Friday, 8 October 2010

IPV6 on Ubuntu 8.04 server

In case anyone else is wondering why /etc/network/interfaces fails to configure a static IPV6 address on Ubuntu 8.04, here's the solution...

It turns out that there's a bug in the code that initializes the network stack in 8.04 (Hardy Heron).  No doubt that bug is fixed in 10.04, but right now I need 8.04 in order to run VMware Server 2.0.2 without messy patches.

Under Ubuntu 8.04, don't bother trying to configure IPV6 from /etc/network/interfaces.  Just leave your IPV4 settings in that file.   Place your IPV6 settings into /etc/rc.local, like this:-

    ip addr add 2001:41D0:0001:5A08::1/56 dev eth0
    ip route add default via 2001:41D0:0001:5AFF:00FF:00FF:00FF:00FF dev eth0

The problem wasn't helped by being remote from the server in question, since any failure to parse /etc/network/interfaces would stop IPV4 from initializing, locking me out of the box.  Happily though, the colo hosting company Kimsufi (OVH) offers an excellent control panel which lets you netboot a rescue image supporting SSH with a temporary root password.  From the rescue image, it was straightforward to mount the root partition of the hard disk onto /mnt, then fix the /etc/network/interfaces file.

The dedicated server prices at Kimufi are very affordable.  Kimsufi offers a wide range of operating systems: you can have them auto-installed "raw", or preconfigured for hosting tasks.  The automatic OS installation facilities are easy to use, deploying your chosen OS very rapidly.  All in all, very impressive, and very good value for money.  And they support native IPV6.

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