Connecting to 6bone

Jun-ichiro itojun Hagino (Itoh), KAME Project
$Id: index.html,v 1.1 2001/04/17 03:42:19 itojun Exp $


If you wish to use IPv6 to connect to outside, you may want to connect your host to 6bone, experimental worldwide IPv6 network. This newsletter describes how you can connect your local network to 6bone.

UPDATES: The document talks about the case where you have permanent IPv4 connection to the outside. If you only have dialup IPv4 connection (dyanmically-assigned IPv4 address), you may want to visit will allow you to dynamically configure IPv6-over-IPv4 tunnel by using web interface, and allows you to have permanent IPv6 address on top of dialup IPv4 connection (confusing, eh?).

What is 6bone?

6bone is an experimental worldwide IPv6 network. It is used for IPv6 interoperability tests, nailing down routing issues and address allocation issues in IPv6, and so forth. More detailed discussions can be found in About 6bone page.

Please note that 6bone is experimental network. There can be frequent routing troubles that makes some hosts unreachable from your hosts. There can always be service interruptions.

How can I connect my network to 6bone?

6bone is constructed to form tree-like structure. "World 6bone" is devided into several "core 6bone sites" (usually represent a nation or an ISP), then devided into "leaf 6bone sites". You will need to contact some of core 6bone sites to get IPv6 network prefix assigned to your network, and get your IPv6 network connected to the upstream.

Network medium toward upstream

You'll need some IPv6-ready network connection to the 6bone connection point. There are various choices for network medium to connect to upstream. Of course you must choose some medium that is supported by the upstream.

If you are willing to use IPv6-over-IPv4 tunnel, you'll need a dual-stack router on your IPv4 network. Of course, you can use KAME box as dual-stack router. Note that the dual-stack router will route packet between native IPv6 network, and tunnelled IPv6 network. Therefore:

  | v4 connection	  | v4 connection
dual stack router	v4 router
  |			  |
==+============		==+=======================+====
  |			  |			  |
endhost			dual stack router	endhost

Asking for connection

Now you will have to ask for connection to an upstream. Find the nearest upstream from 6bone webpage, and contact them with necessary information, such as: If you are willing to make a IPv6-over-IPv4 tunnel, we have prepared some script to ease this step. NOTE: due to the lack of database, we only able to help people in Japan and France at this moment. If you provide 6bone connetion, please drop me information about your IPv6 network connectivity services.

Wait for reply from upstream

Nothing to do here :-)

Configuring your dual-stack router

Now, you'll need to configure your dual-stack router. If you are using KAME box, you will be configuring like this. IPv6 address prefix 3ffe:gggg:gggg:: is assigned to your network.
# sysctl -w net.inet6.ip6.forwarding=1
# /usr/local/v6/sbin/gifconfig gif0 my-router-v4 upstream-router-v4
# /usr/local/v6/sbin/prefix eth0 3ffe:gggg:gggg:: prefixlen 64
# /usr/local/v6/sbin/route6d -A 3ffe:gggg:gggg::/48,gif0 -O 3ffe:gggg:gggg::/48,gif0
You may want to run rtadvd on the router, so that hosts on ethernet can obtain information about the network address prefix.

To check if the tunnel is established, use the following command:

# /usr/local/v6/sbin/ping6 -I gif0 ff02::1
# /usr/local/v6/sbin/ping6 -I gif0 ff02::9
ff02::1 is link-local all-node multicast address, and this should reach the upstream router. ff02::9 is link-local router multicast address, which must be replied by all routers.

What is the future of 6bone?

As described in RFC2450, IPv6 network address assignment will be started soon for real (non-experimental) IPv6 network. In 1999, many vendors will ship IPv6-ready routers/hosts/whatever by default. 6REN, an initiative of research-and-education groups to promote IPv6, is now started.

I believe, starting from 1999, we'll see more and more IPv6 installations in various sites, and many real use of IPv6 network.

Have a happy christmas holidays!