Re: Whither IPv6?

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From: Kragen Sitaker (
Date: Tue Jan 25 2000 - 08:28:25 PST

Dr. Ernie asked:
> I was just realizing that it seems like I haven't heard anything about IPv6
> for a while. There was a lot of hoopla a couple years ago when it was
> introduced, and all this talk (scare?) about IPv4 address scarcity. But
> it all seems to have died down.
> What's happened? Has NAT reduced the need for new IP addresses? Is IPv6
> being overengineered, so that people are reluctant to deploy it? Or it is
> quietly taking over, and I just haven't noticed yet?

NAT has indeed become ubiquitous.

>From my reading on IPv6, it is far from overengineered; indeed, it
dropped a number of IPv4 features because it thought they were
overengineered, and simplified a number of others so they were easier
to implement.

I think that rolling out new network protocols is very difficult. IP
multicast still isn't deployed at most commercial NSPs, and it's many
years older than IPv6. (How old? 1990? 1985?) The essential problem
is that the utility of supporting a network protocol comes from the
people it enables you to talk to, and right now, there are very few
places you can reach only with IPv6, for the obvious reason that
everybody who values talking to the world is using IPv4.

But that's just a conjecture. Maybe people here can give better info.

If you want to start working with IPv6, there are 493 sites presently
on the 6Bone (

> Does anybody know how much IPv6 support is in Windows 2000, or the
> mainstream Linux distributions?

Linux 2.2, which is now being used by the latest stable release of all
the mainstream Linux distributions --- with the exception of Debian ---
supports IPv6 in the kernel. I don't know about the userland tools.

<>       Kragen Sitaker     <>
The Internet stock bubble didn't burst on 1999-11-08.  Hurrah!
The power didn't go out on 2000-01-01 either.  :)

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