faqs.org - Internet FAQ Archives

RFC 3513 - Internet Protocol Version 6 (IPv6) Addressing Archite

Or Display the document by number

Network Working Group                                          R. Hinden
Request for Comments: 3513                                         Nokia
Obsoletes: 2373                                               S. Deering
Category: Standards Track                                  Cisco Systems
                                                              April 2003

       Internet Protocol Version 6 (IPv6) Addressing Architecture

Status of this Memo

   This document specifies an Internet standards track protocol for the
   Internet community, and requests discussion and suggestions for
   improvements.  Please refer to the current edition of the "Internet
   Official Protocol Standards" (STD 1) for the standardization state
   and status of this protocol.  Distribution of this memo is unlimited.

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (C) The Internet Society (2003).  All Rights Reserved.


   This specification defines the addressing architecture of the IP
   Version 6 (IPv6) protocol.  The document includes the IPv6 addressing
   model, text representations of IPv6 addresses, definition of IPv6
   unicast addresses, anycast addresses, and multicast addresses, and an
   IPv6 node's required addresses.

Table of Contents

   1. Introduction.................................................3
   2. IPv6 Addressing..............................................3
      2.1 Addressing Model.........................................4
      2.2 Text Representation of Addresses.........................4
      2.3 Text Representation of Address Prefixes..................5
      2.4 Address Type Identification..............................6
      2.5 Unicast Addresses........................................7
          2.5.1 Interface Identifiers..............................8
          2.5.2 The Unspecified Address............................9
          2.5.3 The Loopback Address...............................9
          2.5.4 Global Unicast Addresses..........................10
          2.5.5 IPv6 Addresses with Embedded IPv4 Addresses.......10
          2.5.6 Local-use IPv6 Unicast Addresses..................11
      2.6 Anycast Addresses.......................................12
          2.6.1 Required Anycast Address..........................13
      2.7 Multicast Addresses.....................................13
          2.7.1 Pre-Defined Multicast Addresses...................15
      2.8 A Node's Required Addresses.............................17
   3. Security Considerations.....................................17
   4. IANA Considerations.........................................18
   5. References..................................................19
      5.1 Normative References....................................19
      5.2 Informative References..................................19
   APPENDIX A: Creating Modified EUI-64 format Interface IDs......21
   APPENDIX B: Changes from RFC-2373..............................24
   Authors' Addresses.............................................25
   Full Copyright Statement.......................................26

1.  Introduction

   This specification defines the addressing architecture of the IP
   Version 6 (IPv6) protocol.  It includes the basic formats for the
   various types of IPv6 addresses (unicast, anycast, and multicast).

   The authors would like to acknowledge the contributions of Paul
   Francis, Scott Bradner, Jim Bound, Brian Carpenter, Matt Crawford,
   Deborah Estrin, Roger Fajman, Bob Fink, Peter Ford, Bob Gilligan,
   Dimitry Haskin, Tom Harsch, Christian Huitema, Tony Li, Greg
   Minshall, Thomas Narten, Erik Nordmark, Yakov Rekhter, Bill Simpson,
   Sue Thomson, Markku Savela, and Larry Masinter.

2. IPv6 Addressing

   IPv6 addresses are 128-bit identifiers for interfaces and sets of
   interfaces (where "interface" is as defined in section 2 of [IPV6]).
   There are three types of addresses:

   Unicast:   An identifier for a single interface.  A packet sent to a
              unicast address is delivered to the interface identified
              by that address.

   Anycast:   An identifier for a set of interfaces (typically belonging
              to different nodes).  A packet sent to an anycast address
              is delivered to one of the interfaces identified by that
              address (the "nearest" one, according to the routing
              protocols' measure of distance).

   Multicast: An identifier for a set of interfaces (typically belonging
              to different nodes).  A packet sent to a multicast address
              is delivered to all interfaces identified by that address.

   There are no broadcast addresses in IPv6, their function being
   superseded by multicast addresses.

   In this document, fields in addresses are given a specific name, for
   example "subnet".  When this name is used with the term "ID" for
   identifier after the name (e.g., "subnet ID"), it refers to the
   contents of the named field.  When it is used with the term "prefix"
   (e.g., "subnet prefix") it refers to all of the address from the left
   up to and including this field.

   In IPv6, all zeros and all ones are legal values for any field,
   unless specifically excluded.  Specifically, prefixes may contain, or
   end with, zero-valued fields.

2.1 Addressing Model

   IPv6 addresses of all types are assigned to interfaces, not nodes.
   An IPv6 unicast address refers to a single interface.  Since each
   interface belongs to a single node, any of that node's interfaces'
   unicast addresses may be used as an identifier for the node.

   All interfaces are required to have at least one link-local unicast
   address (see section 2.8 for additional required addresses).  A
   single interface may also have multiple IPv6 addresses of any type
   (unicast, anycast, and multicast) or scope.  Unicast addresses with
   scope greater than link-scope are not needed for interfaces that are
   not used as the origin or destination of any IPv6 packets to or from
   non-neighbors.  This is sometimes convenient for point-to-point
   interfaces.  There is one exception to this addressing model:

      A unicast address or a set of unicast addresses may be assigned to
      multiple physical interfaces if the implementation treats the
      multiple physical interfaces as one interface when presenting it
      to the internet layer.  This is useful for load-sharing over
      multiple physical interfaces.

   Currently IPv6 continues the IPv4 model that a subnet prefix is
   associated with one link.  Multiple subnet prefixes may be assigned
   to the same link.

2.2 Text Representation of Addresses

   There are three conventional forms for representing IPv6 addresses as
   text strings:

   1. The preferred form is x:x:x:x:x:x:x:x, where the 'x's are the
      hexadecimal values of the eight 16-bit pieces of the address.




      Note that it is not necessary to write the leading zeros in an
      individual field, but there must be at least one numeral in every
      field (except for the case described in 2.).

   2. Due to some methods of allocating certain styles of IPv6
      addresses, it will be common for addresses to contain long strings
      of zero bits.  In order to make writing addresses containing zero
      bits easier a special syntax is available to compress the zeros.

      The use of "::" indicates one or more groups of 16 bits of zeros.
      The "::" can only appear once in an address.  The "::" can also be
      used to compress leading or trailing zeros in an address.

      For example, the following addresses:

         1080:0:0:0:8:800:200C:417A  a unicast address
         FF01:0:0:0:0:0:0:101        a multicast address
         0:0:0:0:0:0:0:1             the loopback address
         0:0:0:0:0:0:0:0             the unspecified addresses

      may be represented as:

         1080::8:800:200C:417A       a unicast address
         FF01::101                   a multicast address
         ::1                         the loopback address
         ::                          the unspecified addresses

   3. An alternative form that is sometimes more convenient when dealing
      with a mixed environment of IPv4 and IPv6 nodes is
      x:x:x:x:x:x:d.d.d.d, where the 'x's are the hexadecimal values of
      the six high-order 16-bit pieces of the address, and the 'd's are
      the decimal values of the four low-order 8-bit pieces of the
      address (standard IPv4 representation).  Examples:



      or in compressed form:



2.3 Text Representation of Address Prefixes

   The text representation of IPv6 address prefixes is similar to the
   way IPv4 addresses prefixes are written in CIDR notation [CIDR].  An
   IPv6 address prefix is represented by the notation:



      ipv6-address    is an IPv6 address in any of the notations listed
                      in section 2.2.

      prefix-length   is a decimal value specifying how many of the
                      leftmost contiguous bits of the address comprise
                      the prefix.

   For example, the following are legal representations of the 60-bit
   prefix 12AB00000000CD3 (hexadecimal):


   The following are NOT legal representations of the above prefix:

      12AB:0:0:CD3/60   may drop leading zeros, but not trailing zeros,
                        within any 16-bit chunk of the address

      12AB::CD30/60     address to left of "/" expands to

      12AB::CD3/60      address to left of "/" expands to

   When writing both a node address and a prefix of that node address
   (e.g., the node's subnet prefix), the two can combined as follows:

      the node address      12AB:0:0:CD30:123:4567:89AB:CDEF
      and its subnet number 12AB:0:0:CD30::/60

      can be abbreviated as 12AB:0:0:CD30:123:4567:89AB:CDEF/60

2.4 Address Type Identification

   The type of an IPv6 address is identified by the high-order bits of
   the address, as follows:

   Address type         Binary prefix        IPv6 notation   Section
   ------------         -------------        -------------   -------
   Unspecified          00...0  (128 bits)   ::/128          2.5.2
   Loopback             00...1  (128 bits)   ::1/128         2.5.3
   Multicast            11111111             FF00::/8        2.7
   Link-local unicast   1111111010           FE80::/10       2.5.6
   Site-local unicast   1111111011           FEC0::/10       2.5.6
   Global unicast       (everything else)

   Anycast addresses are taken from the unicast address spaces (of any
   scope) and are not syntactically distinguishable from unicast

   The general format of global unicast addresses is described in
   section 2.5.4.  Some special-purpose subtypes of global unicast
   addresses which contain embedded IPv4 addresses (for the purposes of
   IPv4-IPv6 interoperation) are described in section 2.5.5.

   Future specifications may redefine one or more sub-ranges of the
   global unicast space for other purposes, but unless and until that
   happens, implementations must treat all addresses that do not start
   with any of the above-listed prefixes as global unicast addresses.

2.5 Unicast Addresses

   IPv6 unicast addresses are aggregable with prefixes of arbitrary
   bit-length similar to IPv4 addresses under Classless Interdomain

   There are several types of unicast addresses in IPv6, in particular
   global unicast, site-local unicast, and link-local unicast.  There
   are also some special-purpose subtypes of global unicast, such as
   IPv6 addresses with embedded IPv4 addresses or encoded NSAP
   addresses.  Additional address types or subtypes can be defined in
   the future.

   IPv6 nodes may have considerable or little knowledge of the internal
   structure of the IPv6 address, depending on the role the node plays
   (for instance, host versus router).  At a minimum, a node may
   consider that unicast addresses (including its own) have no internal

   |                           128 bits                              |
   |                          node address                           |

   A slightly sophisticated host (but still rather simple) may
   additionally be aware of subnet prefix(es) for the link(s) it is
   attached to, where different addresses may have different values for

   |                         n bits                 |   128-n bits   |
   |                   subnet prefix                | interface ID   |

   Though a very simple router may have no knowledge of the internal
   structure of IPv6 unicast addresses, routers will more generally have
   knowledge of one or more of the hierarchical boundaries for the
   operation of routing protocols.  The known boundaries will differ

   from router to router, depending on what positions the router holds
   in the routing hierarchy.

2.5.1 Interface Identifiers

   Interface identifiers in IPv6 unicast addresses are used to identify
   interfaces on a link.  They are required to be unique within a subnet
   prefix.  It is recommended that the same interface identifier not be
   assigned to different nodes on a link.  They may also be unique over
   a broader scope.  In some cases an interface's identifier will be
   derived directly from that interface's link-layer address.  The same
   interface identifier may be used on multiple interfaces on a single
   node, as long as they are attached to different subnets.

   Note that the uniqueness of interface identifiers is independent of
   the uniqueness of IPv6 addresses.  For example, a global unicast
   address may be created with a non-global scope interface identifier
   and a site-local address may be created with a global scope interface

   For all unicast addresses, except those that start with binary value
   000, Interface IDs are required to be 64 bits long and to be
   constructed in Modified EUI-64 format.

   Modified EUI-64 format based Interface identifiers may have global
   scope when derived from a global token (e.g., IEEE 802 48-bit MAC or
   IEEE EUI-64 identifiers [EUI64]) or may have local scope where a
   global token is not available (e.g., serial links, tunnel end-points,
   etc.) or where global tokens are undesirable (e.g., temporary tokens
   for privacy [PRIV]).

   Modified EUI-64 format interface identifiers are formed by inverting
   the "u" bit (universal/local bit in IEEE EUI-64 terminology) when
   forming the interface identifier from IEEE EUI-64 identifiers.  In
   the resulting Modified EUI-64 format the "u" bit is set to one (1) to
   indicate global scope, and it is set to zero (0) to indicate local
   scope.  The first three octets in binary of an IEEE EUI-64 identifier
   are as follows:

       0       0 0       1 1       2
      |0       7 8       5 6       3|

   written in Internet standard bit-order , where "u" is the
   universal/local bit, "g" is the individual/group bit, and "c" are the
   bits of the company_id.  Appendix A: "Creating Modified EUI-64 format

   Interface Identifiers" provides examples on the creation of Modified
   EUI-64 format based interface identifiers.

   The motivation for inverting the "u" bit when forming an interface
   identifier is to make it easy for system administrators to hand
   configure non-global identifiers when hardware tokens are not
   available.  This is expected to be case for serial links, tunnel end-
   points, etc.  The alternative would have been for these to be of the
   form 0200:0:0:1, 0200:0:0:2, etc., instead of the much simpler 1, 2,

   The use of the universal/local bit in the Modified EUI-64 format
   identifier is to allow development of future technology that can take
   advantage of interface identifiers with global scope.

   The details of forming interface identifiers are defined in the
   appropriate "IPv6 over <link>" specification such as "IPv6 over
   Ethernet" [ETHER], "IPv6 over FDDI" [FDDI], etc.

2.5.2 The Unspecified Address

   The address 0:0:0:0:0:0:0:0 is called the unspecified address.  It
   must never be assigned to any node.  It indicates the absence of an
   address.  One example of its use is in the Source Address field of
   any IPv6 packets sent by an initializing host before it has learned
   its own address.

   The unspecified address must not be used as the destination address
   of IPv6 packets or in IPv6 Routing Headers.  An IPv6 packet with a
   source address of unspecified must never be forwarded by an IPv6

2.5.3 The Loopback Address

   The unicast address 0:0:0:0:0:0:0:1 is called the loopback address.
   It may be used by a node to send an IPv6 packet to itself.  It may
   never be assigned to any physical interface.   It is treated as
   having link-local scope, and may be thought of as the link-local
   unicast address of a virtual interface (typically called "the
   loopback interface") to an imaginary link that goes nowhere.

   The loopback address must not be used as the source address in IPv6
   packets that are sent outside of a single node.  An IPv6 packet with
   a destination address of loopback must never be sent outside of a
   single node and must never be forwarded by an IPv6 router.  A packet
   received on an interface with destination address of loopback must be

2.5.4 Global Unicast Addresses

   The general format for IPv6 global unicast addresses is as follows:

   |         n bits         |   m bits  |       128-n-m bits         |
   | global routing prefix  | subnet ID |       interface ID         |

   where the global routing prefix is a (typically hierarchically-
   structured) value assigned to a site (a cluster of subnets/links),
   the subnet ID is an identifier of a link within the site, and the
   interface ID is as defined in section 2.5.1.

   All global unicast addresses other than those that start with binary
   000 have a 64-bit interface ID field (i.e., n + m = 64), formatted as
   described in section 2.5.1.  Global unicast addresses that start with
   binary 000 have no such constraint on the size or structure of the
   interface ID field.

   Examples of global unicast addresses that start with binary 000 are
   the IPv6 address with embedded IPv4 addresses described in section
   2.5.5 and the IPv6 address containing encoded NSAP addresses
   specified in [NSAP].  An example of global addresses starting with a
   binary value other than 000 (and therefore having a 64-bit interface
   ID field) can be found in [AGGR].

2.5.5 IPv6 Addresses with Embedded IPv4 Addresses

   The IPv6 transition mechanisms [TRAN] include a technique for hosts
   and routers to dynamically tunnel IPv6 packets over IPv4 routing
   infrastructure.  IPv6 nodes that use this technique are assigned
   special IPv6 unicast addresses that carry a global IPv4 address in
   the low-order 32 bits.  This type of address is termed an "IPv4-
   compatible IPv6 address" and has the format:

   |                80 bits               | 16 |      32 bits        |
   |0000..............................0000|0000|    IPv4 address     |

   Note: The IPv4 address used in the "IPv4-compatible IPv6 address"
   must be a globally-unique IPv4 unicast address.

   A second type of IPv6 address which holds an embedded IPv4 address is
   also defined.  This address type is used to represent the addresses
   of IPv4 nodes as IPv6 addresses.  This type of address is termed an
   "IPv4-mapped IPv6 address" and has the format:

   |                80 bits               | 16 |      32 bits        |
   |0000..............................0000|FFFF|    IPv4 address     |

2.5.6 Local-Use IPv6 Unicast Addresses

   There are two types of local-use unicast addresses defined.  These
   are Link-Local and Site-Local.  The Link-Local is for use on a single
   link and the Site-Local is for use in a single site.  Link-Local
   addresses have the following format:

   |   10     |
   |  bits    |         54 bits         |          64 bits           |
   |1111111010|           0             |       interface ID         |

   Link-Local addresses are designed to be used for addressing on a
   single link for purposes such as automatic address configuration,
   neighbor discovery, or when no routers are present.

   Routers must not forward any packets with link-local source or
   destination addresses to other links.

   Site-Local addresses have the following format:

   |   10     |
   |  bits    |         54 bits         |         64 bits            |
   |1111111011|        subnet ID        |       interface ID         |

   Site-local addresses are designed to be used for addressing inside of
   a site without the need for a global prefix.  Although a subnet ID
   may be up to 54-bits long, it is expected that globally-connected
   sites will use the same subnet IDs for site-local and global

   Routers must not forward any packets with site-local source or
   destination addresses outside of the site.

2.6 Anycast Addresses

   An IPv6 anycast address is an address that is assigned to more than
   one interface (typically belonging to different nodes), with the
   property that a packet sent to an anycast address is routed to the
   "nearest" interface having that address, according to the routing
   protocols' measure of distance.

   Anycast addresses are allocated from the unicast address space, using
   any of the defined unicast address formats.  Thus, anycast addresses
   are syntactically indistinguishable from unicast addresses.  When a
   unicast address is assigned to more than one interface, thus turning
   it into an anycast address, the nodes to which the address is
   assigned must be explicitly configured to know that it is an anycast

   For any assigned anycast address, there is a longest prefix P of that
   address that identifies the topological region in which all
   interfaces belonging to that anycast address reside.  Within the
   region identified by P, the anycast address must be maintained as a
   separate entry in the routing system (commonly referred to as a "host
   route"); outside the region identified by P, the anycast address may
   be aggregated into the routing entry for prefix P.

   Note that in the worst case, the prefix P of an anycast set may be
   the null prefix, i.e., the members of the set may have no topological
   locality.  In that case, the anycast address must be maintained as a
   separate routing entry throughout the entire internet, which presents
   a severe scaling limit on how many such "global" anycast sets may be
   supported.  Therefore, it is expected that support for global anycast
   sets may be unavailable or very restricted.

   One expected use of anycast addresses is to identify the set of
   routers belonging to an organization providing internet service.
   Such addresses could be used as intermediate addresses in an IPv6
   Routing header, to cause a packet to be delivered via a particular
   service provider or sequence of service providers.

   Some other possible uses are to identify the set of routers attached
   to a particular subnet, or the set of routers providing entry into a
   particular routing domain.

   There is little experience with widespread, arbitrary use of internet
   anycast addresses, and some known complications and hazards when
   using them in their full generality [ANYCST].  Until more experience
   has been gained and solutions are specified, the following
   restrictions are imposed on IPv6 anycast addresses:

   o  An anycast address must not be used as the source address of an
      IPv6 packet.

   o  An anycast address must not be assigned to an IPv6 host, that is,
      it may be assigned to an IPv6 router only.

2.6.1 Required Anycast Address

   The Subnet-Router anycast address is predefined.  Its format is as

   |                         n bits                 |   128-n bits   |
   |                   subnet prefix                | 00000000000000 |

   The "subnet prefix" in an anycast address is the prefix which
   identifies a specific link.  This anycast address is syntactically
   the same as a unicast address for an interface on the link with the
   interface identifier set to zero.

   Packets sent to the Subnet-Router anycast address will be delivered
   to one router on the subnet.  All routers are required to support the
   Subnet-Router anycast addresses for the subnets to which they have

   The subnet-router anycast address is intended to be used for
   applications where a node needs to communicate with any one of the
   set of routers.

2.7 Multicast Addresses

   An IPv6 multicast address is an identifier for a group of interfaces
   (typically on different nodes).  An interface may belong to any
   number of multicast groups.  Multicast addresses have the following

   |   8    |  4 |  4 |                  112 bits                   |
   +------ -+----+----+---------------------------------------------+
   |11111111|flgs|scop|                  group ID                   |

         binary 11111111 at the start of the address identifies the
         address as being a multicast address.

         flgs is a set of 4 flags:     |0|0|0|T|

            The high-order 3 flags are reserved, and must be initialized
            to 0.

            T = 0 indicates a permanently-assigned ("well-known")
            multicast address, assigned by the Internet Assigned Number
            Authority (IANA).

            T = 1 indicates a non-permanently-assigned ("transient")
            multicast address.

         scop is a 4-bit multicast scope value used to limit the scope
         of the multicast group.  The values are:

            0  reserved
            1  interface-local scope
            2  link-local scope
            3  reserved
            4  admin-local scope
            5  site-local scope
            6  (unassigned)
            7  (unassigned)
            8  organization-local scope
            9  (unassigned)
            A  (unassigned)
            B  (unassigned)
            C  (unassigned)
            D  (unassigned)
            E  global scope
            F  reserved

            interface-local scope spans only a single interface on a
            node, and is useful only for loopback transmission of

            link-local and site-local multicast scopes span the same
            topological regions as the corresponding unicast scopes.

            admin-local scope is the smallest scope that must be
            administratively configured, i.e., not automatically derived
            from physical connectivity or other, non- multicast-related

            organization-local scope is intended to span multiple sites
            belonging to a single organization.

            scopes labeled "(unassigned)" are available for
            administrators to define additional multicast regions.

         group ID identifies the multicast group, either permanent or
         transient, within the given scope.

   The "meaning" of a permanently-assigned multicast address is
   independent of the scope value.  For example, if the "NTP servers
   group" is assigned a permanent multicast address with a group ID of
   101 (hex), then:

      FF01:0:0:0:0:0:0:101 means all NTP servers on the same interface
      (i.e., the same node) as the sender.

      FF02:0:0:0:0:0:0:101 means all NTP servers on the same link as the

      FF05:0:0:0:0:0:0:101 means all NTP servers in the same site as the

      FF0E:0:0:0:0:0:0:101 means all NTP servers in the internet.

   Non-permanently-assigned multicast addresses are meaningful only
   within a given scope.  For example, a group identified by the non-
   permanent, site-local multicast address FF15:0:0:0:0:0:0:101 at one
   site bears no relationship to a group using the same address at a
   different site, nor to a non-permanent group using the same group ID
   with different scope, nor to a permanent group with the same group

   Multicast addresses must not be used as source addresses in IPv6
   packets or appear in any Routing header.

   Routers must not forward any multicast packets beyond of the scope
   indicated by the scop field in the destination multicast address.

   Nodes must not originate a packet to a multicast address whose scop
   field contains the reserved value 0; if such a packet is received, it
   must be silently dropped.  Nodes should not originate a packet to a
   multicast address whose scop field contains the reserved value F; if
   such a packet is sent or received, it must be treated the same as
   packets destined to a global (scop E) multicast address.

2.7.1 Pre-Defined Multicast Addresses

   The following well-known multicast addresses are pre-defined.  The
   group ID's defined in this section are defined for explicit scope

   Use of these group IDs for any other scope values, with the T flag
   equal to 0, is not allowed.

      Reserved Multicast Addresses:   FF00:0:0:0:0:0:0:0

   The above multicast addresses are reserved and shall never be
   assigned to any multicast group.

      All Nodes Addresses:    FF01:0:0:0:0:0:0:1

   The above multicast addresses identify the group of all IPv6 nodes,
   within scope 1 (interface-local) or 2 (link-local).

      All Routers Addresses:   FF01:0:0:0:0:0:0:2

   The above multicast addresses identify the group of all IPv6 routers,
   within scope 1 (interface-local), 2 (link-local), or 5 (site-local).

      Solicited-Node Address:  FF02:0:0:0:0:1:FFXX:XXXX

   Solicited-node multicast address are computed as a function of a
   node's unicast and anycast addresses.  A solicited-node multicast
   address is formed by taking the low-order 24 bits of an address
   (unicast or anycast) and appending those bits to the prefix
   FF02:0:0:0:0:1:FF00::/104 resulting in a multicast address in the




   For example, the solicited node multicast address corresponding to
   the IPv6 address 4037::01:800:200E:8C6C is FF02::1:FF0E:8C6C.  IPv6
   addresses that differ only in the high-order bits, e.g., due to
   multiple high-order prefixes associated with different aggregations,
   will map to the same solicited-node address thereby, reducing the
   number of multicast addresses a node must join.

   A node is required to compute and join (on the appropriate interface)
   the associated Solicited-Node multicast addresses for every unicast
   and anycast address it is assigned.

2.8 A Node's Required Addresses

   A host is required to recognize the following addresses as
   identifying itself:

      o  Its required Link-Local Address for each interface.
      o  Any additional Unicast and Anycast Addresses that have been
         configured for the node's interfaces (manually or
      o  The loopback address.
      o  The All-Nodes Multicast Addresses defined in section 2.7.1.
      o  The Solicited-Node Multicast Address for each of its unicast
         and anycast addresses.
      o  Multicast Addresses of all other groups to which the node

   A router is required to recognize all addresses that a host is
   required to recognize, plus the following addresses as identifying

      o  The Subnet-Router Anycast Addresses for all interfaces for
         which it is configured to act as a router.
      o  All other Anycast Addresses with which the router has been
      o  The All-Routers Multicast Addresses defined in section 2.7.1.

3. Security Considerations

   IPv6 addressing documents do not have any direct impact on Internet
   infrastructure security.  Authentication of IPv6 packets is defined
   in [AUTH].

4. IANA Considerations

   The table and notes at http://www.isi.edu/in-
   notes/iana/assignments/ipv6-address-space.txt should be replaced with
   the following:


   The initial assignment of IPv6 address space is as follows:

   Allocation                            Prefix         Fraction of
                                         (binary)       Address Space
   -----------------------------------   --------       -------------
   Unassigned (see Note 1 below)         0000 0000      1/256
   Unassigned                            0000 0001      1/256
   Reserved for NSAP Allocation          0000 001       1/128 [RFC1888]
   Unassigned                            0000 01        1/64
   Unassigned                            0000 1         1/32
   Unassigned                            0001           1/16
   Global Unicast                        001            1/8   [RFC2374]
   Unassigned                            010            1/8
   Unassigned                            011            1/8
   Unassigned                            100            1/8
   Unassigned                            101            1/8
   Unassigned                            110            1/8
   Unassigned                            1110           1/16
   Unassigned                            1111 0         1/32
   Unassigned                            1111 10        1/64
   Unassigned                            1111 110       1/128
   Unassigned                            1111 1110 0    1/512
   Link-Local Unicast Addresses          1111 1110 10   1/1024
   Site-Local Unicast Addresses          1111 1110 11   1/1024
   Multicast Addresses                   1111 1111      1/256


   1. The "unspecified address", the "loopback address", and the IPv6
      Addresses with Embedded IPv4 Addresses are assigned out of the
      0000 0000 binary prefix space.

   2. For now, IANA should limit its allocation of IPv6 unicast address
      space to the range of addresses that start with binary value 001.
      The rest of the global unicast address space (approximately 85% of
      the IPv6 address space) is reserved for future definition and use,
      and is not to be assigned by IANA at this time.

5.  References

5.1  Normative References

   [IPV6]    Deering, S. and R. Hinden, "Internet Protocol, Version 6
             (IPv6) Specification", RFC 2460, December 1998.

   [RFC2026] Bradner, S., "The Internet Standards Process -- Revision
             3", BCP 9 , RFC 2026, October 1996.

5.2  Informative References

   [ANYCST]  Partridge, C., Mendez, T. and W. Milliken, "Host Anycasting
             Service", RFC 1546, November 1993.

   [AUTH]    Kent, S. and R. Atkinson, "IP Authentication Header", RFC
             2402, November 1998.

   [AGGR]    Hinden, R., O'Dell, M. and S. Deering, "An Aggregatable
             Global Unicast Address Format", RFC 2374, July 1998.

   [CIDR]    Fuller, V., Li, T., Yu, J. and K. Varadhan, "Classless
             Inter-Domain Routing (CIDR): An Address Assignment and
             Aggregation Strategy", RFC 1519, September 1993.

   [ETHER]   Crawford, M., "Transmission of IPv6 Packets over Ethernet
             Networks", RFC 2464, December 1998.

   [EUI64]   IEEE, "Guidelines for 64-bit Global Identifier (EUI-64)
             Registration Authority",
             March 1997.

   [FDDI]    Crawford, M., "Transmission of IPv6 Packets over FDDI
             Networks", RFC 2467, December 1998.

   [MASGN]   Hinden, R. and S. Deering, "IPv6 Multicast Address
             Assignments", RFC 2375, July 1998.

   [NSAP]    Bound, J., Carpenter, B., Harrington, D., Houldsworth, J.
             and A. Lloyd, "OSI NSAPs and IPv6", RFC 1888, August 1996.

   [PRIV]    Narten, T. and R. Draves, "Privacy Extensions for Stateless
             Address Autoconfiguration in IPv6", RFC 3041, January 2001.

   [TOKEN]   Crawford, M., Narten, T. and S. Thomas, "Transmission of
             IPv6 Packets over Token Ring Networks", RFC 2470, December

   [TRAN]    Gilligan, R. and E. Nordmark, "Transition Mechanisms for
             IPv6 Hosts and Routers", RFC 2893, August 2000.

APPENDIX A: Creating Modified EUI-64 format Interface Identifiers

   Depending on the characteristics of a specific link or node there are
   a number of approaches for creating Modified EUI-64 format interface
   identifiers.  This appendix describes some of these approaches.

Links or Nodes with IEEE EUI-64 Identifiers

   The only change needed to transform an IEEE EUI-64 identifier to an
   interface identifier is to invert the "u" (universal/local) bit.  For
   example, a globally unique IEEE EUI-64 identifier of the form:

   |0              1|1              3|3              4|4              6|
   |0              5|6              1|2              7|8              3|

   where "c" are the bits of the assigned company_id, "0" is the value
   of the universal/local bit to indicate global scope, "g" is
   individual/group bit, and "m" are the bits of the manufacturer-
   selected extension identifier.  The IPv6 interface identifier would
   be of the form:

   |0              1|1              3|3              4|4              6|
   |0              5|6              1|2              7|8              3|

   The only change is inverting the value of the universal/local bit.

Links or Nodes with IEEE 802 48 bit MAC's

   [EUI64] defines a method to create a IEEE EUI-64 identifier from an
   IEEE 48bit MAC identifier.  This is to insert two octets, with
   hexadecimal values of 0xFF and 0xFE, in the middle of the 48 bit MAC
   (between the company_id and vendor supplied id).  For example, the 48
   bit IEEE MAC with global scope:

   |0              1|1              3|3              4|
   |0              5|6              1|2              7|

   where "c" are the bits of the assigned company_id, "0" is the value
   of the universal/local bit to indicate global scope, "g" is
   individual/group bit, and "m" are the bits of the manufacturer-
   selected extension identifier.  The interface identifier would be of
   the form:

   |0              1|1              3|3              4|4              6|
   |0              5|6              1|2              7|8              3|

   When IEEE 802 48bit MAC addresses are available (on an interface or a
   node), an implementation may use them to create interface identifiers
   due to their availability and uniqueness properties.

Links with Other Kinds of Identifiers

   There are a number of types of links that have link-layer interface
   identifiers other than IEEE EIU-64 or IEEE 802 48-bit MACs.  Examples
   include LocalTalk and Arcnet.  The method to create an Modified EUI-
   64 format identifier is to take the link identifier (e.g., the
   LocalTalk 8 bit node identifier) and zero fill it to the left.  For
   example, a LocalTalk 8 bit node identifier of hexadecimal value 0x4F
   results in the following interface identifier:

   |0              1|1              3|3              4|4              6|
   |0              5|6              1|2              7|8              3|

   Note that this results in the universal/local bit set to "0" to
   indicate local scope.

Links without Identifiers

   There are a number of links that do not have any type of built-in
   identifier.  The most common of these are serial links and configured
   tunnels.  Interface identifiers must be chosen that are unique within
   a subnet-prefix.

   When no built-in identifier is available on a link the preferred
   approach is to use a global interface identifier from another
   interface or one which is assigned to the node itself.  When using
   this approach no other interface connecting the same node to the same
   subnet-prefix may use the same identifier.

   If there is no global interface identifier available for use on the
   link the implementation needs to create a local-scope interface
   identifier.  The only requirement is that it be unique within a
   subnet prefix.  There are many possible approaches to select a
   subnet-prefix-unique interface identifier.  These include:

      Manual Configuration
      Node Serial Number
      Other node-specific token

   The subnet-prefix-unique interface identifier should be generated in
   a manner that it does not change after a reboot of a node or if
   interfaces are added or deleted from the node.

   The selection of the appropriate algorithm is link and implementation
   dependent.  The details on forming interface identifiers are defined
   in the appropriate "IPv6 over <link>" specification.  It is strongly
   recommended that a collision detection algorithm be implemented as
   part of any automatic algorithm.

APPENDIX B: Changes from RFC-2373

   The following changes were made from RFC-2373 "IP Version 6
   Addressing Architecture":

   -  Clarified text in section 2.2 to allow "::" to represent one or
      more groups of 16 bits of zeros.
   -  Changed uniqueness requirement of Interface Identifiers from
      unique on a link to unique within a subnet prefix.  Also added a
      recommendation that the same interface identifier not be assigned
      to different machines on a link.
   -  Change site-local format to make the subnet ID field 54-bit long
      and remove the 38-bit zero's field.
   -  Added description of multicast scop values and rules to handle the
      reserved scop value 0.
   -  Revised sections 2.4 and 2.5.6 to simplify and clarify how
      different address types  are identified.  This was done to insure
      that implementations do not build in any knowledge about global
      unicast format prefixes.  Changes include:
         o  Removed Format Prefix (FP) terminology
         o  Revised list of address types to only include exceptions to
            global unicast and a singe entry that identifies everything
            else as Global Unicast.
         o  Removed list of defined prefix exceptions from section 2.5.6
            as it is now the main part of section 2.4.
   -  Clarified text relating to EUI-64 identifiers to distinguish
      between IPv6's "Modified EUI-64 format" identifiers and IEEE EUI-
      64 identifiers.
   -  Combined the sections on the Global Unicast Addresses and NSAP
      Addresses into a single section on Global Unicast Addresses,
      generalized the Global Unicast format, and cited [AGGR] and [NSAP]
      as examples.
   -  Reordered sections 2.5.4 and 2.5.5.
   -  Removed section 2.7.2 Assignment of New IPv6 Multicast Addresses
      because this is being redefined elsewhere.
   -  Added an IANA considerations section that updates the IANA IPv6
      address allocations and documents the NSAP and AGGR allocations.
   -  Added clarification that the "IPv4-compatible IPv6 address" must
      use global IPv4 unicast addresses.
   -  Divided references in to normative and non-normative sections.
   -  Added reference to [PRIV] in section 2.5.1
   -  Added clarification that routers must not forward multicast
      packets outside of the scope indicated in the multicast address.
   -  Added clarification that routers must not forward packets with
       source address of the unspecified address.
   -  Added clarification that routers must drop packets received on an
      interface with destination address of loopback.
   -  Clarified the definition of IPv4-mapped addresses.

   -  Removed the ABNF Description of Text Representations Appendix.
   -  Removed the address block reserved for IPX addresses.
   -  Multicast scope changes:
         o  Changed name of scope value 1 from "node-local" to
         o  Defined scope value 4 as "admin-local"
   -  Corrected reference to RFC1933 and updated references.
   -  Many small changes to clarify and make the text more consistent.

Authors' Addresses

   Robert M. Hinden
   313 Fairchild Drive
   Mountain View, CA 94043

   Phone: +1 650 625-2004
   EMail: hinden@iprg.nokia.com

   Stephen E. Deering
   Cisco Systems, Inc.
   170 West Tasman Drive
   San Jose, CA 95134-1706

   Phone: +1 408 527-8213
   EMail: deering@cisco.com

Full Copyright Statement

   Copyright (C) The Internet Society (2003).  All Rights Reserved.

   This document and translations of it may be copied and furnished to
   others, and derivative works that comment on or otherwise explain it
   or assist in its implementation may be prepared, copied, published
   and distributed, in whole or in part, without restriction of any
   kind, provided that the above copyright notice and this paragraph are
   included on all such copies and derivative works.  However, this
   document itself may not be modified in any way, such as by removing
   the copyright notice or references to the Internet Society or other
   Internet organizations, except as needed for the purpose of
   developing Internet standards in which case the procedures for
   copyrights defined in the Internet Standards process must be
   followed, or as required to translate it into languages other than

   The limited permissions granted above are perpetual and will not be
   revoked by the Internet Society or its successors or assigns.

   This document and the information contained herein is provided on an


   Funding for the RFC Editor function is currently provided by the
   Internet Society.


User Contributions:

Comment about this RFC, ask questions, or add new information about this topic: