The Internet has been alive with doom saying since the IPv4 global address pool was parcelled out. Now I do not subscribe to the view that the Internet is going to end imminently, but I do feel that if the technical people out there do not start playing with IPv6 soon then what hope is there for the masses?
In the UK getting native IPv6 is not a trivial task, only one ISP I can find seems to offer it and of course it is not the one I am with. So what options do I have? Well there are a number of different types of IPv4 tunnelling techniques such as 6to4 but these seem to require the ability to handle the transition on your NAT router, not an option here. The other is a proper 6in4 tunnel to a tunnel broker but this needs an end-point.
As I have a local server that makes a sensible anchor for such a tunnel. Talking round with those in the know I settled on getting a tunnel from Hurricane Electric (HE), a company which gives out tunnels to individuals for free and seems to have local presence for their tunnel hosts. HE even supply you with tools to cope with your endpoint having a dynamic address, handy. So with an HE tunnel configuration in hand I set about making my backup server into my IPv6 gateway.
First I had to ensure that protocol 41 (the tunnelling protocol) was being forwarded to the appropriate host. This is a little tricky as this required me to talk to the configurator for my wireless router. With that passed on to my server I was able to start configuring the tunnel.
Following the instructions on my HE tunnel broker page, a simple cut-n-paste into /etc/network/interfaces added the new tunnel network device, a quick ifup and my server started using IPv6. Interestingly my apt-cacher-ng immediately switched backhaul of its incoming IPv4 requests to IPv6 no configuration needed.
Enabling IPv6 for the rest of the network was surprisingly easy. I had to install and configure radv with my assigned prefix. It also passed out information on the HE DNS servers, prioritising IPv6 in DNS lookup results. No changes were required for any of the client systems; well other than enabling firewalls. Win.
Overall IPv6 is still not simple as it is hard to obtain native IPv6 support, but if you can get it onto your network the client side is working very well indeed.