Accessing a web role in development fabric from another machine

I have recently bought a Macbook Air and am running Windows virtualized (Parallels Desktop) from within Mac OS X for development. As part of developing Am I Interesting I want to check the browser compatibility with Safari and therefore want to access the development fabric from the Mac OS, instead of web deploying to a QA environment in Azure.

As it turns out, this is not trivial, as the development fabric binds to I finally found a solution here though that I am paraphrasing in this blog entry.

Here are the steps I went though to get it working. I assume that this works even in a non-virtualized environment when you want to access the development fabric from another physical machine, even though I haven’t personally tried it myself.

On the (virtual) Windows machine:

  1. Download and unzip rinetd to some folder
  2. Delete all files except the .exe file (rinetd.exe)
  3. Create a new textfile in the same directory and name it rinetd.conf
  4. Add a line in the textfile to map the IP address of the machine to for the port that the development fabric is running on. In my case, development fabric is running on port 81 and the machine’s IP address is so my configuration file has the following line: 81 81
  5. Run rinetd from the command prompt with the following command line:
    rinetd -c rinetd.conf 
  6. Now navigate from another machine, in my case the Mac host, to e.g. 

Done! 🙂

You may want to use software to install the rinetd application as a service so that it always runs. In my case, it’s good enough to start it when I need it.