Norbert Hartl

mostly brackets and pipes

Mac Mini & Bonjour

In the past I watched TV with VDR running on a Siemens M740AV with the open7x0 firmware. As I’m trying to convert some things to Apple this needs to be replaced. I bought myself a mac mini and installed it in the living room. Together with the ElgatoUSB receiver and the included EyeTVsoftware it makes a good settop box. EyeTV is a really good software, quite stable and easy to use. The mac mini serves many purposes. Besides being a settop box I use it as a time machine storage for my laptop, as rsync backup for my wifes linux laptop and as itunes machine that downloads podcasts and such. To be able to access the mac mini I plugged it into my WRT54GL box. Network is working seemlessly but the mac mini does not appear on my MacBook via bonjour. Somehow the WRT54GL does not send the multicast packets from the wired LAN to the wireless LAN.

Fortunately the WRT54GL is a box that is easily extendable. I decided to put the dd-wrt firmware on it. It is very easy to do. You can use the original firmwares firmware updater to put the new one onto it. If you need further instructions you can find them here. In my case it didn’t work with safari to update and configure. I had to use firefox!

To improve my network setup I decided to get rid of the two chained networks I created in the last article. I know it works best if there is no necessity that packets are routed. This is easy with dd-wrt.

  • Open the web admin page on the dd-wrt box:
  • On Setup>Basic setup do:
  • In section “WAN Setup” set “Connection Type” to “Disabled”
  • In section “Network Setup” configure an IP adress in the same network as the other box. Enter as “Gateway” and “Local DNS” the IP address of the other box
  • In section “Network Address Server Settings (DHCP) ” set “DHCP Type” to “DHCP Forwarder” and “DHCP Server” to the IP address of the other box

What you get is: two boxes in a single net the router that gets dhcp over the air forwards them to the other box. wireless LAN devices are bridged into the existing network and make them appear in the net. While being a bridged network all of the bonjour traffic is visible on the wireless LAN finder/iTunes/… are all showing the mac mini to be present automatically It works great. And I learned what the “Remote” app on my iphone is useful for. With this net setup and iTunes running on the mac mini I can control iTunes easily from my iphone. Good to create playlists and arrange the music you want to hear without having to switch on the TV set.