Unmanaged IPv6 networks

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IPv6 has some features which make IPv6 networking easier than IPv4 networking, like autoconfiguration en router advertisements. Unmanaged networks are typically SOHO and home networks where the users want to buy routers, computers and appliances and plug them in the network without the need for difficult network configuration. Everything should be plug and play. We are investigating how this can be accomplished with IPv6.

IETF v6ops working group

The IETF v6ops working group has published two RFCs on this subject. Ronald van der Pol is co-author of RFC 3750 and RFC 3904.

IPv6 router image (old project)

This is a NetBSD based router image that runs on any hardware that is supported by NetBSD. It turns the hardware into a simple, but powerful IPv6 router. Goal of the IPv6 router image is to investigate IPv6 (routing) in unmanaged networks. But is can also be used as a simple, cheap SOHO router.

The building process of the NetBSD router image is very flexible. It can even build an image that is small enough to fit on one floppy. This floppy turns an old PC with two Ethernet interfaces into an IPv6 router by just booting the PC off that floppy. However, currently the focus is on a Soekris NET4501 box.


  • kiss!
  • small and simple (less than 4 MB for image with many features)
  • runs on low end hardware with little RAM and disk space
  • not a full distribution on disk but just one (crunched) file
  • only one configuration file
  • runs with disk mounted readonly
  • small memory filesystem (less than 3 MB)
  • upgrade via tftp

See the README file in the package.

To experiment with this software you can use this floppy image. Copy this image with rawrite or dd to a floppy and boot from the floppy.

For more information you can contact labs@nlnetlabs.nl

Back to IPv6 index.

Wed Sep 25 2013

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