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Thread: Internet problems - avahi / .local domain

  1. #1
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    Angry Internet problems - avahi / .local domain

    Hello all,

    Please help! I'm in at the deep end learning linux on my new system 76!

    My internet kind of works - I can email and I downloaded GIMP, but when I try and download VLC player I get " Network service discovery disabled - current network has a .local domain, which is not recommended + incompatible with Avahi network" - the same also occurs when trying to get updates.

    I gather this is an ISP thing, not a Ubuntu problem - but can some of you kind folk please give me some nice clear (absolute beginner remember ) instructions for a work-around?

    Mega kudos to anyone who can help me get up and running and starting to play with new toy properly!

    Thanks for reading,

    Gareth.

  2. #2
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    Re: Internet problems - avahi / .local domain

    Hello!
    What program gives you this message?

  3. #3
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    Re: Internet problems - avahi / .local domain

    Do you only get the message or are you also actually unable to use the internet?

    I've had that message myself before without it actually doing anything. Seems there are more people with that 'issue', see:
    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1109941

  4. #4
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    Re: Internet problems - avahi / .local domain

    That message will come up if you are connected to the router but the router is not connected to the ISP. If we power on the router and the computer at the same time we may get that message if Ubuntu loads before the router has established the connection to the ISP. This can happen because Ubuntu will start to make a network connection before we get to the login screen.

    Does this prevent you from downloading? Does it stop the downloading of updates? The disabling of Avahi should not make any difference on a machine that is not connected through the router to other computers. It does not affect my single machine in any way.

    Avahi allows programs to publish and discover services and hosts running on a local network with no specific configuration. For example, a user can plug their computer into a network and Avahi automatically finds printers to print to, files to look at and people to talk to, as well as advertising the network services running on the machine.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avahi_(software)

    Regards.
    It is a machine. It is more stupid than we are. It will not stop us from doing stupid things.
    Ubuntu user #33,200. Linux user #530,530


  5. #5
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    Re: Internet problems - avahi / .local domain

    Thanks for the responses,

    @Locus - I get this message when trying to download certain things on internet (so far noticed VLC & Updates)

    @Sandertje - as mentioned in original post, internet kinda works (can email / youtube / I downloaded GIMP - but certain things (VLC / Updates) not possible and the "avahi / .local domain" message comes up - thanks for thread link, there's one (unconfirmed) work-around there I will try

    @graham - it's a home set up - one router and 2 laptops (my wife's mac works fine) no network that I'm aware of.
    yes - stops certain downloads (including updates)
    disabling Avahi - sounds great - how do I do that? - I've tried searching with super key, but no dice....

    Thanks for the input so far - please keep any information / instructions coming!

    Cheers,

    Gareth.

  6. #6
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    Re: Internet problems - avahi / .local domain

    When posting, please provide more info. At least, what flavour and version of 'buntu you are using, what software recently loaded, if the problem occurred after an update, etc.

    Avahi is not really that important. @grahammechanical is correct. In fact some consider it a form of software bloat and prefer to do without it. My only concern might be that its absence somehow upsets the Ubuntu ecosystem. Its absence will break some services that rely on it. For example, hplip will not successfully scan your local network for network attached printers if Avahi is nuked. No big deal because you can just point the setup program to a specific IP address, but some functionality is lost all the same. A bigger concern is that Avahi is not the problem but only a symptom of the real problem.

    No network guru, I, but do:
    Code:
    host -t SOA local
    as suggested by this launchpad thread. It should return something like:
    Code:
    Host local not found: 3(NXDOMAIN)
    If it returns something like
    Code:
    local has SOA record...
    then your ISP is capturing Avahi's .local assignation, which the ISP should not be doing. If so, this thread contains a workaround, along with advice that your ISP should be contacted and asked to stop using .local as a unicast domain.

    I don't understand why any of this would prevent you from downloading VLC, but you can at least try it to see if it fixes things.

    Good luck!
    Newb: How far must I jump to clear the ledge halfway down?
    Guru: It's bad to jump off cliffs. Let's look at better options.
    Newb: Stop harping about "best practices" and just tell me.


  7. #7
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    Re: Internet problems - avahi / .local domain

    Thanks Duckhook!

    Sorry (new to this game) shoulda mentioned using Ubuntu 12.10, only software loaded is GIMP, which seems to be working fine.

    I will try the steps prescribed later (at work now) and let you know how I get on.

    Thanks again,

    Gareth.

  8. #8
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    Re: Internet problems - avahi / .local domain

    Forgot to mention that you might also bypass the whole problem by using OpenDNS for all your DNS name resolution. You will have to go into your router and point all of your DNS server IP addresses to OpenDNS servers. I use OpenDNS and find them excellent. All sorts of little extra goodies too, like filtering out sketchy sites, etc. Great if you have kids you want to protect. For OpenDNS server addresses, setup, etc. go to their site here.
    Newb: How far must I jump to clear the ledge halfway down?
    Guru: It's bad to jump off cliffs. Let's look at better options.
    Newb: Stop harping about "best practices" and just tell me.


  9. #9
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    Re: Internet problems - avahi / .local domain

    Quote Originally Posted by Gareth Edwards View Post
    ... please keep any information / instructions coming!

    Cheers,

    Gareth.
    Avahi is the Linux implementation of Zeroconf. The first paragraph here gives a concise description of Avahi.

    In essence; in the absence of any network configuration (no dhcp or manual configuration) Avahi provides a local LAN IP address. This address the has the first two octets as 169.254. This address is never provided by dhcp and has nothing to do with your ISP.

    IMO, the first test would be to see what the IP address of your network card. You can do that by posting the output of this command
    Code:
     ifconfig|grep 'inet addr'
    ...This provides the currently configured IP addresses.

    When I do this I get the following
    Code:
             inet addr:192.168.1.3  Bcast:192.168.1.255  Mask:255.255.255.0
             inet addr:127.0.0.1  Mask:255.0.0.0
    Last edited by bab1; February 27th, 2013 at 04:27 AM.
    -BAB1

  10. #10
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    Re: Internet problems - avahi / .local domain

    I have personally only come across this once and it was on someone else's network. I basically followed the diagnostic steps DuckHook posted:
    host -t SOA local
    And determined that in fact the users ISP was resolving .local names. Linux is designed to turn off avahi when that happens ( see the contents of /etc/network/if-up.d/avahi-daemon ). I am also somewhat puzzled why downloading one thing invokes this error and not others since the error should have been persistent from the start.

    BTW, DuckHook's other post is the only way I have found to circumvent this problem if you live in a Linux / OSX environment both of which use Avahi / Bonjour by default. Pointing your system to OpenDNS name servers will bypass the ISP's name servers and the system will not disable avahi.

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