Random bits of Week #41, 2023: IPv6


Last week, I finally setup IPv6 support in my home network. My landlord uses Telus. Telus actually has end-to-end IPv6 support for quite a while. But I've always been reluctant to set up IPv6 in my home network.

For one reason, my landlord only gives me access to a WiFi access point, and I have been using an OpenWRT router to setup a wireless bridge [1], and connect my own router and switch behind it. The `relayd` package only had IPv6 support quite recently.

And IPv4...despite all the criticism on NAT, it just works. Especially since I started using Tailscale [2], remote login to my home network from the Internet, regardless of all the complexity of NAT, it works.

Recently, I've been doing a research project that requires some investigation on the IPv6 allocation of Starlink networks, I thought it was time to get some hands-on experience with IPv6.

To get a crash course and refresh on IPv6, I found the Netgate documentation [3] covers a lot of basic concepts of IPv6, and I can always learn something useful from wzyboy's blog [4]. Setting up IPv6 on OpenWRT with the `relayd` package is relatively straightforward, by following the documentation [1]. I did find something confusing on (3) in the Section of "Adding IPv6 support", probably because of the outdated documentation, but I did find some workaround from a forum post [5]. Nonetheless, it works.

One caveat though, I don't have access to the Telus router, which may have built-in firewall rules that disable the incoming IPv6 traffic. However, at least for now, I can use Tailscale or Cloudflare Tunnel to either remote login with IPv4 or publish my self-hosted services.

My institution (UVic, also maybe most major Canadian universities) has very sparing support for IPv6. BCNet and Canarie both have full support of IPv6 for a long time. And UVic, indeed has IPv6 support at the edge [6], with `2607:f8f0:c00::/40`, `2607:f8f0:c10::/48` and `2607:f8f0:c11::/48`. Last week, I happened to have a discussion with a networking architect at University IT Systems. He claimed that previously they indeed wanted to push the deployment of IPv6 in the campus, but Microsoft Update/Office 365 somehow doesn't work properly with dual-stack networks. (I believe I read some similar news before). And the OpenStack cluster they deployed had issues with IPv6 as well (I don't know what version they deployed at that time, but later last Friday, he told me the OpenStack cluster the university uses now has end-to-end proper IPv6 support already). So they retracted the IPv6 deployment on campus WiFi, and only enable it on case-by-case basis. For example, the university web portal does have IPv6 support.

~ dig @ AAAA uvic.ca
uvic.ca. 219 IN AAAA 2607:f8f0:c10::100

And some research groups have requested to use IPv6, such as the high energy physics research group that has research collaboration with CERN [8] [9].

"randombits" series...

This series was inspired by a friend of mine, he/she recently started this blog series [7] covering random topics he/she encountered during a week. I always read a bunch of random and weird stuffs every day on social media. Previously, I might just read it and forget it, or just archive the link in a random bookmark.
I hope my series can keep updating, at least for a while.

And this is the first blog post since I installed the ActivityPub plugin for WordPress [11]. It says the comments from the Fediverse will be displayed as comments of this blog post. Not quite sure how that looks like and how that interacts with the Fediverse. Follow the Fediverse account of this blog ([email protected]) and leave a comment! It turns out the ActivityPub plugin for WordPress is quite messy and creates a lot of messes, I might consider uninstall it someday in the future.

[1] Wi-Fi extender / repeater / bridge configuration

[2] Tailscale

[3] Netgate Documentation on IPv6

[4] IPv6 学习笔记 (In Chinese)

[5] How to set up IPv6 with relay bridge

[6] AS16462 University of Victoria

[7] マヨイノネグラ

[8] ATLAS at UVic

[9] The ATLAS-Canada network

[10] HEPNet Canada

[11] ActivityPub for WordPress


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