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Bonjour, formerly Rendezvous, is Apple Inc.marker's trade name for its implementation of Zeroconf, a service discovery protocol. Bonjour locates devices such as printers, as well as other computers, and the services that those devices offer on a local network using multicast Domain Name System service records.

The software is built into Apple's Mac OS X operating system from version 10.2 onward, and can be installed onto computers using Microsoft Windows operating systems. Bonjour components may also be included within other software, such as iTunes.

Bonjour is released under a terms-of-limited-use license by Apple. It is freeware for clients, though developers and software companies who wish to include it in a software package may need a licensing agreement.The source code for mDNSResponder is available under the Apache License.


Bonjour is a general method to discover services on a local area network. It is widely used throughout Mac OS X and allows users to set up a network without any configuration. Currently it is used by Mac OS X and on other operating systems to find printers and file sharing servers. It is also used by iTunes to find shared music, iPhoto to find shared photos, iChat, Adobe Systems Creative Suite 3, Proteus, Adium, Fire, Pidgin, Skype, Vine Server, Elgato EyeTV to share local recordings with multiple clients, the Gizmo5 to find other users on the local network, TiVo Desktop to find digital video recorders and shared media libraries, SubEthaEdit and e to find document collaborators, and Contactizer to find and share contacts, tasks and events information and OmniFocus to synchronize projects and tasks across the Mac desktop and the iPhone or iPod touch. Additionally it is used by Safari to find local web servers and configuration pages for local devices, and by Asterisk to advertise telephone services along with configuration parameters to VoIP phones and dialers. Software such as Bonjour Browser or iStumbler, both for Mac OS X or Zeroconf Neighborhood Explorer for Windows can be used to view all services declared by these applications and more. Also, Apple's "Remote" application for iPhone and iPod Touch uses Bonjour to establish connection to iTunes libraries via Wi-Fi.

Without special DNS configuration, Bonjour only works within a single broadcast domain, which is usually a small area. Mac OS X and AirPort Base Stations provide a facility called Wide Area Bonjour, which allow dynamic DNS updates and service discovery by means of updating a properly configured DNS server, although AirPort Utility is currently known to incorrectly configure Wide Area Bonjour.

Bonjour services are implemented at the application level largely using standard TCP/IP calls, rather than in the operating system. Although Mac OS X provides various Bonjour services, Bonjour works on other operating systems. Apple has made the source code of the Bonjour multicast DNS responder, the core component of service discovery, available as a Darwin open source project. The project provides source code to build the responder daemon for a wide range of platforms, including Mac OS 9, Mac OS X, Linux, *BSD, Solaris, VxWorks, and Windows. In addition, Apple provides a user-installable set of services called Bonjour for Windows as well as Java libraries. A number of Windows programs use Zeroconf, including Adobe Systems Creative Suite 3, iTunes, Cerulean Studios' Trillian Pro 3, Ruckus Music Player from Ruckus Network, and the text editor e.

Microsoft Windows implementation

Version 1.0.106 was released on December 15, 2008 and works with Windows 2000, 2003, XP, and Vista. It is primarily used in order to ease the installation, configuration, and use of network printers and thus runs from startup. When Bonjour is fully implemented on MS Windows, some features such as iChat allow for communication between the Mac OS and MS Windows. Bonjour for Windows also adds Zeroconf capabilities to Internet Explorer, and provides a Zeroconf implementation to Java VMs.

Besides Apple software such as iTunes, Bonjour is also delivered with some third party applications, such as Adobe's Photoshop CS3 suite, to take advantage of Zeroconf technology.

Bonjour is normally placed in a folder called "Bonjour" within the "Program Files" folder. Bonjour modifies Windows system registry entries related to internal network configuration and operation. In the list of MS Windows startup services, Bonjour runs as the name mDNSResponder.exe. Communications across the network take place over UDP port 5353, which may require reconfiguring some personal or corporate firewalls that may block Bonjour packets. A full installation of Bonjour for Windows will include a plug-in for Internet Explorer, a printer wizard and the network communication services. Not all components are included, when installed as part of a third party application or as a component of other Apple software such as iTunes.

Some VPN clients are configured so that local network services are unavailable to a computer when VPN software is active and connected. In such a case, no local Zeroconf services are available to Bonjour or any other Zeroconf implementation.

The open source IM clients Pidgin and Kopete support the Bonjour IM protocol.

In September 2008, two security vulnerabilities were found in Bonjour for Windows. Certain installations of Bonjour for Windows lack an uninstaller and do not display a human-readable entry in the Windows services listing. As such, many users initially assume it is spyware or a virus.


Bonjour's original name, when introduced in August 2002 as part of Mac OS X v10.2, was "Rendezvous" (French for "meeting"). On August 27, 2003 Tibco Software Inc announced that it had filed a law suit for trademark infringement. Tibco already had an enterprise application integration product called TIBCO Rendezvous on the market since 1994, and the company stated that they had tried and failed to come to an agreement with Apple Computer. In July 2004 Apple Computer and Tibco reached an out-of-court settlement; specifics of the settlement were not released to the public.

On April 12, 2005, Apple announced that Rendezvous was being renamed to Bonjour, a French greeting whose literal meaning is "good day" in English.

See also


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