The Avahi daemon discovers network resources, allocates IP addresses without the DHCP server, makes the computer accessible by its local machine name by acting as a DNS server and facilitates sharing of files and printers. The Avahi daemon is a default daemon in Linux and uses system resources and reduces the network performance. Disabling the Avahi daemon cannot be done by un-checking it from the list of system services. To disable Avahi from Ubuntu systems, the avahi-daemon file has to be modified. Disabling the Avahi daemon for Debian Linux operating systems follows the same procedure, but the name of the daemon may be different. The avahi-discover and the service discovery applet are the packages which are available for Avahi.
Disabling the Avahi daemon
The Avahi daemon is present as default and allows you to discover network resources and get connected to them.
Its primary roles are to:
Assign an IP address automatically, even without the presence of a DHCP server.
Act as DNS (each machine is accessible by the name nameMachine.local).
Publish services and facilitate access
Avahi is an implementation of the Zeroconf protocol and is compatible with Apple services.
Possible drawbacks of Avahi
It takes up memory (about 248kb)
It opens 2 network ports (UDP 32768 and 5353)
It has been reported in some cases to decrease network performance
Disable the Avahi Daemon
Under Ubuntu 7.04
If you have no use for Avahi and you want to disable it it is not enough to disable it from the list of services. You need to:
Edit the /etc/default/ avahi-daemon file:
sudo gedit /etc/default/avahi-daemon
Change the line: AVAHI_DAEMON_START = 1
to: AVAHI_DAEMON_START = 0
Reboot your system
Note: The command sudo update-rc.d-f avahi-daemon remove is not enough to disable the Avahi Daemon.
Go to the list of services to disable Avahi:
System Menu > Administration > Services
Under Debian systems
The name of daemon may be different but the method remains the same for Debian-based systems:
sudo update-rc.d -f avahi-daemon remove
To recreate the used links:
sudo update-rc.d avahi-daemon defaults
There are some Debian packages available for Avahi:
The service-discovery-applet allows you to discover available services on the network and connect easily.
The avahi-discover application allows you to browse the available services.
gshare allows you easily share files via FTP with Avahi.
gnome-user-share can easily share files via WebDAV (Apache2) with Avahi.