RFC 2464 – Transmission of IPv6 Packets over Ethernet Networks

Network Working Group M. Crawford
Request for Comments: 2464 Fermilab
Obsoletes: 1972 December 1998
Category: Standards Track

Transmission of IPv6 Packets over Ethernet Networks

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.

1. Introduction

This document specifies the frame format for transmission of IPv6
packets and the method of forming IPv6 link-local addresses and
statelessly autoconfigured addresses on Ethernet networks. It also
specifies the content of the Source/Target Link-layer Address option
used in Router Solicitation, Router Advertisement, Neighbor
Solicitation, Neighbor Advertisement and Redirect messages when those
messages are transmitted on an Ethernet.

This document replaces RFC 1972, "A Method for the Transmission of
IPv6 Packets over Ethernet Networks", which will become historic.

The key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL NOT",
"SHOULD", "SHOULD NOT", "RECOMMENDED", "MAY", and "OPTIONAL" in this
document are to be interpreted as described in [RFC 2119].

2. Maximum Transmission Unit

The default MTU size for IPv6 [IPV6] packets on an Ethernet is 1500
octets. This size may be reduced by a Router Advertisement [DISC]
containing an MTU option which specifies a smaller MTU, or by manual
configuration of each node. If a Router Advertisement received on an
Ethernet interface has an MTU option specifying an MTU larger than
1500, or larger than a manually configured value, that MTU option may
be logged to system management but must be otherwise ignored.

For purposes of this document, information received from DHCP is
considered "manually configured" and the term Ethernet includes
CSMA/CD and full-duplex subnetworks based on ISO/IEC 8802-3, with
various data rates.

3. Frame Format

IPv6 packets are transmitted in standard Ethernet frames. The
Ethernet header contains the Destination and Source Ethernet
addresses and the Ethernet type code, which must contain the value
86DD hexadecimal. The data field contains the IPv6 header followed
immediately by the payload, and possibly padding octets to meet the
minimum frame size for the Ethernet link.

0 1
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5
+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+
| Destination |
+- -+
| Ethernet |
+- -+
| Address |
+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+
| Source |
+- -+
| Ethernet |
+- -+
| Address |
+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+
|1 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 1 1 0 1 1 1 0 1|
+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+
| IPv6 |
+- -+
| header |
+- -+
| and |
+- -+
/ payload ... /
+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+

(Each tic mark represents one bit.)

4. Stateless Autoconfiguration

The Interface Identifier [AARCH] for an Ethernet interface is based
on the EUI-64 identifier [EUI64] derived from the interface's built-
in 48-bit IEEE 802 address. The EUI-64 is formed as follows.
(Canonical bit order is assumed throughout.)

The OUI of the Ethernet address (the first three octets) becomes the
company_id of the EUI-64 (the first three octets). The fourth and
fifth octets of the EUI are set to the fixed value FFFE hexadecimal.
The last three octets of the Ethernet address become the last three
octets of the EUI-64.

The Interface Identifier is then formed from the EUI-64 by
complementing the "Universal/Local" (U/L) bit, which is the next-to-
lowest order bit of the first octet of the EUI-64. Complementing
this bit will generally change a 0 value to a 1, since an interface's
built-in address is expected to be from a universally administered
address space and hence have a globally unique value. A universally
administered IEEE 802 address or an EUI-64 is signified by a 0 in the
U/L bit position, while a globally unique IPv6 Interface Identifier
is signified by a 1 in the corresponding position. For further
discussion on this point, see [AARCH].

For example, the Interface Identifier for an Ethernet interface whose
built-in address is, in hexadecimal,

34-56-78-9A-BC-DE

would be

36-56-78-FF-FE-9A-BC-DE.

A different MAC address set manually or by software should not be
used to derive the Interface Identifier. If such a MAC address must
be used, its global uniqueness property should be reflected in the
value of the U/L bit.

An IPv6 address prefix used for stateless autoconfiguration [ACONF]
of an Ethernet interface must have a length of 64 bits.

5. Link-Local Addresses

The IPv6 link-local address [AARCH] for an Ethernet interface is
formed by appending the Interface Identifier, as defined above, to
the prefix FE80::/64.

10 bits 54 bits 64 bits
+----------+-----------------------+----------------------------+
|1111111010| (zeros) | Interface Identifier |
+----------+-----------------------+----------------------------+

6. Address Mapping -- Unicast

The procedure for mapping IPv6 unicast addresses into Ethernet link-
layer addresses is described in [DISC]. The Source/Target Link-layer
Address option has the following form when the link layer is
Ethernet.

0 1
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5
+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+
| Type | Length |
+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+
| |
+- Ethernet -+
| |
+- Address -+
| |
+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+

Option fields:

Type 1 for Source Link-layer address.
2 for Target Link-layer address.

Length 1 (in units of 8 octets).

Ethernet Address
The 48 bit Ethernet IEEE 802 address, in canonical bit
order. This is the address the interface currently
responds to, and may be different from the built-in
address used to derive the Interface Identifier.

7. Address Mapping -- Multicast

An IPv6 packet with a multicast destination address DST, consisting
of the sixteen octets DST[1] through DST[16], is transmitted to the
Ethernet multicast address whose first two octets are the value 3333
hexadecimal and whose last four octets are the last four octets of
DST.

+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+
|0 0 1 1 0 0 1 1|0 0 1 1 0 0 1 1|
+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+
| DST[13] | DST[14] |
+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+
| DST[15] | DST[16] |
+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+

8. Differences From RFC 1972

The following are the functional differences between this
specification and RFC 1972.

The Address Token, which was a node's 48-bit MAC address, is
replaced with the Interface Identifier, which is 64 bits in
length and based on the EUI-64 format [EUI64]. An IEEE-defined
mapping exists from 48-bit MAC addresses to EUI-64 form.

A prefix used for stateless autoconfiguration must now be 64 bits
long rather than 80. The link-local prefix is also shortened to
64 bits.

9. Security Considerations

The method of derivation of Interface Identifiers from MAC addresses
is intended to preserve global uniqueness when possible. However,
there is no protection from duplication through accident or forgery.

10. References

[AARCH] Hinden, R. and S. Deering "IP Version 6 Addressing
Architecture", RFC 2373, July 1998.

[ACONF] Thomson, S. and T. Narten, "IPv6 Stateless Address
Autoconfiguration", RFC 2462, December 1998.

[DISC] Narten, T., Nordmark, E. and W. Simpson, "Neighbor Discovery
for IP Version 6 (IPv6)", RFC 2461, December 1998.

[EUI64] "Guidelines For 64-bit Global Identifier (EUI-64)",
http://standards.ieee.org/db/oui/tutorials/EUI64.html

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

[RFC 2119] Bradner, S., "Key words for use in RFCs to Indicate
Requirement Levels", BCP 14, RFC 2119, March 1997.

11. Author's Address

Matt Crawford
Fermilab MS 368
PO Box 500
Batavia, IL 60510
USA

Phone: +1 630 840-3461
EMail: crawdad@fnal.gov

12. Full Copyright Statement

Copyright (C) The Internet Society (1998). 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
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Internet organizations, except as needed for the purpose of
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English.

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
"AS IS" basis and THE INTERNET SOCIETY AND THE INTERNET ENGINEERING
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Posted on: November 21, 2009

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