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I have a VirtualBox with Debian 3.2.51 guest (vcube) on Ubuntu 13.10 host (ring) with a bridged network adapter. vcube has an Avahi service configured with a vcube.local name.

I can see/ping/access vcube.local by Bonjour name, but cannot see it from other hosts on the (wireless) network. At the same time, there's a lot of wire- and wirelessly connected hosts on the network that we happily see in avahi-discover or other Zeroconf clients.

I have no access to our router and cannot know if it's blocking mDNS or not.

In iptables -vnL output, there are no entries, policies are ACCEPT and byte counts are 0 both on vcube and ring.

The same discovery problem happens for a copy of vcube VirtualBox on a totally different network.

Sometimes it just starts working - we suspect this happens when we start ANOTHER copy of vcube on a different host.

How do I diagnose or fix this problem?

  • Are you able to ping the guest Debian OS by ip address from one of wireless devices? – Tim Jan 1 '14 at 2:22
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    Something is blocking multicast UDP. You should run a packet dump (I suggest tshark, but tcpdump will do) in various places: 1. inside vcube on (-i) its virtual network adapter; 2. on ring, on the virtual adapter bridged to vcube; 3. on ring, on the physical network adapter (eth0 or such); 4. on another host on the network. You are looking for the mDNS packets, to see where they are blocked. To recap: sudo tcpdump -i eth0 'host 224.0.0.251 and port 5353' replacing eth0 as appropriate. – Tobia Jan 2 '14 at 18:31
  • @Tim, yes, it responds to IP address, but not to avahi name. – Victor Sergienko Jan 4 '14 at 9:28
  • Thanks @Tobia, will try it tomorrow. I believe this must be the answer. – Victor Sergienko Jan 4 '14 at 9:29
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+100

I am not sure I understood your problem very well but I know bridge interfaces and UDP multicasst/boradcast can trigger some eratics behaviours. To work it around you may want to disable multicast snooping on the bridge interface:

echo 0 > /sys/devices/virtual/net/$IFACE/bridge/multicast_snooping

Though I don't know virtualbox well enough to to be sure it uses proper linux bridge utils to setup bridge adpaters...

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I could NOT get to work these two guys:

  • avahi-daemon - The Avahi mDNS/DNS-SD daemon
  • iptables — administration tool for IPv4 packet filtering and NAT

I even followed following: Well known TCP and UDP ports used by Apple software products. MAYBE you'll have better luck then me)

  • It used t work for me, without iptables though. Just stopped at some point. Reproduced twice in a totally different environments, only Virtualbox image was the same. – Victor Sergienko Jan 4 '14 at 9:24

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