I remember the days when I was configuring DNS and DHCP for a small home network with only 2 or 3 computers.
This is not needed anymore since the invention of Zeroconf. As Wikipedia says, “is a set of techniques that automatically create a usable IP network without configuration or special servers. This allows inexpert users to connect computers, networked printers, and other items together and expect them to work automatically.”
Zeroconf got my attention when I installed Ubuntu Linux in one of my home PCs and it automatically started to show hostnames instead of IPs of my other home computers on the same DNS-less network. On my other Fedora Linux hosts, I had to manually install the avahi-tools and nss-mdns packages and I got the same functionality — as described in the Fedora Post-Installations Configurations.
Still without a local DNS server, each host can be pinged, SSHed, browsed, SMBed, etc using the hostname.local model, not the their IP anymore. So the machine with hostname floripa broadcasts itself as floripa.local. The same happens for all machines.
But I still missed this functionality when using my laptop booted on Windows. This OS was unable to understand the Zeroronf broadcasts until I installed the Apple implementation for Windows called Bonjour that can be downloaded from here.
To have a better, visual understanding of what Zeroconf can do for you, the Avahi website (Zeroconf implementation on Linux) provides a series of screenshots of regular applications discovering services in the LAN. Most notable is Konqueror — KDE’s file manager — using the zeroconf:/ URL to browse LAN services.
Now I finally know that my home doesn’t need things like Bind/DNS anymore.