Simple/Pythonic Zeroconf Service Search/Registration
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bugs modified and closed the decode bug issue Sep 25, 2012
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LICENSE LICENSE file Apr 29, 2012 finished pbs to sh transition Mar 11, 2014 replaced pbs by sh Mar 3, 2014 bugfix May 6, 2016


A simple Python 2.7 interface to Zeroconf service discovery and registration.



The zeroconf module assumes that the avahi command-line tools avahi-browse and avahi-publish are available. On Ubuntu for example, they may me installed with:

$ sudo apt-get install avahi-tools

The module also depend on Andrew Moffat's subprocess wrapper. Install it with

$ sudo pip install sh


Download the source distribution and type:

$ sudo python install


Zeroconf Services Discovery

Searching for all available Zeroconf services is done by

>>> import zeroconf
>>> services =

The search can be made more specific, for example:

>>> services =, type="_workstation._tcp", domain="local")

The arguments, all optional, to the search functions are:

  • name: service name, defaults to None (interpreted as all),
  • type: service type, defaults to None (interpreted as all),
  • domain: domain name, defaults to "local".

Search results are dictionaries:

>>> print services
{('tide [f0:7b:cb:42:ff:e0]', '_workstation._tcp', 'local'): 
   {'txt': '', 'hostname': 'tide.local', 'port': '9', 'address': ''}, 
 ('wreck [00:26:18:4c:3f:ee]', '_workstation._tcp', 'local'): 
   {'txt': '', 'hostname': 'wreck.local', 'port': '9', 'address': ''}, 
 ('biohazard [00:18:8b:ac:c8:45]', '_workstation._tcp', 'local'): 
   {'txt': '', 'hostname': 'biohazard.local', 'port': '9', 'address': ''}}

The keys are (name, type, domain) tuples and the values are dictionaries with txt, hostname, port and address keys.

Zeroconf Services Registration

Register a new zeroconf service in the local domain with:

>>> zeroconf.register(name="ghost [08:00:27:bf:49:e1]", type="_workstation._tcp", port="9")

and when you're done, unregister it with:

>>> zeroconf.unregister(name="ghost [08:00:27:bf:49:e1]", type="_workstation._tcp", port="9")

All arguments to unregister are optional, so we could have done:

>>> zeroconf.unregister(name="ghost [08:00:27:bf:49:e1]")

or even, to unregister all services published during the Python session:

>>> zeroconf.unregister()