NAS: Advertise your shares via Bonjour

This at least works with the Synology products – in my case with the DS107+. This tip solves two problems for any mac-user – SSH access directly to the NAS as well as ensuring that Bonjour advertises the shares into your Finder-window. The only draw-back is, that your DiskStation requires the iTunes-server to run (not a problem in my scenario though):

  1. If you have not done so follow this tutorial to enable SSH: “How to enable/disable SSH for CLI
  2. The NAS uses mDNSResponder to broadcast Bonjour services. This is the Howl package, which is no longer maintained. When iTunes sharing is enabled, the mDNSResponder is launched; when it’s disabled, it’s taken down.Howl uses a configuration file to determine what services to broadcast. It doesn’t appear that this file exists anywhere on the NAS, so some other process must be passing the parameters for the iTunes and HTTP (DSM) sharing services. However, if you look at the /usr/syno/sbin/mDNSResponder binary, you can see that it searches for a default configuration file at /etc/howl/mDNSResponder.conf.
  3. As the first step, log into the DiskStation, create the howl-directory and then create a new mDNSResponder.conf:
  4. Next step is to configure which services you would like to broadcast. I hope you know your way around Vi, as this is the only editor you will get on DS107+:

    You will notice in my case I am only broadcasting SMB, and all the other services are commented out.

Once you save the file and restart the iTunes Server, you will notice that the services “magically” appear in your Finder window.

Kudos to Colin @

About Apple Bonjour

If you have ever used an Apple product, you have participated in Apple’s Bonjour network. Apple, being Apple, wanted to magically connect their devices. They didn’t want users entering ugly IP addresses or having to set up a directory of devices, that would be messy! They didn’t even want us propeller heads to be able to mess things up so they hid this magic behind a name. Originally it was called Rendezvous but someone owned that and probably wanted too much money for Apple to use it. (Actually this was probably a better name as it means a place to meet up) so they stuck with the French and renamed it Bonjour (hello in French).

So what IS Bonjour? Well, it is really two protocols, mDNS or multicast domain name system and DNS-SD or Domain Name System Service Discovery. Apple uses these two standard protocols to discover and advertise their services, like AppleTV or iTunes libraries, SSH, SAMBA, wireless routers etc. What is discovering a service? Well, in real terms, if you turn on your Apple product you may want to connect to some service over the network – say a file share or an Airplay device like a remote speaker or display.

When your Apple product gets on a network it starts up the multicast DNS process (mdnsresponder) and sends a multicast join request. Your device then sends out a register or a hello announcing its intention to have a name on this network. It uses the name given by you, like Gerd’s iPhone. Because all of these devices need a domain and this is all local, it uses the domain .local as in “Gerd’s iPhone.local”, escaping all the illegal characters so they display all pretty to the user. The other devices do this greeting as well.

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