12.2. Appletalk (AF_APPLETALK)

The Appletalk support has no special device names as it uses existing network devices.

Kernel Compile Options:

       Networking options  --->
            <*> Appletalk DDP

Appletalk support allows your Linux machine to interwork with Apple networks. An important use for this is to share resources (such as printers and disks) between your Linux and Apple computers. Additional software is required; this is called netatalk. Wesley Craig netatalk@umich.edu represents a team called the `Research Systems Unix Group' at the University of Michigan. They have produced the netatalk package. This product provides software that implements the Appletalk protocol stack along with some useful utilities. The netatalk package will either be supplied with your Linux distribution, or you will have to ftp it from the home site at University of Michigan

To build and install the package, do something like the following:

       user% tar xvfz .../netatalk-1.4b2.tar.Z
        user% make
        root# make install

You may want to edit the `Makefile' before calling make to actually compile the software. Specifically, you might want to change the DESTDIR variable that defines where the files will later be installed. The default of /usr/local/atalk is fairly safe.

12.2.1. Configuring the Appletalk software.

The first thing you need to do to make it all work is to ensure that the appropriate entries in the /etc/services file are present. The entries you need are:

  rtmp 1/ddp   # Routing Table Maintenance Protocol
  nbp   2/ddp   # Name Binding Protocol
  echo  4/ddp   # AppleTalk Echo Protocol
  zip   6/ddp   # Zone Information Protocol

The next step is to create the Appletalk configuration files in the /usr/local/atalk/etc directory (or wherever you installed the package).

The first file to create is the /usr/local/atalk/etc/atalkd.conf file. This file initially needs only one line. This line gives the name of the network device supporting the network that your Apple machines are on:


The Appletalk daemon program will add extra details after it has been initiated.

12.2.2. Exporting a Linux filesystems via Appletalk.

You can export filesystems from your linux machine to the network so that any Apple machine on the network can share them.

To do this you must configure the /usr/local/atalk/etc/AppleVolumes.system file. There is another configuration file called /usr/local/atalk/etc/AppleVolumes.default This file has exactly the same format: it describes which filesystems users connecting with guest privileges will receive.

Full details on how to configure these files (and their various options) can be found in the afpd man page.

A simple example might look like:

  /tmp Scratch
  /home/ftp/pub "Public Area"

This would export your /tmp filesystem as AppleShare Volume `Scratch', and it would export your ftp public directory as AppleShare Volume `Public Area'. The volume names are not mandatory. The daemon will choose some for you, but it won't hurt to specify them anyway.

12.2.3. Sharing your Linux printer across Appletalk.

It is simple to share your linux printer with your Apple machines. You need to run the papd program, the Appletalk Printer Access Protocol Daemon. When you run this program, it will accept requests from your Apple machines and spool the print job to your local line printer daemon.

You need to edit the /usr/local/atalk/etc/papd.conf file to configure the daemon. The syntax of this file is the same as that of your usual /etc/printcap file. The name you give to the definition is registered with the Appletalk naming protocol NBP.

A sample configuration might look like:


This would make a printer named `TricWriter' available to your Appletalk network. All accepted jobs would be printed to the linux printer `lp' (as defined in the /etc/printcap file) using lpd. The entry `op=cg' says that the linux user `cg' is the operator of the printer.

12.2.4. Starting the appletalk software.

Ok.You should now be ready to test this basic configuration. There is an rc.atalk file supplied with the netatalk package that should work ok for you, so all you should have to do is:

       root# /usr/local/atalk/etc/rc.atalk

All should startup and run ok. You should see no error messages. The software will send messages to the console indicating each stage as it starts.

12.2.5. Testing the appletalk software.

To test that the software is functioning properly: go to one of your Apple machines, pull down the Apple menu, select the Chooser, click on AppleShare, and your Linux box should appear.

12.2.6. Caveats of the appletalk software.

12.2.7. More information

For a much more detailed description of how to configure Appletalk for Linux, refer to Anders Brownworth Linux Netatalk-HOWTO page at thehamptons.com.