datatracker.ietf.org
Sign in
Version 5.6.2.p3, 2014-07-31
Report a bug

Internet Protocol, Version 6 (IPv6) Specification
RFC 2460

Document type: RFC - Draft Standard (December 1998; Errata)
Obsoletes RFC 1883
Document stream: IETF
Last updated: 2013-03-02
Other versions: plain text, pdf, html

IETF State: (None)
Document shepherd: No shepherd assigned

IESG State: RFC 2460 (Draft Standard)
Responsible AD: (None)
Send notices to: No addresses provided

Network Working Group                                         S. Deering
Request for Comments: 2460                                         Cisco
Obsoletes: 1883                                                R. Hinden
Category: Standards Track                                          Nokia
                                                           December 1998

                  Internet Protocol, Version 6 (IPv6)
                             Specification

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 (1998).  All Rights Reserved.

Abstract

   This document specifies version 6 of the Internet Protocol (IPv6),
   also sometimes referred to as IP Next Generation or IPng.

Table of Contents

   1. Introduction..................................................2
   2. Terminology...................................................3
   3. IPv6 Header Format............................................4
   4. IPv6 Extension Headers........................................6
       4.1 Extension Header Order...................................7
       4.2 Options..................................................9
       4.3 Hop-by-Hop Options Header...............................11
       4.4 Routing Header..........................................12
       4.5 Fragment Header.........................................18
       4.6 Destination Options Header..............................23
       4.7 No Next Header..........................................24
   5. Packet Size Issues...........................................24
   6. Flow Labels..................................................25
   7. Traffic Classes..............................................25
   8. Upper-Layer Protocol Issues..................................27
       8.1 Upper-Layer Checksums...................................27
       8.2 Maximum Packet Lifetime.................................28
       8.3 Maximum Upper-Layer Payload Size........................28
       8.4 Responding to Packets Carrying Routing Headers..........29

Deering & Hinden            Standards Track                     [Page 1]
RFC 2460                   IPv6 Specification              December 1998

   Appendix A. Semantics and Usage of the Flow Label Field.........30
   Appendix B. Formatting Guidelines for Options...................32
   Security Considerations.........................................35
   Acknowledgments.................................................35
   Authors' Addresses..............................................35
   References......................................................35
   Changes Since RFC-1883..........................................36
   Full Copyright Statement........................................39

1.  Introduction

   IP version 6 (IPv6) is a new version of the Internet Protocol,
   designed as the successor to IP version 4 (IPv4) [RFC-791].  The
   changes from IPv4 to IPv6 fall primarily into the following
   categories:

      o  Expanded Addressing Capabilities

         IPv6 increases the IP address size from 32 bits to 128 bits, to
         support more levels of addressing hierarchy, a much greater
         number of addressable nodes, and simpler auto-configuration of
         addresses.  The scalability of multicast routing is improved by
         adding a "scope" field to multicast addresses.  And a new type
         of address called an "anycast address" is defined, used to send
         a packet to any one of a group of nodes.

      o  Header Format Simplification

         Some IPv4 header fields have been dropped or made optional, to
         reduce the common-case processing cost of packet handling and
         to limit the bandwidth cost of the IPv6 header.

      o  Improved Support for Extensions and Options

         Changes in the way IP header options are encoded allows for
         more efficient forwarding, less stringent limits on the length
         of options, and greater flexibility for introducing new options
         in the future.

      o  Flow Labeling Capability

         A new capability is added to enable the labeling of packets
         belonging to particular traffic "flows" for which the sender
         requests special handling, such as non-default quality of
         service or "real-time" service.

Deering & Hinden            Standards Track                     [Page 2]

[include full document text]