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how to broadcast/multicast a service over the network for clients to discover without any need for server IP?

how to let other clients discover the service from a server, without the client requiring the IP address of the server, similar to DHCP IP acquiring.

broadcast? multicast? how do i implement the same in ruby or any other language?

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DHCP uses broadcast address on UDP port. It is job for bsd sockets programming interface. In ruby you've got socket in standard library.

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There's a naming protocol called ZeroConf that seems to be what you need. The main provider of it is Apple, who calls it Bonjour (used to be called Rendezvous, but needed a name change). There are Ruby bindings. I don't know how to set up the service though; what OS will the server be living on?

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