Network Projects

These projects are designed to help you understand IPv6 by actually working with it.

The TSP project allows you to connect a single node in an otherwise IPv4-only subnet to the IPv6-Internet (both incoming and outgoing). Your node will obtain one "/128" IPv6 global address, in addition to the automatic link-local IPv6 address your node creates autonomously. Once the tunnel is in place, you will be able to connect to nodes on the IPv6 Internet, and (if your host-based firewall allows it, and you have some server listening on IPv6) your node will be able to accept incoming connections from external nodes on the IPv6 Internet.

The next step up is to make your entire network dual stack, by deploying a dual stack subnet gateway that can act as a tunnel endpoint.

The m0n0wall and SolidGate projects bring tunneled IPv6 service via tunneled IPv6 to your subnet gateway. They route an entire /64 block of IPv6 addresses to and from your subnet. They include a source of Router Advertisements that IPv6-aware internal nodes can use to generate global addreses via SLAAC (Stateless Address Autoconfiguration). SolidGate provides very complete and intuitive GUI with firewall rules for both IPv4 and IPv6. Once either of these is deployed, your entire subnet is "dual stack" (both IPv4 and IPv6 running in parallel). Inside your subnet, the IPv6 is "native". The "tunneled" part is only between an external tunnel provider (e.g. Hurricane Electric or Freenet6) and your gateway. This is a major improvement over just bringing IPv6 to one node into an IPv4-only network.

You can actually create a physical firewall box using either the free m0n0wall software, or the commercial SolidGate software and your own hardware. You can install this software in an old PC desktop, or buy a recent purpose built "appliance box". You can deploy them in VirtualBox if you prefer. If your physical network is already dual stack, you can route native IPv4 and IPv6 to an internal subnet behind that gateway.

Other projects help you to configure IPv6 on various platforms (Windows, FreeBSD 8.x, FreeBSD 9.x, etc), deploy a dual stack web server, a dual stack email server, etc. These help you to support IPv6 on all of your nodes and servers.

Some of the projects let you emulate complete multi-subnet dual stack networks, including a virtual router based on FreeBSD. These projects use VirtualBox, but if you are more familiar with VMWare, that will work just as well. Today, RAM is cheap enough that you can easily add enough to a PC to emulate many virtual machines and subnets. This is a great way to learn even advanced networking at low cost.