When/why is DT3 asking for the Bonjour password?


I’m trying out Bonjour Sync between me two macs and two iOS devices. One thing that occurred to me on both iOS and macOS is that the clients are asking for the password again even after they have synced successfully a few times. So I set up everything, it syncs a few times, I’m working on something and suddently DT3 comes to the front with a password promot popup, even though I’m not workig in DT3. Why is that? How can I prevent it?

The password should actually be necessary only once as long as the server’s host name doesn’t change. This might e.g. happen in case of different networks.

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3 out of 4 of my devices are mobile devices. So, their fully qualified hostname changes all the time. But I’ve seen this also within the same network with no further changes. I’ll observe longer…

Only the Bonjour server (the one accepting incoming connections) matters in this case. Or did you enable this on all devices?

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No, there is one server, but it is a MacBook my most used computer. I set it up like this because it can be that I’m away from the iMac for several weeks. So logically, the Macbook should be the server, so that even when I’m traveling the iOS devices can be in sync with each other and with the Macbook.

Why? Or rather: Why would the FQDN of mobile devices on the same network (as they have to be for Bonjour to work) as your MacBook change all the time? In my case, the router is doubling as DNS, and my iPhone’s FQDN is <iphoneName>.<router's pseudo domain>.

Yes that’s right. I mean when both devices move to a different location and network.

In that case, Bonjour doesn’t work anyway, so it doesn’t matter in this context.

Of course it does. I mean, both devices move to the same new network that is a different network from the network that both devices were on earlier. It’s just the scenario of traveling with a Macbook and some iOS devices. All devices move together and of course they should be able (and are able) to sync wherever they are (when Bonjour-discoverable).

Right. I was thinking about the iOS devices moving and the Mac staying elsewhere.

I just got another password prompt on the iMac. It has been asleep in the meantime but nothing else changed about the network configuration and no device moved.

The only thing I can think of is that I’m in a WiFi network with 2 access points, so upon wake the iMac could have connected to the other AP?

I see that happening here sometimes and forbid my Mac to connect to the other AP. Though that might not be possible for everyone …

Do the access points have independent SSIDs?

No they don’t. But I think the discussion moved to far away from my question.

Under what circumstances is the bonjour sync asking for the password? (and why?).

Does the client not store the password? Maybe only some session data that is picked up again?
(I have no idea how bonjour works…)

But I think the discussion moved to far away from my question.

Actually, it’s not.
If your hostname is changing – for whatever reason – DEVONthink or DEVONthink To Go would be asked for the Bonjour password.

After some longer observation, these password requests are not happening often any more. It seems like once per “network setup” is about right.

But alas, I switched back to CloudKit. For my taste and setup, too much human intervention is necessary for Bonjour sync to work well with mobile devices. Most of the time it’s blocked anyway because of firewalls, network segmentation etc, so I would have to use a cable. :frowning: When the network allows discovery, it takes too long. The sync is fast, but it does not start fast enough for e.g. the mobile device going to sleep.

CloudKit has its problems, but at least it’s working in the background (most of the time :wink: )

Interesting. Just so you, and others who might run across this thread in the future, know, for years I’ve been using Apple’s Bonjour on my local network here at Global HQ (which has no firewalls between the devices, no network segmentation, etc.). I suspect these network constraints are closer to the root cause of your issues than Bonjour itself. Just a hunch.