11 May 2015, 19:18

OpenWRT and IPv6

I just configured my home network to use IPv6. My router runs OpenWRT ‘Barrier Breaker’ which supports IPv6, so it was just a matter of switching on and configuring the functionality.

Unfortunately, my ISP does not provide native IPv6 so I’m using an IPv6 tunnel courtesy of Hurricane Electric Tunnelbroker service.

Configuring my router

The 6in4 tunnel

Hurricane Electric provide a handy auto-generated config snippet specifically for OpenWRT, so it was a simple matter of:

  • installing the 6in4 package - opkg install 6in4
  • updating my /etc/config/network file with the supplied config
  • restarting the network with /etc/init.d/network restart

For reference, my network config looks something like this:

config interface 'wan6'
	option proto 6in4
	option peeraddr  '72.52.104.74'
	option ip6addr   '2001:470:aaaa:467::2/64'
	option ip6prefix '2001:470:bbbb:467::/64'
	option tunnelid  '12341234'
	option username  'aaaabbbb'
        option updatekey 'xxxxxxxxxxxx'
	option dns '2001:470:20::2'

LAN interface

The next important step is to decide how you want IP addressing to work on your LAN. IPv6 address assignment can be done in 3 ways:

RA Only

In this mode clients get all their address info using NDP (neighbour discovery protocol). Thanks to RFC6106 RA can also contain DNS resolver information so, if that’s all you need, then a DHCP server may not be required.

RA with DHCPv6 (default mode for OpenWRT)

In this mode clients are get their primary address info via the RA, but are told to try DHCP for additional config.

NOTE: If you use this mode, then you need to ensure you have a working DHCP server aswell. Clients will attempt to solicit a DHCP address, and if the server is not running or not configured correctly then the client won’t configure properly. It seems obvious now, but this did cause me some confusion at first when my client was failing to configure due to my DHCP server being disabled

DHCPv6 only

In this mode clients are told to get all their address config from the DHCP server.

OpenWRT ‘Barrier Breaker’ uses the odhcpd process to manage both RA (router advertisements) and DHCPv6. It takes it’s config from /etc/config/dhcp. By default, my ‘lan’ config looked like this:

config dhcp 'lan'
	option interface 'lan'
	option start '100'
	option limit '150'
	option leasetime '12h'
	option dhcpv6 'server'
	option ra 'server'
	option ra_management '1'

The address assignment mode is specified by the setting: ra_managment:

  • 0: RA only
  • 1: RA with DHCP
  • 2: DHCP only

I have no need for a DHCPv6 server on my LAN so I set option ra_management '0' and disabled the DHCPv6 server with option dhcpv6 'disabled'

Configuring my client

I run Fedora 21 Linux on my desktop which supports IPv6 out of the box. NetworkManager can be configured in ‘Automatic’ or ‘Automatic, DHCP only’ modes. I just had to ensure that it was set to ‘Automatic’ and everything just worked.

Something to keep in mind with Linux clients is that, by default, router advertisements will be ignored on any interface that is forwarding traffic (routing). If you’re running Docker, then this is relevant to you! See this post for more information.