ICMP Fields: Type 133 Code 0 Checksum The ICMP checksum. See [ICMPv6]. Reserved This field is unused. It MUST be initialized to zero by the sender and MUST be ignored by the receiver. Valid Options: Source link-layer address The link-layer address of the sender, if known. MUST NOT be included if the Source Address is the unspecified address. Otherwise, it SHOULD be included on link layers that have addresses. Future versions of this protocol may define new option types. Receivers MUST silently ignore any options they do not recognize and continue processing the message.
Destination Address Typically the Source Address of an invoking Router Solicitation or the all-nodes multicast address. Hop Limit 255 ICMP Fields: Type 134 Code 0 Checksum The ICMP checksum. See [ICMPv6]. Cur Hop Limit 8-bit unsigned integer. The default value that should be placed in the Hop Count field of the IP header for outgoing IP packets. A value of zero means unspecified (by this router). M 1-bit "Managed address configuration" flag. When set, it indicates that addresses are available via Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol [DHCPv6]. If the M flag is set, the O flag is redundant and can be ignored because DHCPv6 will return all available configuration information. O 1-bit "Other configuration" flag. When set, it indicates that other configuration information is available via DHCPv6. Examples of such information are DNS-related information or information on other servers within the network. Note: If neither M nor O flags are set, this indicates that no information is available via DHCPv6. Reserved A 6-bit unused field. It MUST be initialized to zero by the sender and MUST be ignored by the receiver. Router Lifetime 16-bit unsigned integer. The lifetime associated with the default router in units of seconds. The field can contain values up to 65535 and receivers should handle any value, while the sending rules in Section 6 limit the lifetime to 9000 seconds. A Lifetime of 0 indicates that the router is not a default router and SHOULD NOT appear on the default
router list. The Router Lifetime applies only to the router's usefulness as a default router; it does not apply to information contained in other message fields or options. Options that need time limits for their information include their own lifetime fields. Reachable Time 32-bit unsigned integer. The time, in milliseconds, that a node assumes a neighbor is reachable after having received a reachability confirmation. Used by the Neighbor Unreachability Detection algorithm (see Section 7.3). A value of zero means unspecified (by this router). Retrans Timer 32-bit unsigned integer. The time, in milliseconds, between retransmitted Neighbor Solicitation messages. Used by address resolution and the Neighbor Unreachability Detection algorithm (see Sections 7.2 and 7.3). A value of zero means unspecified (by this router). Possible options: Source link-layer address The link-layer address of the interface from which the Router Advertisement is sent. Only used on link layers that have addresses. A router MAY omit this option in order to enable inbound load sharing across multiple link-layer addresses. MTU SHOULD be sent on links that have a variable MTU (as specified in the document that describes how to run IP over the particular link type). MAY be sent on other links. Prefix Information These options specify the prefixes that are on-link and/or are used for stateless address autoconfiguration. A router SHOULD include all its on-link prefixes (except the link-local prefix) so that multihomed hosts have complete prefix information about on-link destinations for the links to which they attach. If complete information is lacking, a host with multiple interfaces may not be able to choose the correct outgoing interface when sending traffic to its neighbors.
Future versions of this protocol may define new option types. Receivers MUST silently ignore any options they do not recognize and continue processing the message. ADDRCONF]) the unspecified address. Destination Address Either the solicited-node multicast address corresponding to the target address, or the target address. Hop Limit 255 ICMP Fields: Type 135 Code 0
Checksum The ICMP checksum. See [ICMPv6]. Reserved This field is unused. It MUST be initialized to zero by the sender and MUST be ignored by the receiver. Target Address The IP address of the target of the solicitation. It MUST NOT be a multicast address. Possible options: Source link-layer address The link-layer address for the sender. MUST NOT be included when the source IP address is the unspecified address. Otherwise, on link layers that have addresses this option MUST be included in multicast solicitations and SHOULD be included in unicast solicitations. Future versions of this protocol may define new option types. Receivers MUST silently ignore any options they do not recognize and continue processing the message.
IP Fields: Source Address An address assigned to the interface from which the advertisement is sent. Destination Address For solicited advertisements, the Source Address of an invoking Neighbor Solicitation or, if the solicitation's Source Address is the unspecified address, the all-nodes multicast address. For unsolicited advertisements typically the all- nodes multicast address. Hop Limit 255 ICMP Fields: Type 136 Code 0 Checksum The ICMP checksum. See [ICMPv6]. R Router flag. When set, the R-bit indicates that the sender is a router. The R-bit is used by Neighbor Unreachability Detection to detect a router that changes to a host. S Solicited flag. When set, the S-bit indicates that the advertisement was sent in response to a Neighbor Solicitation from the Destination address. The S-bit is used as a reachability confirmation for Neighbor Unreachability Detection. It MUST NOT be set in multicast advertisements or in unsolicited unicast advertisements. O Override flag. When set, the O-bit indicates that the advertisement should override an existing cache entry and update the cached link-layer address. When it is not set the advertisement will not update a cached link-layer address though it will update an existing Neighbor Cache entry for which no link-layer address is known. It SHOULD NOT be set in solicited advertisements for anycast addresses and in solicited proxy advertisements. It SHOULD be set in other solicited advertisements and in unsolicited advertisements.
Reserved 29-bit unused field. It MUST be initialized to zero by the sender and MUST be ignored by the receiver. Target Address For solicited advertisements, the Target Address field in the Neighbor Solicitation message that prompted this advertisement. For an unsolicited advertisement, the address whose link-layer address has changed. The Target Address MUST NOT be a multicast address. Possible options: Target link-layer address The link-layer address for the target, i.e., the sender of the advertisement. This option MUST be included on link layers that have addresses when responding to multicast solicitations. When responding to a unicast Neighbor Solicitation this option SHOULD be included. The option MUST be included for multicast solicitations in order to avoid infinite Neighbor Solicitation "recursion" when the peer node does not have a cache entry to return a Neighbor Advertisements message. When responding to unicast solicitations, the option can be omitted since the sender of the solicitation has the correct link- layer address; otherwise, it would not be able to send the unicast solicitation in the first place. However, including the link-layer address in this case adds little overhead and eliminates a potential race condition where the sender deletes the cached link-layer address prior to receiving a response to a previous solicitation. Future versions of this protocol may define new option types. Receivers MUST silently ignore any options they do not recognize and continue processing the message.
ICMP Fields: Type 137 Code 0 Checksum The ICMP checksum. See [ICMPv6]. Reserved This field is unused. It MUST be initialized to zero by the sender and MUST be ignored by the receiver. Target Address An IP address that is a better first hop to use for the ICMP Destination Address. When the target is the actual endpoint of communication, i.e., the destination is a neighbor, the Target Address field MUST contain the same value as the ICMP Destination Address field. Otherwise, the target is a better first-hop router and the Target Address MUST be the router's link-local address so that hosts can uniquely identify routers. Destination Address The IP address of the destination that is redirected to the target. Possible options: Target link-layer address The link-layer address for the target. It SHOULD be included (if known). Note that on NBMA links, hosts may rely on the presence of the Target Link- Layer Address option in Redirect messages as the means for determining the link-layer addresses of neighbors. In such cases, the option MUST be included in Redirect messages. Redirected Header As much as possible of the IP packet that triggered the sending of the Redirect without making the redirect packet exceed the minimum MTU specified in [IPv6].
Length The length of the option (including the type and length fields) in units of 8 octets. For example, the length for IEEE 802 addresses is 1 [IPv6-ETHER]. Link-Layer Address The variable length link-layer address. The content and format of this field (including byte and bit ordering) is expected to be specified in specific documents that describe how IPv6 operates over different link layers. For instance, [IPv6-ETHER]. Description The Source Link-Layer Address option contains the link-layer address of the sender of the packet. It is used in the Neighbor Solicitation, Router Solicitation, and Router Advertisement packets. The Target Link-Layer Address option contains the link-layer address of the target. It is used in Neighbor Advertisement and Redirect packets. These options MUST be silently ignored for other Neighbor Discovery messages.
Fields: Type 3 Length 4 Prefix Length 8-bit unsigned integer. The number of leading bits in the Prefix that are valid. The value ranges from 0 to 128. The prefix length field provides necessary information for on-link determination (when combined with the L flag in the prefix information option). It also assists with address autoconfiguration as specified in [ADDRCONF], for which there may be more restrictions on the prefix length. L 1-bit on-link flag. When set, indicates that this prefix can be used for on-link determination. When not set the advertisement makes no statement about on-link or off-link properties of the prefix. In other words, if the L flag is not set a host MUST NOT conclude that an address derived from the prefix is off-link. That is, it MUST NOT update a previous indication that the address is on-link. A 1-bit autonomous address-configuration flag. When set indicates that this prefix can be used for stateless address configuration as specified in [ADDRCONF]. Reserved1 6-bit unused field. It MUST be initialized to zero by the sender and MUST be ignored by the receiver. Valid Lifetime 32-bit unsigned integer. The length of time in seconds (relative to the time the packet is sent) that the prefix is valid for the purpose of on-link determination. A value of all one bits (0xffffffff) represents infinity. The Valid Lifetime is also used by [ADDRCONF]. Preferred Lifetime 32-bit unsigned integer. The length of time in seconds (relative to the time the packet is sent) that addresses generated from the prefix via stateless address autoconfiguration remain preferred [ADDRCONF]. A value of all one bits (0xffffffff) represents infinity. See [ADDRCONF].
Note that the value of this field MUST NOT exceed the Valid Lifetime field to avoid preferring addresses that are no longer valid. Reserved2 This field is unused. It MUST be initialized to zero by the sender and MUST be ignored by the receiver. Prefix An IP address or a prefix of an IP address. The Prefix Length field contains the number of valid leading bits in the prefix. The bits in the prefix after the prefix length are reserved and MUST be initialized to zero by the sender and ignored by the receiver. A router SHOULD NOT send a prefix option for the link-local prefix and a host SHOULD ignore such a prefix option. Description The Prefix Information option provide hosts with on-link prefixes and prefixes for Address Autoconfiguration. The Prefix Information option appears in Router Advertisement packets and MUST be silently ignored for other messages.
IP header + data The original packet truncated to ensure that the size of the redirect message does not exceed the minimum MTU required to support IPv6 as specified in [IPv6]. Description The Redirected Header option is used in Redirect messages and contains all or part of the packet that is being redirected. This option MUST be silently ignored for other Neighbor Discovery messages.
In configurations in which heterogeneous technologies are bridged together, the maximum supported MTU may differ from one segment to another. If the bridges do not generate ICMP Packet Too Big messages, communicating nodes will be unable to use Path MTU to dynamically determine the appropriate MTU on a per-neighbor basis. In such cases, routers can be configured to use the MTU option to specify the maximum MTU value that is supported by all segments.
Destination Cache - A set of entries about destinations to which traffic has been sent recently. The Destination Cache includes both on-link and off-link destinations and provides a level of indirection into the Neighbor Cache; the Destination Cache maps a destination IP address to the IP address of the next-hop neighbor. This cache is updated with information learned from Redirect messages. Implementations may find it convenient to store additional information not directly related to Neighbor Discovery in Destination Cache entries, such as the Path MTU (PMTU) and round-trip timers maintained by transport protocols. Prefix List - A list of the prefixes that define a set of addresses that are on-link. Prefix List entries are created from information received in Router Advertisements. Each entry has an associated invalidation timer value (extracted from the advertisement) used to expire prefixes when they become invalid. A special "infinity" timer value specifies that a prefix remains valid forever, unless a new (finite) value is received in a subsequent advertisement. The link-local prefix is considered to be on the prefix list with an infinite invalidation timer regardless of whether routers are advertising a prefix for it. Received Router Advertisements SHOULD NOT modify the invalidation timer for the link-local prefix. Default Router List - A list of routers to which packets may be sent. Router list entries point to entries in the Neighbor Cache; the algorithm for selecting a default router favors routers known to be reachable over those whose reachability is suspect. Each entry also has an associated invalidation timer value (extracted from Router Advertisements) used to delete entries that are no longer advertised.
Note that the above conceptual data structures can be implemented using a variety of techniques. One possible implementation is to use a single longest-match routing table for all of the above data structures. Regardless of the specific implementation, it is critical that the Neighbor Cache entry for a router is shared by all Destination Cache entries using that router in order to prevent redundant Neighbor Unreachability Detection probes. Note also that other protocols (e.g., Mobile IPv6) might add additional conceptual data structures. An implementation is at liberty to implement such data structures in any way it pleases. For example, an implementation could merge all conceptual data structures into a single routing table. The Neighbor Cache contains information maintained by the Neighbor Unreachability Detection algorithm. A key piece of information is a neighbor's reachability state, which is one of five possible values. The following definitions are informal; precise definitions can be found in Section 7.3.2. INCOMPLETE Address resolution is in progress and the link-layer address of the neighbor has not yet been determined. REACHABLE Roughly speaking, the neighbor is known to have been reachable recently (within tens of seconds ago). STALE The neighbor is no longer known to be reachable but until traffic is sent to the neighbor, no attempt should be made to verify its reachability. DELAY The neighbor is no longer known to be reachable, and traffic has recently been sent to the neighbor. Rather than probe the neighbor immediately, however, delay sending probes for a short while in order to give upper-layer protocols a chance to provide reachability confirmation. PROBE The neighbor is no longer known to be reachable, and unicast Neighbor Solicitation probes are being sent to verify reachability.
Section 6.3.6). For efficiency reasons, next-hop determination is not performed on every packet that is sent. Instead, the results of next-hop determination computations are saved in the Destination Cache (which also contains updates learned from Redirect messages). When the sending node has a packet to send, it first examines the Destination Cache. If no entry exists for the destination, next-hop determination is invoked to create a Destination Cache entry. Once the IP address of the next-hop node is known, the sender examines the Neighbor Cache for link-layer information about that neighbor. If no entry exists, the sender creates one, sets its state to INCOMPLETE, initiates Address Resolution, and then queues the data packet pending completion of address resolution. For multicast- capable interfaces Address Resolution consists of sending a Neighbor Solicitation message and waiting for a Neighbor Advertisement. When a Neighbor Advertisement response is received, the link-layer addresses is entered in the Neighbor Cache entry and the queued packet is transmitted. The address resolution mechanism is described in detail in Section 7.2. For multicast packets, the next-hop is always the (multicast) destination address and is considered to be on-link. The procedure for determining the link-layer address corresponding to a given IP multicast address can be found in a separate document that covers operating IP over a particular link type (e.g., [IPv6-ETHER]).
Each time a Neighbor Cache entry is accessed while transmitting a unicast packet, the sender checks Neighbor Unreachability Detection related information according to the Neighbor Unreachability Detection algorithm (Section 7.3). This unreachability check might result in the sender transmitting a unicast Neighbor Solicitation to verify that the neighbor is still reachable. Next-hop determination is done the first time traffic is sent to a destination. As long as subsequent communication to that destination proceeds successfully, the Destination Cache entry continues to be used. If at some point communication ceases to proceed, as determined by the Neighbor Unreachability Detection algorithm, next- hop determination may need to be performed again. For example, traffic through a failed router should be switched to a working router. Likewise, it may be possible to reroute traffic destined for a mobile node to a "mobility agent". Note that when a node redoes next-hop determination there is no need to discard the complete Destination Cache entry. In fact, it is generally beneficial to retain such cached information as the PMTU and round-trip timer values that may also be kept in the Destination Cache entry. Routers and multihomed hosts have multiple interfaces. The remainder of this document assumes that all sent and received Neighbor Discovery messages refer to the interface of appropriate context. For example, when responding to a Router Solicitation, the corresponding Router Advertisement is sent out the interface on which the solicitation was received.
in some time (e.g., ten minutes or more) should be adequate for garbage-collecting unused entries. A node should retain entries in the Default Router List and the Prefix List until their lifetimes expire. However, a node may garbage-collect entries prematurely if it is low on memory. If not all routers are kept on the Default Router list, a node should retain at least two entries in the Default Router List (and preferably more) in order to maintain robust connectivity for off-link destinations. When removing an entry from the Prefix List, there is no need to purge any entries from the Destination or Neighbor Caches. Neighbor Unreachability Detection will efficiently purge any entries in these caches that have become invalid. When removing an entry from the Default Router List, however, any entries in the Destination Cache that go through that router must perform next-hop determination again to select a new default router.