I have a machine running Mac OS X (currently Leopard 10.5.2) and another running Ubuntu (currently Hardy Heron 8.04) and have been striving to get these two machines to interact more harmoniously on my local are network (LAN). In particular, I’ve been trying to get my Ubuntu machine to act more like a Mac in order to simplify things like file and printer sharing. I’ve had a lot of success but have found that information on such matters is fragmented and scattered across the internet. So, after collecting this fragmented information and refining it with my own experience, I have written five guides that hopefully will help others get started integrating their Ubuntu machines into their Mac OS X Networks. Although each guide (described and linked to below) is written to be relatively independent of the others, I recommend working through them in order.
Netatalk is an implementation of the Apple Filing Protocol (AFP) that simplifies file transfer between OS X and Ubuntu. It allows you to set up a Apple file server on your Ubuntu machine.
Avahi is an implementation of the networking protocol Zeroconf and is similar to Apple’s Bonjour. It allows services running on Ubuntu to be discovered by OS X.
Vinagre is a VNC client that is newly packaged with Ubuntu Hardy Heron (8.04). Together with Avahi, Vinagre allows VNC sessions to be established between a Mac running OS X Leopard and a Ubuntu machine running Hardy Heron using the “Share Screen…” button in Finder.
Firefly is an open source media server. Together with Avahi, a Firefly media server can stream music to iTunes and Front Row. It can also serve video although this function is currently somewhat buggy.
Netatalk includes a print server daemon that together with Avahi can be configured to share a printer connected to a Ubuntu machine with Macs on your LAN using AppleTalk.
After you have finished installing and configuring these services, visit this post to download some wallpapers I created (previewed below) to advertise the harmonious interaction between your OS X and Ubuntu machines. They are hybridized versions of the default OS X Leopard and Ubuntu Hardy Heron wallpapers.