World IPv6 day got me thinking…

… and playing with IPv6 at home and I now have a partial setup of IPv6 on my home network and my parents will be going fully IPv6 from the weekend 🙂

The issues I had to overcome were firstly part of my own stupidity and then part of a need to understand how IPv6 works. First of all my ISP (BeThere) doesn’t currently support Native IPv6 on their DSL connections so I needed to get an IPv6 tunnel and Hurricane Electric’s Tunnel Broker service (http://www.tunnelbroker.net) came in very handy here as it allowed me to have a public /64 and private /48 address range which seems like a whole load of addresses that I can play with.

To get the firewall configured they actually give you a predefined sample config based on your IPv6 allocation which needed a bit of modifying to work with the setup on my firewall. The trouble was adding the /48 range to the Trust/Internal side of my network. I had configured Router Advertisement and also set the interface to be in Router mode instead of Host mode but my PC wasn’t getting anything other than the link local fe80:: address.

Following some hair pulling and discussion with a colleague I realised the issue was that the link from my PC to the firewall had a device in between that wasn’t IPv6 enabled. I should point out here that the PC and firewall are in different rooms and because its a rented property I am unable to run a nice CAT6 cable between the two. So I improvised and took and old laptop which I wasn’t using and plugged this into the PC, connected the Wireless on the laptop to my network and bridged the two connections. This works great (for the most part) with IPv4 but was unable to bridge any of the IPv6 traffic on the network.

I added the IPv6 stack to the Windows XP machine and this broke the IPv4 bridge and I lost my Internet connection and ability to communicate with the world. A swift disabling of the IPv6 brought this back and I am going to have to resort to buying a Wireless PCI card for my PC.

Undeterred by this minor setback I looked at what other devices were on my network that I could setup IPv6 with that don’t have the same issue. I am running a number of test VMs in an ESXi lab and there is a Ubuntu server and a number of Windows Server 2003 boxes running on here. Starting with the Win2K3 box I added the IPv6 stack to the network card and the server got an IP from the /48 I had been allocated. All I had to do was manually set the DNS servers using the Open DNS IPv6 DNS Sandbox and I was online.

After the success of Server 2003 working I logged into my Ubuntu 10.04 LTS server and ifconfig showed that it had automatically picked up an address from my router. All that was left for me to do was to add the Open DNS entries to my /etc/resolv.conf and I was good to go.

IPv6 works and is clearly the way forward. What I now need to do is to fully understand the address assignment and subnetting so that I can allocate networks more clearly and understand what is happening 🙂

If you want to learn more about IP addressing then take a look at the following page from RIPE (http://www.ripe.net/internet-coordination/press-centre/understanding-ip-addressing) or alternatively the Wikipedia page on IPv6 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IPv6)

2 Replies to “World IPv6 day got me thinking…”

  1. “have a public /64 and private /48 address range” – they are both public, you only have a choice of unicast, anycast or multicast in the v6, and of unicast only link local and site local addresses are not routable on this new interweb world of ours.

    … The intention of the /48 is that you can subnet it into 65536 other /64 subnets, not to use one big /48 of 1.21×10²⁴ addresses (i’m sure there is a better way to write that).

  2. i know what you mean – I think that I am doing what most interweb-ers are doing is trying to use IPv4 principles on an IPv6 level… It doesnt work and I get that – just need to learn and understand and get all the bells n whistles working 🙂

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