A while back I wrote about advertising Linux services via Avahi/Bonjour. Since then I’ve made a few changes to my setup.
First, I nixed netatalk for direct AFP support. My primary reason for using it was to gain a more Mac-like network filesystem which would make Time Machine happier. Well, Time Machine uses a sparse bundle disk image on it’s target; after learning about that, using AFP seemed a bit unnecessary. Also, Samba CIFS/SMB seemed to perform better. I don’t have solid benchmarks for this, but simple file copies seemed to be consistenly faster with Samba. One of the biggest annoyances about netatalk was all the extra hidden files and folders it created. I run a hybrid network, I have more Mac machines, but also Windows, plus I browse file systems on the command line quite often; and those excess files pushed me over the edge.
Second, I nixed Time Machine. Just when I thought everything was working perfectly, it completely blew up and could no longer access its data store. Not good for a backup solution. I plan to write about my new home backup solution sometime, but it’s basically rsync with a few key points.
Lastly, I streamlined my Linux avahi config using some pointers here, suggested to me by George the commenter on my above linked post.
Previously i had a service config file for each service, but this resulted in my server having multiple entries in the OS X Finder, one host for Samba, one host for AFP (when I had it), and one host for RFB. So, I merged all of those files into one.
<?xml version="1.0" standalone='no'?><!--*-nxml-*-->
<!DOCTYPE service-group SYSTEM "avahi-service.dtd">
Now everything that can show up in the OS X finder, shows up on one host entry. Plus thanks to the tip I linked to above, the “_device-info._tcp” section sets an icon for the server in OS X Finder.