A few minutes ago I released Avahi 0.6.14 which besides other, minor fixes and cleanups includes a new component avahi-autoipd. This new daemon is an implementation of IPv4LL (aka RFC3927, aka APIPA), a method for acquiring link-local IP addresses (those from the range 169.254/16) without a central server, such as DHCP.
Yes, there are already plenty Free implementations of this protocol available. However, this one tries to do it right and integrates well with the rest of Avahi. For a longer rationale for adding this tool to our distribution instead of relying on externals tools, please read this mailing list thread.
It is my hope that this tool is quickly adopted by the popular distributions, which will allow Linux to finally catch up with technology that has been available in Windows systems since Win98 times. If you're a distributor please follow these notes which describe how to integrate this new tool into your distribution best.
Because avahi-autoipd acts as dhclient plug-in by default, and only activates itself as last resort for acquiring an IP address I hope that it will get much less in the way of the user than previous implementations of this technology for Linux.
State of the Lemur
Almost 22 months after my first SVN commit to the flexmdns (which was the name I chose for my mDNS implementation when I first started to work on it) source code repository, 18 months after Trent and I decided to join our two projects under the name "Avahi" and 12 months after the release of Avahi 0.1, it's time for a little "State of the Lemur" post.
To make it short: Avahi is ubiquitous in the Free Software world. ;-)
All major (Debian, Ubuntu, Fedora, Gentoo, Mandriva, OpenSUSE) and many minor distributions have it. A quick Google-based poll I did a few weeks ago shows that it is part of at least 19 different distributions, including a range of embedded ones. The list of applications making native use of the Avahi client API is growing, currently bearing 31 items. That list does not include the legacy HOWL applications and the applications that use our Bonjour compatibility API which can run on top of Avahi, hence the real number of applications that can make use of Avahi is slightly higher. The first commercial hardware appliances which include Avahi are slowly appearing on the market. I know of at least three such products, one being Bubba.
If you package Avahi for a distribution, add Avahi support to an application, or build a hardware appliance with Avahi, please make sure to add an item to the respective lists linked above, it's a Wiki. Thank you! (Anonymous registration without Mail address required, though)