Request for mDNS name resolution from Internet-in-a-Box project

Braddock braddock at
Wed Jul 31 17:38:27 EDT 2013

Hash: SHA1

Dear OLPC Devel folks,
Is it possible to enable mDNS name resolution in future builds of OLPC OS?

Fedora and most Linux distros (not to mention Macs) support mDNS out
of the box, yet for some reason it is turned off in OLPC OS.  I
believe all that is required is the addition of the nss-mdns package
to the OLPC OS build.

Enabling mDNS allows us to add an Internet-in-a-Box network appliance
to an XO deployment network with zero configuration.  The user just
plugs our device into their network and browser queries for
http://know.local simply resolve.

This works on Mac and most flavors of Linux, and for Windows we
provide an NMB name at http://know.

But ironically the XO seems to lack any mechanism for de-centralized
local resource discovery.

Unfortunately, since OLPC OS does not resolve mDNS names we are
finding deployments to XO schools are much, much harder.

We are, for example, right now in the middle of a deployment to a
large school with XOs in Pakistan.  Instead of just plugging in the
Internet-in-a-Box device, the people on-site need to reconfigure DHCPd
on their CentOS XS School Server to supply a static IP to our
appliance's MAC address, then use the IP address from the XO's
browser.  Not ideal, and I'm not sure they will succeed.

A successful deployment of Internet-in-a-Box to a Windows-based school
in Sierra Leone, on the other hand, was trivial.

Braddock Gaskill
Founder, Internet-in-a-Box Project
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