Ubuntu 13.10 for BeagleBone Black – Setting up zeroconf (Part II)

One thing which is very useful on embedded systems is to setup a zeroconf hostname so that you can access your BBB using SSH without actually knowing its IP address which may change from boot to boot. So how does this work?

  1. Install avahi-daemon on BBB:
    $ sudo apt-get install avahi-daemon

    After installing it, Ubuntu automatically starts it and enables it so that it gets launched on every boot.

  2. Change the hostname of BBB (default was arm for this Ubuntu image) to something meaningful like beaglebone by editing the file /etc/hostname. You can now reboot your BBB and it will be accessible on the network as beaglebone.local!
  3. Make sure you have nss-mdns installed on your host computer and mdns host lookup is enabled in /etc/nsswitch.conf. On Fedora, you have to install the package called nss-mdns from the repositories and change the hosts line in your /etc/nsswitch.conf file to look like below:
    hosts:      files myhostname mdns_minimal [NOTFOUND=return] dns

Now you should finally be able to ssh into your BBB with:

$ ssh ubuntu@beaglebone.local

Happy hacking!