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There's no real need to memorise IP addresses, that's what DNS was made for. If your servers are on the internet at large then they probably have DNS already, and if its a local network then most operating systems will now automatically work out where machines on the .local domain are (I'll be honest, I don't fully understand how that works).

I've had only a very limited exposure to IPv6, but it seemed to me that the slogan "DNS solves it for you!" doesn't really pan out. It solves it if you're on a well-set-up network and have your DNS up and running happily, but with the ad-hoc networks my [limited] experience has seen, it hasn't been trivial. Essentially, it means you have to run an interpreter service (the DNS) to understand the network - one more bit of software to configure and troubleshoot... though to be fair, IPv4 was also quite confusing when I first started playing with it.

Won't mdns / zeroconf / avahi / however it's called this week work for ad-hoc networks? It surely does the trick in LAN.

It won't work properly across routers, at least not out of the box (tried that when configuring Tinc VPN), but maybe this would be a good direction?

The word you probably wanted to use was “Zeroconf”.

“Zeroconf”¹ is a name for the sum of two interacting standards, namely mDNS”² and “DNS-SD”³. Avahi⁴ is a free software implementation (for Linux and BSD) for a service where programs can register Zeroconf services (name & port number) and have Avahi announce them on the network. The other major implementation of a daemon of this kind is from Apple, and it is called “Bonjour”⁵.

This often gets confused, so, again: Zeroconf = standard. mDNS and DNS-SD = component standards. Avahi = A specific free software implementation. Bonjour = A specific proprietary implementation.

1) http://zeroconf.org/

2) http://www.multicastdns.org/

3) http://www.dns-sd.org/

4) http://avahi.org/

5) https://www.apple.com/support/bonjour/

I think it is a safe assumption that Sam knows what the DNS was made for.

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