Zeroconf is a program that you can use to claim IPv4 link-local addresses. IPv4 link-local addresses are useful if you wish to setup ad-hoc networking between devices without the involvement of a either a DHCP server or your (very busy) network administrator.

These addresses are allocated from the address range and are normally attached to each Ethernet device in your computer. Addresses are assigned randomly by each host and, in case of collision, both hosts (are supposed to) renumber.

Coupled with DNS Service Discovery (DNS-SD), IPv4 link-local addresses allow you to connect printers, cameras and, of course, other computers together and things will "Just Work". All without any centralised configuration (e.g. a DNS or DHCP server).

Zeroconf was written to have minimal dependancies, be very small and be reasonably portable. Additionally it should be very simple to drop into place for any Linux distribution.


Zeroconf 0.8 and later is licenced under the GNU General Public License (GPL) version 2 (or later). Previous versions were licenced under the GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPL) version 2.1 (or later). Canonical copies of the GNU GPL and GNU LGPL are widely available.



The latest release of zeroconf is zeroconf-0.9.tar.gz and previously released versions are also available.

Browse an unpacked version of the lastest release or download the development version instead.

Development for 0.8 and later is done using git and you can see the latest changes via the git web repository browser. Prior development was done using GNU Arch and for historical interest archive URL is


Arthur van Hoff for his implementation via IPv4LL.c from which versions prior to 0.8 were derived. Lennart Poettering for some bugfixes and patches. Thijs Kinkhorst for writing the man page. Claus Klein for throughly testing the state machine and finding various issues.

Other implementations

There are a number of other implementations of zeroconf. The primary one is Arther van Hoff's (above), but others are:

External resources

You may also be interested in the general site which contains other information. Or, alternatively, Apple has extensive information on their Apple ® Rendezvous Developer area

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