Mac OS X 10.2: About Your Computer‘s Bonjour Name

This document explains the Bonjour (formerly "Rendezvous") name that is defined in the Sharing pane of System Preferences.

Bonjour is a feature introduced with Mac OS X 10.2 that automatically configures and detects certain network services, such as printers, iChat, and various types of sharing. The Bonjour name is used for identifying your computer for Bonjour-compatible applications and services.

This article has been archived and is no longer updated by Apple.

How to set the Bonjour name

You can edit your computer's Bonjour name in the Bonjour Name field, in the Sharing preference pane. To find it, follow these steps:

    1. Choose System Preferences from the Apple menu.
    2. Choose Sharing from the View menu.

Characters you may use in a Bonjour name

You may use: 

  • upper or lower case letters
  • numbers
  • hyphens

The ".local" name extension is automatically appended to the Bonjour name you choose. If you selected "bbms" as your Bonjour name and enabled Personal Web Sharing, then other local computers would be able to view your shared Web pages by entering "bbms.local" in a Web browser's URL field.

Should a Bonjour name, computer name, and user name be the same?

They may be the same, but it is not necessary.

Protocol information

When discussing Internet protocols, your Bonjour name may also be referred to as your Link-Local Multicast DNS host name, which is used for services such as FTP, ssh, telnet, and ping. This differs from your Computer name, which is the default name used for DNS-SD service registrations. For additional information, see Zero Configuration Networking (

Duplicate names

If you enter a name that is already in use on your subnet, a numeral will automatically be added to distinguish it from the original. This change may not appear in the Sharing preference pane immediately. Example: If "mycomputer.local" is already on the network and you try the same name, your computer would automatically be renamed to "mycomputer2.local".

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