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Zero Configuration Networking

Document Charter Zero Configuration Networking WG (zeroconf)
Title Zero Configuration Networking
Last updated 2004-08-19
State Approved
WG State Concluded
IESG Responsible AD (None)
Charter edit AD (None)
Send notices to (None)


Working group issue tracking:

The goal of the Zero Configuration Networking (ZEROCONF) Working
Group is to enable networking in the absence of configuration and
administration. Zero configuration networking is required for
environments where administration is impractical or impossible,
such as in the home or small office, embedded systems 'plugged
together' as in an automobile, or to allow impromptu networks as
between the devices of strangers on a train.

ZEROCONF will make networking as easy as possible,
but no easier. In some cases other considerations may dominate
ease of use. For example, network security requires some
configuration which may not be as easy as the unacceptable
alternative of 'no security.'

The working group was orginally chartered to
develop a requirements specification for host and application
operation in environments lacking configuration. The areas
for consideration included:

  • Interface Configuration (IP address, network prefix,
    gateway router)

  • Name-to-Address Translation

  • Service Discovery

  • Automatic allocation of Multicast Addresses

  • Sufficient security features to prevent networks
    from being any less secure than networks which do not use
    ZEROCONF protocols

The ZEROCONF WG could not come to a consensus regarding these
requirements. A ZEROCONF requirements document will not be
published by this working group.

This WG will produce one protocol specification, describing
automatic generation and assignment of link-local IPv4 addresses
in environments lacking host configuration (static or using DHCP).
The document will describe existing practice as well as define
recommendations for future implementations.