Monday, September 3, 2012

IPv6 support in debian-installer

I tried to continue netcfg's journey to support IPv6 in debian-installer. Matt Palmer wrote a large patch set many moons ago (kudos!) and Colin Watson polished it and included it into Ubuntu. The reason for it not being merged into Debian first was ifupdown. Version 0.7 finally supports IPv6 and only entered Debian unstable by the end of May. Due to a bunch of changes to netcfg, one reason being a Summer of Code project on it, I had to forward-port those 50 patches and add two bug fixes on top. Hence it's possible that I introduced some breakage, even if the result works well for me (apart from one DHCPv6 oddity that cannot be seen from within KVM). The tree can be found in the people/pkern/ipv6 branch. I was unable to check if Ubuntu has introduced any additional patches on top of the old patch set, as I'm not used enough to bzr.

This mini.iso (detached signature) netinst image contains a debian-installer current as of today and two additional patched udebs: netcfg with the aforementioned IPv6 patch set and busybox with ping6 enabled. I'd appreciate if you could go and test it in one (or more) of the following environments: IPv4-only (DHCPv4 / static), wireless (IPv4 / IPv6 as desired, there has been some refactoring), stateless IPv6 autoconfiguration (it even supports RDNSS and DNSSL), stateless IPv6 autoconfiguration with stateless DHCPv6, and stateful DHCPv6. It will try to configure dual stack if possible. Please note that many Debian mirrors are not yet IPv6-enabled. Even prominent hosts like still do not support it. So you'll have to pick one carefully if you want to try IPv6-only installation. (Which worked for me!)

If you have any feedback for me, please leave it here as a comment or mail me at pkern@d.o. Thanks!


  1. How about getting an AAAA record added to, listing IPv6-enabled mirrors?

    1. might work. At least I'm constantly redirected to US mirrors with my HE tunnel because IPv6 is preferred. But I haven't tested this.