Lucid Lynx with IPv6

Open Office has been building Linux networks for office automation since the last century. As we would like to be ready for the next century, we are currently doing IPv6 wherever possible.
In a series of articles, we will explain how to set up an Ubuntu 10.04 “ipv6 only” network of Linux machines: that is server, and desktops. See below for the outline of this series.

Some of you might ask, why we use Ubuntu 10.04 “Lucid Lynx” instead of the latest, 10.10 Maverick Meerkat. We will use 10.04 because it is the latest “LTS” (Long Term Support) version of Ubuntu. As LTS versions are released every two years, the next one is scheduled for 2012. By then, we have long run out of IPv4 addresses, so we better have an Ubuntu IPv6 ready by then.

Linux has had IPv6 networking built in for years now, so you might think that a migration is just setting up the IP addresses – and that’s it. If you think that, then you will be surprised, how many services there are that are not IPv6 ready. Having just networking in the kernel is not enough. If your favorite program (server or desktop) does not support IPv6, you’re off.

Unfortunately, there are quite a few programs that are not IPv6 ready; and even then, there are quite a few that need special care, too. Like if you run your network on DHCP right now, you need to decide if you will keep it that way (with DHCP6), or if you would rather go for stateless autoconfiguration. And if you do the latter, you’re going to need changes in your DNS configuration, too.

We’ll try to present a true “cook book” here, in several episodes, that will try to tackle each and every problem in a Linux-client-server environment. This is by the way also to say, that we won’t elaborate on the Other operating system. Our networks have long overcome bug number one, so we will not particularly focus on connecting other operating systems to our server.

We will write about: security, basic connectivity, DNS and reverse DNS; how to run a local network, again including DNS and reverse DNS; how to get outside connectivity, including IPv4; how to get NFS shares on IPv6.

Please note that we’ll start from the idea that you have a fully functional IP (as in: IPv4) network up and running. We’ll even assume that you have DNS and DHCP and that you know some basic things about firewalling with iptables. So the cook book helps you to cook a transition from IPv4 to IPv6. We don’t know if it would help you build an IPv6 network from the ground up — and if it does, please drop us a note.