IPv6 configuration methods

Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2003 with SP2

IPv6 configuration methods

The IPv6 protocol can use the following configuration methods:

  • Automatic configuration using stateless addresses

  • Manual configuration

Automatic configuration

The IPv6 protocol supports address autoconfiguration for stateless addresses as defined in RFC 2462, "IPv6 Stateless Address Autoconfiguration." IPv6 nodes (hosts and routers) automatically create unique link-local addresses for all LAN interfaces that appear to be Ethernet or FDDI interfaces. IPv6 hosts use received Router Advertisement messages to automatically configure:

  • A default router.

  • The default setting for the Hop Limit field in the IPv6 header.

  • The determination of whether the node should use a stateful address configuration protocol, such as Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol for IPv6 (DHCPv6), for addresses and other configuration requirements. The IPv6 protocol for the Windows Server 2003 family does not currently support DHCPv6 or any other stateful address configuration protocol.

  • The timers used in Neighbor Discovery processes.

  • The maximum transmission unit (MTU) of the local link.

  • The list of network prefixes that are defined for the link. Each network prefix contains both the IPv6 network prefix and its valid and preferred lifetimes. If indicated, a network prefix is combined with the interface identifier to create a stateless IPv6 address configuration for the receiving interface. A network prefix also defines the range of addresses for nodes on the local link.

For more information, see IPv6 address autoconfiguration.

Additionally, the IPv6 protocol for the Windows Server 2003 family automatically configures:

  • 6to4 addresses on a 6to4 tunneling interface for all public IPv4 addresses that are assigned to the computer (if a Router Advertisement is not received and the computer is configured with a public IPv4 address).

  • Intrasite Automatic Tunnel Addressing Protocol (ISATAP) addresses on the Automatic Tunneling Pseudo-Interface for all IPv4 addresses that are assigned to the computer.

  • Routes to off-link prefixes (if the off-link address prefix is advertised by a router running a member of the Windows Server 2003 family).

Manual configuration

You can manually configure IPv6 addresses and routes by using the Netsh commands for Interface IPv6 command-line tool. Manual configuration might be required in a network that has multiple IPv6 network segments within which routers are not configured to send router advertisements.

For more information, see Netsh commands for Interface IPv6, Configure IPv6 with manual addresses, and Add an IPv6 route.