LAN setup

I have several macs that I want to connect for file sharing, appletalk, blah blah...

I have not been able to suss out the correct/preferred method of doing this in X (recently upgraded all my machines worthy of X).

How do I connect the computers to each other (and I don't mean the cable and stuff - that groundwork is already there). I just need my boxes to see and talk to each other.

Any help will be greatly appreciated!

Drive through...


MacOS X does file sharing over IP. So you need to configure TCP/IP. Do that in the system preferences/network control panel. If your LAN is already connected to the internet and is configured, just use that. If not, you'll have to pick some sensible numbers to assign yor computers so that TCP/IP is working over your LAN. (Do you need help with that?)

You also need to turn on file sharing, you do that in system preferences/sharing control panel.

To connect to one of your other machines, you have to specify it by IP address. In the finder, use the "Go" menu and pick "connect to Server". Type in the server's IP address.

Appleshare over IP doesn't seem to do the old appleshare thing where all available servers in your zone would be visible for your perusal. So far, that's one of the few things I miss from previous OS's that OS X doesn't have.


Can I just set up IP numbers willy-nilly. Currently the LAN isn't connected to the internet (waiting for DSL to get switched on - have everything set up, just no connection); but when it does go active, will those IP numbers cause a problem???




Why not use the same network numbers that you will use for your DSL?

Is your DSL for your entire LAN, with an ethernet-attached router and all computers having access to the 'net, or is it just one attached?

I have a similar setup - 10baseT ethernet in several rooms, with the DSL router is a separate node on the LAN and having its own IP address. It operates just fine even wth the DSL down. All the boxes on the LAN can ping each other and the router. (My setup allows 5 IP addresses for computers, plus network, gateway, and broadcast.)

If your DSL is just on one computer, then it's going to have to be done a bit different
My DSL modem has a line coming in from the wall. The ethernet cable out of the DSL modem plugs into my SMC Elite 3512TP 10BASE-T Concentrator. All my other machines' ethernet cables plug into one of the 11 remaining open ports on the SMC.

See, my DSL isn't up and running yet - just have the equipment. Some hoohaa about the local phone company having to actually do some work for once before my line is active. Also, don't think DSL is gonna give me a static IP. Does that sound right?

I'll keep plugging away at it. Thanks for your help... I just want my macs to talk to each other!!!:)


Not sure what your SMC is - couldn't find that model on their web site. It is presumably either an ethernet hub or router. Is this a model that is recommended by your DSL provider?

Many DSL setups are in fact a static IP, though possible some are not. My provider gives a static IP by default. You should ask your provider or consult their web page to find out precisely what you get. However, you won't be getting multiple IP addresses unless you specifically asked (and paid) for it.
With a one-IP setup like you have, you probably have a router that has the IP address that is visible to the outside world. Your other computers appear with the same IP when they connect to machines on the outside. Inside your lan, you can set up your own IP addresses (and your router will have one as well). I think this is called network address translation.

You can't just pick anything, as it might collide with an IP address that exists out on the net. There is a specific set of IP addresses that are by convention used for "intranet" addresses rather than addresses visible to the outside world. I think addresses beginning with 192 or 193 are often used for this. So you should be able to use a subnet like internally. Your router would be and broadcast address Subnet mask would be Then the computers on your LAN could be This all assumes your router is going to convert all traffic to appear as if it comes from the one IP address your DSL provider is assigning.

By the way, you might be able to get more extensive (and probably accurate) information about setting up networks for DSL at

I think maybe we're not communicating effectively.

I don't care if my other machines can see the internet via the DSL modem. I just want to be able to connect my macs via ethernet. The DSL modem access will work with my hardware (I know, I've set it up before with DSL and cable modems) - that's a non-issue.

I need to know how to use what we used to do in the chooser. Have all my macs linked. I haven't been able to figure this out.

I shouldn't have even mentioned the DSL modem (In fact I don't think I did in the original post). Maybe this caused the confusion.

Thanks for your help but all I need to know is how to set up an ethernet network for my macs - you know, I'm at my 733 and click on the HDD icon in MY finder for my wife's Tibook in the bedroom. I get a list of her files. I can copy over to her HD a cute picture of our Boston terrier so she can use it as a desktop screen- whatever...


Actually, I did understand the original question :)

But because file sharing under macos X uses appletalk over IP, all of your macs have to have "reasonable" IP addresses - which means they all need distinct ones that don't collide with anything in the outside world. And they are going to need to be on the same subnet so that they can see each other.
So even if you don't care if the machines can see the internet, they at least have to be set up in a way that doesn't interfere with it.

One thing that might be useful to you is that you (apparently) can create multiple network configurations on physical port. Go to the System Preferences/Network, and set the configure menu to 'advanced'. You can select your ethernet port, duplicate your configuration, and then set the duplicate to new numbers (i.e. a LAN-specific subnet that your router doesn't recognize). Configure each of the hosts on your LAN with an IP address on this subnet.

Once you've estabished IP addresses for each of your computers on the LAN subnet, you should be able to start file sharing on one (using system preferences sharing control panel) and connect to it (using the "go" menu) as I described in my first post.

Please note that if any of your computers are still macos 9 or lower machines running file sharing NOT over appletalk IP, your macos X machines won't see them.


Many thanks.

I get what your saying.

It just seems there should be an easier way. I love OS X, but one thing about macs has always been you could just hook em up with ethernet cables and share away....

My Boston Terrier Avenger: