you can download iTunes (without installing it) and then open the downloaded file with 7-Zip or WinRar. Inside iTunes, you’ll discover there’s a separate Bonjour installer. Extract it and install it on its own.
Installing Zeroconf (Bonjour) in Linux
Zeroconf is provided through an optional package called Avahi.
In Debian systems, all you have to do is install this daemon. From the command line just type:
sudo apt-get install avahi-daemon avahi-discover libnss-mdns