Building an IPv6 bridgehead

For no good reason in particular, I started looking into IPv6 this week-end. The quick summary first: It works. It’s not really difficult to set up. But it’s not easy enough, either. The first realization was that the Macintoshs on the network her…

For no good reason in particular, I started looking into IPv6 this week-end. The quick summary first: It works. It’s not really difficult to set up. But it’s not easy enough, either.The first realization was that the Macintoshs on the network here had been hapiily chatting IPv6 among themselves while I wasn’t looking; link-local addresses had configured themselves, and multicast DNS had glued things together seamlessly. Kudos to Apple for that.Now, the first thing to try was of course telling the MacBook to open a 6to4 tunnel. That’s supposedly all that’s needed to connect a host to the ipv6 Internet, and it’s really easy. Except, well, you need a publicly routed IPv4 address, static if you want to get routed ipv6 addresses from one of the tunnel brokers out there. Bummer.Next thing to look at, the NAT box. It’s actually in a reasonably good position to set up these things, but, alas! — there’s a plethora of firmware options out there, some without IPv6 support, some with broken IPv6 support, some with outdated documentation. The firmware that’s installed doesn’t support IPv6, and I wasn’t in a device-bricking mood.The solution that I went for was two-tiered: First, IPv6-enabling the server that runs this Web site. Second, setting up Debian on a spare machine here and connecting it to that server through OpenVPN.