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Context English State
<acronym>IPv6</acronym>
<personname> <firstname>Aaron</firstname> <surname>Kaplan</surname> </personname> <contrib>Originally Written by </contrib>
<personname> <firstname>Tom</firstname> <surname>Rhodes</surname> </personname> <contrib>Restructured and Added by </contrib>
<personname> <firstname>Brad</firstname> <surname>Davis</surname> </personname> <contrib>Extended by </contrib>
<acronym>IPv6</acronym> is the new version of the well known <acronym>IP</acronym> protocol, also known as <acronym>IPv4</acronym>. <acronym>IPv6</acronym> provides several advantages over <acronym>IPv4</acronym> as well as many new features:
Its 128-bit address space allows for 340,282,366,920,938,463,463,374,607,431,768,211,456 addresses. This addresses the <acronym>IPv4</acronym> address shortage and eventual <acronym>IPv4</acronym> address exhaustion.
Routers only store network aggregation addresses in their routing tables, thus reducing the average space of a routing table to 8192 entries. This addresses the scalability issues associated with <acronym>IPv4</acronym>, which required every allocated block of <acronym>IPv4</acronym> addresses to be exchanged between Internet routers, causing their routing tables to become too large to allow efficient routing.
Address autoconfiguration (<link xlink:href="http://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc2462.txt">RFC2462</link>).
Mandatory multicast addresses.
Built-in <acronym>IPsec</acronym> (<acronym>IP</acronym> security).
Simplified header structure.
Support for mobile <acronym>IP</acronym>.
<acronym>IPv6</acronym>-to-<acronym>IPv4</acronym> transition mechanisms.
FreeBSD includes the <link xlink:href="http://www.kame.net/">http://www.kame.net/</link> <acronym>IPv6</acronym> reference implementation and comes with everything needed to use <acronym>IPv6</acronym>. This section focuses on getting <acronym>IPv6</acronym> configured and running.
Background on <acronym>IPv6</acronym> Addresses
There are three different types of <acronym>IPv6</acronym> addresses:
Unicast
A packet sent to a unicast address arrives at the interface belonging to the address.
Anycast
These addresses are syntactically indistinguishable from unicast addresses but they address a group of interfaces. The packet destined for an anycast address will arrive at the nearest router interface. Anycast addresses are only used by routers.
Multicast
These addresses identify a group of interfaces. A packet destined for a multicast address will arrive at all interfaces belonging to the multicast group. The <acronym>IPv4</acronym> broadcast address, usually <systemitem class="ipaddress">xxx.xxx.xxx.255</systemitem>, is expressed by multicast addresses in <acronym>IPv6</acronym>.
When reading an <acronym>IPv6</acronym> address, the canonical form is represented as <systemitem>x:x:x:x:x:x:x:x</systemitem>, where each <literal>x</literal> represents a 16 bit hex value. An example is <systemitem>FEBC:A574:382B:23C1:AA49:4592:4EFE:9982</systemitem>.
Often, an address will have long substrings of all zeros. A <literal>::</literal> (double colon) can be used to replace one substring per address. Also, up to three leading <literal>0</literal>s per hex value can be omitted. For example, <systemitem>fe80::1</systemitem> corresponds to the canonical form <systemitem>fe80:0000:0000:0000:0000:0000:0000:0001</systemitem>.
A third form is to write the last 32 bits using the well known <acronym>IPv4</acronym> notation. For example, <systemitem>2002::10.0.0.1</systemitem> corresponds to the hexadecimal canonical representation <systemitem>2002:0000:0000:0000:0000:0000:0a00:0001</systemitem>, which in turn is equivalent to <systemitem>2002::a00:1</systemitem>.
To view a FreeBSD system's <acronym>IPv6 </acronym> address, use <citerefentry><refentrytitle>ifconfig</refentrytitle><manvolnum>8</manvolnum></citerefentry>:
<prompt>#</prompt> <userinput>ifconfig</userinput>
rl0: flags=8943&lt;UP,BROADCAST,RUNNING,PROMISC,SIMPLEX,MULTICAST&gt; mtu 1500
inet 10.0.0.10 netmask 0xffffff00 broadcast 10.0.0.255
inet6 fe80::200:21ff:fe03:8e1%rl0 prefixlen 64 scopeid 0x1
ether 00:00:21:03:08:e1
media: Ethernet autoselect (100baseTX )
status: active
In this example, the <filename>rl0</filename> interface is using <systemitem>fe80::200:21ff:fe03:8e1%rl0</systemitem>, an auto-configured link-local address which was automatically generated from the <acronym>MAC</acronym> address.
Some <acronym>IPv6</acronym> addresses are reserved. A summary of these reserved addresses is seen in <xref linkend="reservedip6"/>:
Reserved <acronym>IPv6</acronym> Addresses

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Source string comment
(itstool) path: sect2/para
Flags
read-only
Source string location
book.translate.xml:65535
String age
a year ago
Source string age
a year ago
Translation file
books/handbook.pot, string 10866