So far, I have avahi-daemon running on all my Ubuntu machines, partly because it is installed by default. The router I used to have was quite dumb and did not really do anything except DHCP and DHCPv6. I could access the other Linux computers with hostname.local which worked fine for my purposes.

Now I have an AVM FRITZ!Box 7360 which also does some more regarding hostnames as I can access the Linux machines with hostname.fritz.box in my local network as well.

For some reason, I also can do the following now (Linux → Windows):

$ ping martin-pavilion.local
PING martin-pavilion.local ( 56(84) bytes of data.
64 bytes from Martin-Pavilion.fritz.box ( icmp_seq=1 ttl=128 time=0.633 ms

The martin-pavilion is running Windows 8. I do not think that it was accessible via .local previously, and the FRITZ!Box seems to translate the .local into the .fritz.box.

What is happening here? I somewhat got that Zeroconf/Avahi/Bonjour managed to let every computer know about every other one. Does the FRITZ!Box do the same or is this different?

My /etc/resolv.conf is:

# Dynamic resolv.conf(5) file for glibc resolver(3) generated by resolvconf(8)
search fritz.box
  • That depends on if FRITZ!Box is configured to provide DNS Via DHCP. Please show me your "/etc/resolv.conf" file. – Tyler Maginnis Oct 2 '14 at 18:49
  • @Tyler the Fritz!Box always provides DNS via DHCP. This is not configurable. You can only enable DHCP/DNS or disable it. – Uwe Plonus Oct 2 '14 at 18:58
  • Are you running a DNS Server on Fritzbox? – eyoung100 Oct 2 '14 at 21:11
  • @eyoung100 the Fritz!Box always runs a DNS server. It serves name resolution for the local net and forwards all other requests to the ISP. – Uwe Plonus Oct 3 '14 at 8:05
  • So the FRITZ!Box has a DNS Server and automatically gathers the hostnames of all devices? So I do not need Avahi/Zeroconf/Bonjour any more? – Martin Ueding Oct 5 '14 at 15:47

The FritzBox home router is using DHCP requests to update the FritzBox's DNS forwarding. Specifically: if there is a hostname option provided in the DHCP request then a hostname.fritz.box DNS record is provided by the FritzBox's DNS forwarding.

This is distinct from mDNS's .local domain. The FritzBox is not a mDNS proxy server.

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