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Mac OS X and .local Domains

Some time ago, Mac OS X Hints published a hint I submitted regarding the use of the .local TLD (top level domain) with Mac OS X. Specifically, the hint centered around the use of Mac OS X with Active Directory domains using the .local TLD. For ease of access, here’s that same hint.

Basically, Mac OS X uses the .local TLD for Bonjour/Rendezvous services, and is configured to use multicast DNS (mDNS) for discovery of those services. This configuration occurs via a file named local in the /etc/resolver directory. Apple’s Knowledge Base article offers a solution, but that solution involves editing this local file, which affects Bonjour/Rendezvous operation. This solution, on the other hand, does not affect the local file in any way, and thus does not interfere with Bonjour/Rendezvous.

Let’s say that you need to integrate Mac OS X with an Active Directory domain called company.local. Simply create a file in /etc/resolver named company.local with the following contents:

nameserver a.b.c.d
nameserver w.x.y.z
port 53

Obviously, replace the letters in the text above with the IP addresses of your appropriate DNS servers for the company.local Active Directory domain. Then, flush the lookupd cache with lookupd -flushcache and that’s it!

With this file in place, your Mac OS X system will resolve company.local (or subdomain.company.local) via the instructions in the file /etc/resolver/company.local, but will handle Bonjour/Rendezvous service discovery via mDNS in the same fashion.

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