Welcome to the Netatalk wiki - Open Source file sharing for the Apple Macintosh since 1990! Here you can find and contribute to collaborative articles covering topics regarding Netatalk features as well as Mac and Apple II file sharing and networking.

What is Netatalk?

Netatalk is a cross-platform open source implementation of AFP (Apple Filing Protocol), the protocol used for file sharing on Apple II, Classic Mac OS, and Mac OS X. At the time of writing, AFP is one of several file sharing protocols with client support in macOS.


Netatalk implements AFP over TCP. The session layer used to carry AFP over TCP is called DSI. The complete stack looks like this:

           | (port:548)
   -+---------------------------+- (kernel boundary)
    |         Socket            |
    |     TCP    |    UDP       |
    |       IP v4 or v6         |
    |     Network Interface     |

Netatalk 2.x (the previous stable version) also supports the AppleTalk Protocol Suite for legacy Macs, Lisas and Apple IIs via the atalkd daemon. In provides support for EtherTalk Phase I and II, RTMP, NBP, ZIP, AEP, ATP, PAP, and ASP protocols, while expecting the operating system’s kernel to supply the DDP protocol. The complete stack looks like this:

    AFP                          AFP
     |                            |
    ASP    PAP                   DSI
      \   /                       |
       ATP RTMP NBP ZIP AEP       | (port:548)
        |    |   |   |   |        |
   -+---------------------------------------------------+- (kernel boundary)
    |                    Socket                         |
    |                       |     TCP    |    UDP       |
    |          DDP          +------------+--------------+
    |                       |           IP              |
    |                Network Interface                  |

Additionally, AppleTalk support brings the convenience of automatic service discovery on Classic Mac OS, a print server papd for printing to CUPS or lpd printers, a pap client for printing to LocalTalk printers, a time server timelord, and an Apple II netboot server a2boot.

Netatalk Logo

The Netatalk logo depicts a stylized BSD Daemon on top of an AppleShare serving tray, hooked up to a daisy-chained LocalTalk network.

Netatalk Logo

It evolved from an early Netatalk AFP volume icon encoded in the project’s source code.

Netatalk Logo

By the early 2000s, a colorized version was featured on the project website.

Netatalk Logo

The present design was introduced in 2005 following the release of Netatalk 2.0.

External Links

See Netatalk Links

This is a mirror of the Netatalk GitHub Wiki. Please visit the original page if you want to correct an error or contribute new contents.

Last updated 2024-07-12