Unable to pair via Bonjour


I am finding syncing via Bn jour very frustrating (in that I am unable to get my iPad and Mac to pair).

I can either enter ether password on my iPad or my Mac but never both at the same time.

The Mac is asking for a password to a server - what server is that?

I cannot find a set of instructions anywhere on this pairing process. Can someone point me in the right direction?


OK, so I got there in the end - it appears that the location password needs to be the4 same as the bonjour password for it to work.

I’m not sure what this means.

Also, do you have Bonjour enabled in DEVONthink and DEVONthink To Go?
If so, you shouldn’t.
Except in specific instances, it should be one or the other.

I meant that I only got it to work when those 2 passwords were the same, but perhaps that was a co-incidence.

Yes, I was trying to have Bonjour enabled in both. Can you p[lease explain why it should be one or the other (and which is preferable)?


I guess you can have only one server. And afaik it doesn’t matter which one you designate for the job.

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Perhaps you’ve not had the chance to read page 62 of the user guide (also available through the in-app Help). If not, you’ll find it’s a very helpful guide to setting up Bonjour sync.


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Check out this forum post…

Just like you browsing this forum, you are connected to a server as a client. You are not a server. Likewise, one machine should act as the server, the other as a client.

Yes, I read that after my last post, but thanks for the tip!

Agh, OK. I did not realise that the machine running Bonjour meant it became a server (and everything else a client).

…I thought Bonjour was simply a method for 2 machines/apps to recognise each other over a network (and therefore both needed to be using it).

Thanks. I did not appreciate that Bonjour=server.

My bad. The GUI does not use the word server, only “incoming” connections. Which is kind of equivalent, but still… But in any case: the topic has been discussed numerous times here, which using the search function readily reveils.

I only know about Bonjour from reading forum posts, btw – no own experience, since I’m using WebDAV for sync.

hey no worries.

I did search the forum first but couldn’t find many recent posts that explained the what, why and how.

However that key piece of info (bonjour=server) made it all make immediate sense.

“incoming connections” does not imply “server” to me - equally I am not a network guy and simply thought all Apple products used Bonjour as it’s Apple-Apple handshaking protocol.

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To be precise, this is not correct. Bonjour is the communication protocol (Apple specific) which provides communications services between devices.

The DEVONthink “server” (a way of thinking of it) is the ONE computer that you tell the network is “accepting incoming” requests. You want only one device to be accepting incoming (as described in the DEVONthink Handbook).


great explanation - thanks!

That’s what I originally thought (that Bonjour was a comms protocol). My misunderstanding was that I assumed each machine needed it “switched on” in order for them to communicate bi-directionally.

…so it needs to implicitly understood that the machine that has Bonjour activated becomes the server.

Again, no.

All your machines that participate in the network have Bonjour activated (Unless you do something special to deactivate). Higher level. You declare only ONE machine to “accept incoming” for DEVONthink. Other machines, unless otherwise configured, reject all incoming.


got it - thanks for your patience in explaining! My original understanding was much closer to the mark than I realised.

Would it be an idea to add Bonjour as a possible sync method even if no device is detected on the LAN?

For example in the same column where iCloud and WebDAV are presented when the Edit button is pressed. But when the green + sign is pressed and no Bonjour server is found, DTTG can give feedback no server was detected and instruct the user to setup another device as a server.

No worries.

I wouldn’t suggest this as there’s going to be a reason why a Bonjour server isn’t detected.
Perhaps the server machine isn’t on or running DEVONthink.
Or perhaps a firewall or the netwrok admin is inhibiting the traffic.

Suggesting the creation of a new server wouldn’t guarantee success and you could easily end up with two servers.

True. The suggestion about the steps to undertake could be omitted of course, as the cause can vary as you mention.

The reason why I made this suggestion, is that Bonjour somehow keeps confusing users. How often that happens I don’t know, but it’s certainly one of the recurring questions posted on this forum.

Of course there’s the extensive explanation in the manual etcetera, but there is something about the way the interface is configured that seems to make people think Bonjour should be ‘enabled’ on clients as well.

A user only gets feedback when a Bonjour server is detected (because Bonjour is shown as a sync method), but doesn’t when no server is detected (whether it’s not running, networking issues, people erroneously trying to use mDNS over a VPN or whatever reason).

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