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Rendezvous

Rendezvous enables automatic discovery of computers, devices, and services on IP networks. Also known as Zero Configuration networking, Rendezvous uses industry standard IP protocols to allow devices to automatically find each other without the need to enter IP addresses or configure DNS servers. Rendezvous is an open protocol, which Apple has submitted to the IETF as part of the ongoing standards-creation process. In order to provide a true zero configuration experience, Rendezvous requires that devices implement three essential things. These devices must be able to

News and Updates

New Rendezvous Technical Q&As
The following Rendezvous Technical Q&As were recently posted. [Feb 11 2004]

Panther mDNSResponder Source Code
The mDNSResponder source code used by Mac OS X Panther 10.3.2 is now available. Developers using an older version of this code should update to the Panther release. This release includes many bug fixes and optimizations, and also adds IPv6 support. Make sure to also download the newest version of the Rendezvous Conformance Test which is required when using this code. [Jan 20 2004]

Updated Rendezvous Conformance Test
The Rendezvous Conformance Test was recently updated. Version 1.2.1 features SRV record probe testing, enhanced query reply testing, more extensive unicast interoperability testing, support for devices that conform to IPv4 Link-Local draft 10, and various bug fixes. [Jan 20 2004]

Technical Resources

Rendezvous Drafts

  • Dynamic Configuration of Link-Local IPv4 Addresses
    This document describes a method by which a host may automatically configure an interface with an IPv4 address in the 169.254/16 prefix that is valid for link-local communication on that interface.


  • Multicast DNS
    This document discusses what needs to happen if DNS clients start sending DNS queries to a multicast address, and how a collection of hosts can cooperate to collectively answer those queries in a useful manner.


  • DNS-Based Service Discovery
    This document describes a convention for naming and structuring DNS resource records. Given a type of service that a client is looking for, and a domain in which the client is looking for that service, this convention allows clients to discover a list of named instances of that desired service, using only standard DNS queries.


  • Rendezvous Printing Specification (PDF)
    This document explains what printer vendors must do in order to create Rendezvous compatible printers that work seamlessly with Mac OS X.

Rendezvous Source Code
The Mac OS X mDNSResponder source code is available for download from the Darwin CVS repository. This package includes platform specific code for implementing Rendezvous on Mac OS X, Windows, Windows CE, Linux and VxWorks, and also includes helper applications for browsing and advertising services.

Frequently Asked Questions
Visit the Rendezvous FAQ page for answers to common questions regarding developing Rendezvous enabled hardware devices and applications.

Developer Mailing List
The Rendezvous mailing list is a great resource for developers with questions about the Mac OS X Rendezvous APIs and for people interested in detailed discussions of Rendezvous protocol specifics.

IANA Protocol Names List
Rendezvous service discovery takes advantage of IANA's list of Protocol Names and Port Numbers. If your application defines a new application protocol that isn't on this list, you should register your protocol name and port number with IANA and you should also register with the DNS-SD Web Site.

Hardware Vendor Support
Apple is providing technical assistance to qualified hardware vendors who would like to support Rendezvous in their network-enabled products. Vendors with an interest should contact Apple at rendezvous@apple.com.

Mac OS X Documentation
There are three APIs for registering and browsing for services using Rendezvous.

The Rendezvous Network Services document provides a general overview of Rendezvous, and discusses the Foundation classes that provide Cocoa support.

Rendezvous Technical Q&As

Rendezvous Sample Code

Technical Resources

Rendezvous Logo Licensing Program
Apple is licensing the Rendezvous Logo for use with applications and hardware products that incorporate Rendezvous. A Rendezvous Conformance Test is provided for non-Mac OS X products, to ensure the best user experience and to help developers debug their products.

Press Releases
TiVo, Brother & Aspyr Announce Rendezvous Networked Products
Apple “Open Sources” Rendezvous
Developers Rapidly Adopt Apple’s Rendezvous Networking Technology
Epson, HP & Lexmark Support Apple’s Rendezvous Technology

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