Bonjour (software)

Bonjour (software)
Apple Bonjour Icon.png
Developer(s) Apple Inc.
Operating system Mac OS X, Microsoft Windows, Linux, iOS
Type Zeroconf
License Apple Inc. - Proprietary Freeware; portions under the Apache license

In computing, Bonjour is Apple Inc.'s trade name for its implementation of Zeroconf, a group of technologies that includes service discovery, address assignment, and name resolution. Bonjour locates devices such as printers, other computers, and the services that those devices offer on a local network using multicast Domain Name System (mDNS) service records.

The software comes built-in with Apple's Mac OS X operating system and iOS for iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Bonjour can be installed onto computers running 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 redistribute it as part of a software package or use the Bonjour logo may need a licensing agreement. The source code for mDNSResponder is available under the Apache License.[1] After its introduction in 2002 with Mac OS X v10.2 as Rendezvous, it was renamed in 2005 to Bonjour because of a trademark issue.[2][3]



Bonjour provides a general method to discover services on a local area network. The software is widely used throughout Mac OS X, and allows users to set up a network without any configuration. As of 2010 it is used to find printers and file-sharing servers. iTunes uses Bonjour to find shared music, iPhoto to find shared photos, iChat, Adobe Systems Creative Suite 3, Proteus, Adium, Fire, Pidgin, Skype, Vine Server, and 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, Contactizer to find and share contacts, tasks, and events information, and Things & OmniFocus to synchronize projects and tasks across the Mac desktop and the iPad, iPhone or iPod touch. 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. Apple's "Remote" application for iPhone and iPod Touch also uses Bonjour to establish connection to iTunes libraries via Wi-Fi.[4]

Bonjour only works within a single broadcast domain, which is usually a small area, without special DNS configuration. Mac OS X, Bonjour for Windows and AirPort Base Stations may be configured to use Wide Area Bonjour which allows for wide area service discovery via an appropriately configured DNS server.

Applications generally implement Bonjour services using standard TCP/IP calls, rather than in the operating system. Although Mac OS X provides various Bonjour services, Bonjour also 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. Apple also provides a user-installable set of services called Bonjour for Windows and 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

Bonjour version 2.0, released on February 24, 2010, works with Windows 2000, 2003, XP, Vista, and Windows 7.[5] Systems use it primarily to facilitate the installation, configuration, and use of network printers, and thus it 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.[5][6]

Bonjour also comes bundled with some third-party applications, such as Adobe's Photoshop CS3 suite,[7] to take advantage of Zeroconf technology.

Installers on Windows systems normally place Bonjour files in a folder called "Bonjour" within the "Program Files" folder. It modifies Windows system-registry entries related to internal network configuration and operation. Bonjour runs as mDNSResponder.exe. Communications across the network take place over UDP port 5353, which may require reconfiguring some personal or corporate firewalls that 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.[5] 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, as does the non-GPL Trillian client.

In September 2008, two security vulnerabilities were found in Bonjour for Windows.[8] Certain installations of Bonjour for Windows lack an uninstaller and do not display a human-readable entry in the Windows services listing.[9]


A number of browsers allow an end-user to graphically explore the devices found using Bonjour.

Bonjour Browser

Bonjour Browser
Bonjour Browser icon
Bonjour Browser Showing 21 services in the local network.
Bonjour Browser Showing 21 services in the local network.
Developer(s) Kevin Ballard
Stable release 1.5.6 / October 6, 2006
Operating system Mac OS X
Type Bonjour browser
License Creative Commons by 1.0

Bonjour Browser is a Creative Commons licensed Mac OS X application that displays all services declared using Bonjour. The program was originally called "Rendezvous Browser", but changed its name in version 1.5.4 after Apple changed the protocol's name to Bonjour. For certain protocols, double clicking a list item will launch the associated helper. 1.5.6 is the first universal binary version.

Future versions will allow users to completely define a service, instead of relying on the author to do so.

Bonjour Browser was recommended for service discovery in MacAddict #123.


A student research project at Columbia University produced a Java-based system to match the functionality of Bonjour Browser, called JBonjourBrowser. JBonjourBrowser is open-source and available under the GPL.

JBonjourBrowser was built to emulate the functionality of Bonjour Browser, and at the same time work on multiple platforms. It requires Apple's Bonjour Java library to run.

Bonjour Browser for Windows

A windows project to offer similar functionality to Bonjour Browser for Mac OS as a native Windows application. Bonjour Browser for Windows is offered for free by Hobbyist Software and HandyDev Software


Apple originally introduced the Bonjour software in August 2002 as part of Mac OS X v10.2 under the name "Rendezvous". On August 27, 2003 Tibco Software Inc announced that it had filed a law suit for trademark infringement.[10] Tibco had an enterprise application integration product called TIBCO Rendezvous on the market since 1994 and stated that it had tried to come to an agreement with Apple Computer. In July 2004 Apple Computer and Tibco reached an out-of-court settlement;[11] specifics of the settlement were not released to the public.

On April 12, 2005, Apple announced the renaming of Rendezvous to "Bonjour".[2]

The greeting bonjour is French for "good day" and "rendezvous" comes from the French word for "meeting, appointment".[12]

See also


  1. ^ "Bonjour Downloads". Developer Connection. Apple. Retrieved 2009-02-07.  File 'LICENSE' within each Bonjour source code download.
  2. ^ a b Marc Krochmal (2005-04-12). "Rendezvous is changing to...". rendezvous-dev mailing list. Apple Computer. Retrieved 2006-10-11. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Android DACP Remote Control". Android DACP Remote Control. Jeffrey Sharkey. Retrieved 2009-02-23. 
  5. ^ a b c "Bonjour Downloads". Apple Inc.. 2010-03-08. Retrieved 2010-03-08. 
  6. ^ Apple Inc. "Leopard Sneak Peek - iChat". Archived from the original on 2006-11-27. Retrieved 2006-11-28. 
  7. ^ "CS3 Doesn't Install Spyware". Adobe Systems. January 4, 2007. Retrieved 2009-02-07. 
  8. ^ "About the security content of Bonjour for Windows 1.0.5". Apple Inc.. September 15, 2008. Retrieved 2009-05-27. 
  9. ^ "Completly Uninstall and Remove Bonjour Service and Files (mDNSResponder.exe, mdnsNSP.dll) for Windows". Amarjeet Rai. February 11, 2008. Retrieved 2009-07-05. 
  10. ^ "TIBCO Software Inc. Sues Apple Computer, Inc. for Trademark Infringement" (Press release). TIBCO Software. 2003-08-27. Retrieved 2006-10-11. 
  11. ^ Daniel Drew Turner (2004-07-22). "Apple Settles TIBCO Suit, Renames Rendezvous". eWeek.,1759,1626397,00.asp. Retrieved 2006-10-11. 
  12. ^ "bonjour". Merriam-Webster. Retrieved July 28, 2010. 
  13. ^ "Mac OS X v10.6: About Wake on Demand (Apple Article HT3774)" (in several languages). Apple. 2009-08-27. Retrieved 2009-09-15. ""Setting up Wake on Demand", "Setting up a Bonjour Sleep Proxy"" 

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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