Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6)

IPv6 is short for "Internet Protocol version 6". IPv6 is the "next generation" protocol designed by the IETF to replace the current version of Internet_Protocol, IP Version 4 or IPv4.

IPv6 was initially designed with a compelling reason in mind: the need for more IP addresses. This need arose from fast Internet growth: billions of new devices (cell phones, PDAs, appliances, cars, etc.), and billions of new users (China, India, Latin America). This, combined with new 'always-on' access technologies such as xDSL, cable, ethernet-to-the-home, were increasing the appetite for new devices and new users.

There may be alternative technical solutions, such as NAT (Network Address Translation), but they won't work so easily to allow this growth. <!-- what's this have to do with IPv6?: Furthermore, those alternative solutions make the Internet, the applications, and even the devices more complex; this means increased costs. On the other hand, IPv6 can make, in the medium/long-term, every IP device cheaper, more powerful, and even consume less power (which is important not only for ecologic conservation, but also to have longer battery life in portable devices such as cell phones). -->

Consequently, the design of IPv6 was an opportunistic way to improve the Internet, with new benefits such as:


The History of IPv6 started in 1994-1995 with documents such as: RFC1719 "A Direction for IPng", RFC1726 "Technical Criteria for Choosing IP The Next Generation (IPng)" and RFC1752 RFC1752 "The Recommendation for the IP Next Generation Protocol".

Then the main document was published in December 1995: RFC1883 "Internet Protocol, Version 6 (IPv6) Specification".

Which was obsoleted in December 1998 by: RFC2460"Internet Protocol, Version 6 (IPv6) Specification".

Protocol dependencies

IPv6 can be transported over a wide variety of other protocols as well.

Example traffic

Frame 1: 94 bytes on wire (752 bits), 94 bytes captured (752 bits)
Ethernet II, Src: 86:93:23:d3:37:8e (86:93:23:d3:37:8e), Dst: 22:1a:95:d6:7a:23 (22:1a:95:d6:7a:23)
    Destination: 22:1a:95:d6:7a:23 (22:1a:95:d6:7a:23)
    Source: 86:93:23:d3:37:8e (86:93:23:d3:37:8e)
    Type: IPv6 (0x86dd)
Internet Protocol Version 6, Src: fc00:2:0:2::1 (fc00:2:0:2::1), Dst: fc00:2:0:1::1 (fc00:2:0:1::1)
    0110 .... = Version: 6
    .... 0000 0000 .... .... .... .... .... = Traffic class: 0x00 (DSCP: CS0, ECN: Not-ECT)
    .... .... .... 1101 0110 1000 0100 1010 = Flow label: 0xd684a
    Payload length: 40
    Next header: TCP (6)
    Hop limit: 64
    Source: fc00:2:0:2::1 (fc00:2:0:2::1)
    Destination: fc00:2:0:1::1 (fc00:2:0:1::1)
    [Source GeoIP: Unknown]
    [Destination GeoIP: Unknown]
Transmission Control Protocol, Src Port: 43424, Dst Port: 8080, Seq: 0, Len: 0


The IPv6 dissector is fully functional. (Add info of additional Wireshark features where appropriate, like special statistics of this protocol.)

Preference Settings

Example capture file

Sample IPv6 captures

Display Filter

A complete list of IPv6 display filter fields can be found in the display filter reference

Capture Filter


The Wireshark web site is available over IPv6 at (IPv6-only). -- GeraldCombs

IPv6 (last edited 2016-06-11 15:18:56 by JaapKeuter)