IPv6 Bootcamp

Table of Contents

1. Preparation
2. Enabling and Disabling IPv6
3. Observing Router Advertisements
4. Diagnostic and Query Tools
5. Assessment

Reading guide

With the exception of Section 4, “Diagnostic and Query Tools”, you should be able to read most of this lab prior to coming to perform the lab. This will help you understand the material again (just like a text-book, the second reading is usually much more informative than the first).

There are many things you just can’t ignore, such as death and taxes; and there are things that you probably should ignore, such as requests from your users to install the latest greatest version of Mahjong on their workstation; but there are also things that you could ignore for now and learn later, which is what a lot of people have done with IPv6. This is a great and terrible illustration of the chicken and egg problem: most people aren’t bothering too much about IPv6 because not many are asking for it; and not many people are asking for it because not many people are offering it. Meanwhile, the Internet Authority for Numbers and Addresses (IANA) is expecting to run out of IPv4 address blocks on about March 11, 2011 (and keeps getting closer, not farther away) with the Regional Internet Authorities (RIRs), who distribute address ranges they get from IANA to ISPs, expected to run out about 8 December, 2011.

IPv6 may be more visible in other parts of the world, particularly in Asia, but here in New Zealand we are dragging our feet because our government has other priorities; namely, to roll out quality broadband throughout the country. Fortunately, most ISPs seem to be starting to bring it in, very slowly. The biggest hurdle is dealing with all the Customer Premises Equipment (CPE), practically none of which support real native IPv6.[14]

IPv6 is both simpler and more complex at the same time. Most of the complexity comes from general inexperience and ongoing development or misconceptions in most of the industry, but especially with regard to the various transition mechanisms to help IPv6 work in an IPv4 world, and IPv4 work in the coming IPv6 world. Some management areas become more complicated, such as DNS, while others ought to become simpler (such as address management).

We don’t have a lot of time in this lab to explore a lot of IPv6, so we shall cover only the very basics. We shall look at IPv6 enablement of various network services at the same time as we cover IPv4. In this lab, we shall look mostly at the client and how to manage IPv6 on the client side. Here is a brief overview of what we shall cover in this lab:

  1. Practice enabling and disabling IPv6 on Linux, and how to control autoconfiguration etc.

  2. Observe how IPv6 works with router advertisements using Wireshark, which is a network traffic analyser (“network sniffer”).

  3. Practice the use of basic IPv6 diagnostic and query tools, namely ping6 and ip.

1. Preparation

In the previous lab on basic network interface configuration, you should have restored to the snapshot you took at the beginning of that lab. In this section, we want to ensure that everything is still as we expect, and to add a new virtual appliance which we shall using just for today.

In this lab we shall only be needing Client1 and the new virtual appliance, which we shall call Radv. Note that “Radv” is the name of the machine (the virtual machine acting as our router advertiser). Radv is running the router-advertisement daemon (radvd).

On Client1, ensure that only one network adaptor is present, and that it is connected to the Internal Network “TELE301 Internal Network 1”. Start Client1, and ensure that ifconfig -a shows only one network interface (excluding the loopback interface), and that it is called “eth0”, and that it has no IPv4 address (no “inet” line, though it will have one “inet6” line). Basically, you should see this:

$ /sbin/ifconfig -a
eth0      Link encap:Ethernet  HWaddr 08:00:27:99:c2:7d  
          inet6 addr: fe80::a00:27ff:fe99:c27d/64 Scope:Link
          RX packets:4 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
          TX packets:10 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
          collisions:0 txqueuelen:1000 
          RX bytes:1368 (1.3 KB)  TX bytes:1836 (1.8 KB)

lo        … Seen this before …

If you find an interface called “eth1” or “intnet*”, then you need to complete the Cleanup section from the previous lab. Reboot Client1 if you needed to make any modifications.

Next we need to start importing Radv. In VirtualBox’s main window, import the Radv appliance from the “Appliances” folder in the “Resources” share. If you cannot remember how, consult the notes from the Introduction lab. The filename will be named similarly to TELE301-v6bootcamp-radv-version. Use the latest version available unless otherwise instructed. Accept the default settings as presented in the import dialogs.

The operation will take several minutes to complete. While you are waiting for the import operation to complete, go onto Section 2, “Enabling and Disabling IPv6”. We will come back to Radv in Section 3, “Observing Router Advertisements”.

[14] Even if they say “IPv6 Ready” on the box.