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Using Windows Tools to Obtain IPv6 Configuration Information

Published: March 14, 2006

Writer: Joe Davies

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Introduction to IPv6 Configuration
IPv6 Configuration Information with the Ipconfig.exe Tool
IPv6 Configuration Information with the Route.exe Tool
IPv6 Configuration Information with the Netsh.exe Tool
For More Information

This article describes how you can use command-line tools to obtain Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) configuration details for a computer running Microsoft® Windows® XP with Service Pack 2 (SP2), Windows Server® 2003, Windows Vista™, or Windows Server 2008.

Note: This article is written for IT professionals who already understand IPv6 addressing and IPv6 transition technologies. For more information, see the Introduction to IPv6 white paper and the IPv6 Transition Technologies white paper.

Introduction to IPv6 Configuration

The main elements of IPv6 configuration consist of the following:

  • Assigned IPv6 addresses for each interface

  • The default router (known in IPv4 as the default gateway)

  • Domain Name System (DNS) settings such as DNS servers and name registration behavior

Unlike typical IPv4 nodes, typical IPv6 nodes have multiple interfaces (both LAN and tunnel interfaces) and multiple addresses assigned to each interface.

Note: IPv6 does not use Network basic input/output system (NetBIOS). Therefore, an IPv6 configuration does not need NetBIOS settings or the addresses of Windows Internet Name Service (WINS) servers.

IPv6 Addresses

Address configuration is more complicated in IPv6 than IPv4 because there are different types of IPv6 address and IPv6 addresses can exist in different states.

Different Types of IPv6 Addresses

The following types of addresses are defined for IPv6:

  • Global addresses Like public IPv4 addresses, IPv6 global addresses are globally reachable on the IPv6 portion of the Internet. Global IPv6 addresses typically begin with a "2" or a "3".

  • Link-local Like Automatic Private IP Addressing (APIPA) addresses (169.254.0.0/16), link-local addresses are used on a specific link. Link-local addresses always begin with "fe80".

  • Site-local Like private IPv4 addresses, site-local addresses are used within an organization's intranet and can be reused for different sites of an organization. Site-local addresses always begin with "fec", "fed", "fee", or "fef". Site-local addresses have been deprecated in RFC 3879, but can be used in current IPv6 implementations.

Link-local and site-local addresses are known as local-use addresses.

The interface ID (the last 64 bits of a unicast IPv6 address) can be:

  • Based on the IEEE 802 address of an installed network adapter

    The IEEE 802 address, commonly referred to as a media access control (MAC) address, is 48 bits and assigned to each network adapter as it is manufactured. The Extended Unique Identifier (EUI)-64 address is a newer 64-bit MAC address. IEEE 802 addresses can be converted to EUI-64 addresses. Interface IDs for unicast IPv6 addresses can be based on the EUI-64 address of a network adapter.

  • Randomly-generated

    RFC 3041 defines temporary IPv6 addresses, which use a randomly generated interface ID and a relatively short valid lifetime. Temporary IPv6 addresses are typically used by client applications when initiating communication, such as a Web browser, and are not registered in DNS. Public IPv6 addresses are typically used by server applications for incoming connections, such as a Web server, and are registered in DNS. Public IPv6 addresses can have randomly generated or EUI-64-based interface IDs.

Zone IDs for Local-Use IPv6 Addresses

Unlike global addresses, link-local and site-local address prefixes can be reused. The link-local address prefix is reused on each link. Site-local address prefixes can be reused within each site of an organization. Because of this address prefix reuse capability, link-local and site-local addresses are ambiguous. To specify which link on which a link-local address is assigned or located or within which site a site-local address is assigned or located, IPv6 uses an additional identifier known as a zone identifier (ID) (also known as a scope ID). The zone ID specifies a zone, which is a connected portion of a network that has a specified scope.

The syntax specified in RFC 4007 for identifying the zone associated with a local-use address is the following:

Address%zone_ID

Address is a local-use address and zone_ID is an integer value representing the zone. The values of the zone ID are defined relative to the host. Therefore, different hosts might determine different zone ID values for the same physical zone. For example, Host A might choose 3 to represent the zone of an attached link and host B might choose 4 to represent the same link.

For Windows-based IPv6 hosts, the zone IDs for local-use addresses are defined as follows:

  • For link-local addresses, the zone ID is typically the interface index of the interface either assigned the address or to be used as the sending interface for a link-local destination. The interface index is an integer starting at 1 that is assigned to IPv6 interfaces, which include a loopback and one or multiple tunnel or LAN interfaces. You can view the list of interface indexes from the display of the netsh interface ipv6 show interface command.

  • For site-local addresses, the zone ID is the site ID, an integer assigned to the site of an organization. For organizations that do not reuse the site-local address prefix, the site ID is set to 1 by default and does not need to be specified. You can view the site ID from the display of the netsh interface ipv6 show address level=verbose command.

The following are examples of using Windows tools and the zone ID:

  • ping fe80::2b0:d0ff:fee9:4143%3

    In this case, 3 is the interface index of the interface attached to the link containing the destination address.

  • tracert fec0::f282:2b0:d0ff:fee9:4143%2

    In this case, 2 is the site ID of the organization site containing the destination address.

For examples of how the zone ID is expressed as part of an assigned address, see "IPv6 Configuration in the Ipconfig.exe Tool" in this article.

States of an IPv6 Address

IPv6 hosts typically automatically configure IPv6 addresses by interacting with a router and performing stateless IPv6 address autoconfiguration. After being verified as unique, autoconfigured addresses are in one or more of the following states:

  • Valid An address for which uniqueness has been verified and from which unicast traffic can be sent and received. Autoconfigured addresses have a valid lifetime assigned by the router.

  • Preferred A valid address that can be used for new communications. Autoconfigured addresses also have a preferred lifetime assigned by the router.

  • Deprecated A valid address that cannot be used for new communications. Existing communication sessions can still use a deprecated address.

  • Invalid An address for which a node can no longer send or receive traffic. An address enters the invalid state after the valid lifetime expires.

IPv6 Default Router

Just like an IPv4 host, an IPv6 host is typically configured with the address of one or more routers on its subnet to which all remote traffic is sent. In IPv6, the default routers are automatically configured through router discovery and the address of a default router is the link-local address of the IPv6 router's interface on the local subnet. Configuration of a default router also creates a default route in the IPv6 routing table. For an IPv6 node that performs router discovery over multiple interfaces, such as an IPv6 host using both a LAN connection and Intra-Site Automatic Tunnel Addressing Protocol (ISATAP), there will be multiple default routers and multiple default routes in the routing table.

IPv6 DNS Settings

Windows-based hosts can send DNS queries to DNS servers over either IPv4 or IPv6, depending on the configuration of the host and the DNS and routing infrastructure. By default, Windows-based hosts send their DNS queries over IPv4 using the IPv4 address of the DNS server as configured by the Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP). Computers running Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, Windows Vista, or Windows Server 2008 can send DNS queries over IPv6 using one of the following:

  • Locally configured unicast addresses of DNS servers

    Use the netsh interface ipv6 add dns command to configure hosts with the IPv6 addresses of your DNS server. For computers running Windows Vista or Windows Server 2008, you can configure IPv6-addressed DNS servers through the properties of the Internet Protocol version 6 (TCP/IPv6) component in the Network Connections folder.

  • Well-known unicast addresses of DNS servers (fec0:0:0:ffff::1, fec0:0:0:ffff::2, and fec0:0:0:ffff::3)

    Manually configure your DNS servers with the well-known unicast addresses and add host routes to your routing infrastructure so that the DNS servers are reachable from IPv6 hosts running Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, Windows Vista, or Windows Server 2008.

Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 support the Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol for IPv6 (DHCPv6). The IPv6 addresses of DNS servers can be assigned through the DNS Recursive Name Server DHCPv6 option. This is the preferred method of configuring DNS server IPv6 addresses for computers running Windows Vista or Windows Server 2008.

IPv6 Configuration Information with the Ipconfig.exe Tool

The following sections describe example IPv6 configurations as displayed by the Ipconfig.exe tool for Windows XP with SP2 and Windows Vista.

Ipconfig.exe for Windows XP with SP2

The following is an example of the display of the ipconfig command on a computer running Windows XP with SP2:

Windows IP Configuration


Ethernet adapter Local Area Connection:

        Connection-specific DNS Suffix  . : ecoast.example.com
        IP Address. . . . . . . . . . . . : 157.60.14.21
        Subnet Mask . . . . . . . . . . . : 255.255.255.0
        IP Address. . . . . . . . . . . . : 2001:db8:21da:7:3c06:7c4c:8215:bc8
        IP Address. . . . . . . . . . . . : 2001:db8:21da:7:c850:21fe:3cd7:adeb
        IP Address. . . . . . . . . . . . : 2001:db8:21da:7:79aa:6d7b:5c5c:6bd
        IP Address. . . . . . . . . . . . : 2001:db8:21da:7:204:5aff:fe56:f5b
        IP Address. . . . . . . . . . . . : fe80::204:5aff:fe56:f5b%4
        Default Gateway . . . . . . . . . : 157.60.14.1
                                            fe80::20a:42ff:feb0:5400%4

Tunnel adapter Teredo Tunneling Pseudo-Interface:

        Connection-specific DNS Suffix  . :
        IP Address. . . . . . . . . . . . : fe80::5445:5245:444f%6
        Default Gateway . . . . . . . . . :

Tunnel adapter Automatic Tunneling Pseudo-Interface:

        Connection-specific DNS Suffix  . : ecoast.example.com
        IP Address. . . . . . . . . . . . : fec0::6ab4:0:5efe:157.60.14.21%1
        IP Address. . . . . . . . . . . . : 2001:db8:908c:f70f:0:5efe:157.60.14.21
        IP Address. . . . . . . . . . . . : fe80::5efe:157.60.14.21%2
        Default Gateway . . . . . . . . . : fe80::5efe:131.107.25.1%2

The following sections examine the IPv6 configuration for each interface.

Ethernet adapter Local Area Connection

For the IPv6 addresses assigned to the Local Area Connection interface, the first four are global addresses and the last is a link-local address. Of the four global addresses, the first three are temporary addresses and the last is a public address. You can determine which address is the public address by the "ff:fe" portion of the public address in the sixth and seventh blocks of the address, indicating an EUI-64-based interface ID. The link-local address in the display of the ipconfig command (fe80::204:5aff:fe56:f5b%4) contains the link-local address (fe80::204:5aff:fe56:f5b) and the zone ID of the interface to which the address is assigned (%4) (the interface index of the Local Area Connection interface).

The default router (displayed as default gateway) assigned through this interface in the display of the ipconfig command (fe80::20a:42ff:feb0:5400%4) contains the link-local address of the default router (fe80::20a:42ff:feb0:5400) and the zone ID of the interface through which the address is reachable (%4).

Tunnel adapter Teredo Tunneling Pseudo-Interface

This tunnel adapter is for Teredo, an IPv6 transition technology used for sending IPv4-encapsulated IPv6 packets across a network address translator (NAT). For this host, Teredo is not active and the Tunnel adapter Teredo Tunneling Pseudo-Interface is assigned the link-local address fe80::5445:5245:444f with the zone ID of 6 for the Teredo tunneling interface.

Tunnel adapter Automatic Tunneling Pseudo-Interface

This tunnel adapter is for ISATAP, an IPv6 transition technology used for sending IPv4-encapsulated IPv6 packets across an intranet. The first IPv6 address is a site-local address with a zone ID of 1, indicating the site ID to which the address belongs. The second address is a global address and the third address is a link-local address with a zone ID of 2, indicating the interface index of the Automatic Tunneling Pseudo-Interface.

Ipconfig.exe for Windows Vista

The following is an example of the display of the ipconfig command on a computer running Windows Vista:

Windows IP Configuration


Ethernet adapter Local Area Connection:

   Connection-specific DNS Suffix  . : ecoast.example.com
   IPv6 Address. . . . . . . . . . . : 2001:db8:21da:7:713e:a426:d167:37ab
   Temporary IPv6 Address. . . . . . : 2001:db8:21da:7:5099:ba54:9881:2e54
   Link-local IPv6 Address . . . . . : fe80::713e:a426:d167:37ab%6
   IPv4 Address. . . . . . . . . . . : 157.60.14.11
   Subnet Mask . . . . . . . . . . . : 255.255.255.0
   Default Gateway . . . . . . . . . : fe80::20a:42ff:feb0:5400%6
                                       157.60.14.1

Tunnel adapter Local Area Connection* 6:

   Connection-specific DNS Suffix  . : ecoast.example.com
   IPv6 Address. . . . . . . . . . . : 2001:db8:908c:f70f:200:5efe:157.60.14.11
   Link-local IPv6 Address . . . . . : fe80::200:5efe:157.60.14.11%9
   Default Gateway . . . . . . . . . : fe80::200:5efe:131.107.25.1%9

Tunnel adapter Local Area Connection* 7:

   Media State . . . . . . . . . . . : Media disconnected
   Connection-specific DNS Suffix  . :

The display of Ipconfig.exe for IPv6 addresses has been much improved in Windows Vista. The following sections examine the IPv6 configuration for each interface.

Ethernet adapter Local Area Connection

Ipconfig.exe now displays the IPv6 addresses before the IPv4 addresses and indicates the type of IPv6 address using the following labels:

  • IPv6 Address A public IPv6 address. Unlike Windows XP with SP2, Windows Vista by default uses randomly derived interface IDs for public and link-local IPv6 addresses.

  • Temporary IPv6 Address A global address with a randomly derived interface ID that has a short valid lifetime.

  • Link-local IPv6 Address A link-local address with its corresponding zone ID (the interface index).

  • Site-local IPv6 Address A site-local address with its corresponding zone ID (the site ID).

Tunnel adapter Local Area Connection* 6

This tunnel adapter is for ISATAP, which is indicated by the "5efe" and the dotted-decimal IPv4 address in the interface ID portion of each of the assigned addresses. The first IPv6 address is a public address. The second address is a link-local address with a zone ID of 9, indicating the interface index of the Local Area Connection* 6 interface (the "*" in the name of the interface indicates a tunnel interface).

Tunnel adapter Local Area Connection* 7

This tunnel adapter is used for Teredo. For this host, Teredo has been disabled and the interface is in a disconnected state.

IPv6 Configuration Information with the Route.exe Tool

You can use the Route.exe tool to display and modify the IPv6 route table. The following is the IPv6 portion of an example display of the route print command for Windows Server 2003:

IPv6 Route Table
===========================================================================
Interface List
  4 ...00 04 5a 56 0f a4 ...... Linksys LNE100TX Fast Ethernet Adapter(LNE100TX
v4)
  3 ...00 04 76 36 ............ 6to4 Pseudo-Interface
  2 ...9d 3b 8e c7 ............ Automatic Tunneling Pseudo-Interface
  1 ........................... Loopback Pseudo-Interface
===========================================================================
===========================================================================
Active Routes:
 If Metric Network Destination      Gateway
  2   1008 fec0:0:0:f70f::/64       On-link
  2   1008 2001:db8:831:f70f::/64 On-link
  2   1256 ::/0                     fe80::5efe:131.107.253.8
  2   1004 fec0::f70f:0:5efe:157.60.142.19/128
                                    fec0::f70f:0:5efe:157.60.142.19
  2   1004 2001:db8:831:f70f:0:5efe:157.60.142.19/128
                                    2001:db8:831:f70f:0:5efe:157.60.142.19
  2   1004 fe80::5efe:157.60.142.19/128
                                    fe80::5efe:157.60.142.19
  4   1004 2001:db8:28:2:713e:a426:d167:37ab/128
                                    2001:db8:28:2:713e:a426:d167:37ab
  4   1008 2001:db8:28:2::/64      On-link
  4   1008 ::/0                     fe80::20a:42ff:feb0:5400
  2   1004 fe80::5efe:131.107.17.19/128
                                    fe80::5efe:131.107.17.19
  2   1004 fe80::5efe:192.168.21.211/128
                                    fe80::5efe:192.168.21.211
  4   1008 ff00::/8                 On-link
  4   1004 fe80::713e:a426:d167:37ab/128
                                    fe80::713e:a426:d167:37ab
  1   1004 ::1/128                  ::1
  1   1008 ff00::/8                 On-link
  1   1004 fe80::1/128              fe80::1
===========================================================================
Persistent Routes:
  None

The first part of the display lists the IPv6 interfaces and their interface indexes. The second part of the display lists the individual routes, which can be categorized as the following:

  • Routes with a 128-bit prefix length (/128) are host routes for a specific IPv6 destination. By default, only host routes for locally configured IPv6 address are in the IPv6 route table.

  • Routes with a 64-bit prefix length (/64) are subnet routes for locally attached subnets.

  • The ::/0 routes are default routes.

  • The ff00::/8 are routes for multicast traffic.

For more information about the IPv6 routing table and the IPv6 route determination process, see Understanding the IPv6 Routing Table.

IPv6 Configuration Information with the Netsh.exe Tool

You can also obtain IPv6 configuration information with the following commands in the netsh interface ipv6 context of the netsh tool:

  • netsh interface ipv6 show address

  • netsh interface ipv6 show interface

  • netsh interface ipv6 show route

For more information about the Netsh tool, see Managing Windows 2000 Networking Components with Netsh.

The netsh interface ipv6 show address Command

The netsh interface ipv6 show address command displays IPv6 addresses assigned per interface, their address type, duplicate address detection (DAD) state (preferred or deprecated), and valid and preferred lifetimes. The following is an example of the netsh interface ipv6 show address command on a computer running Windows Vista:

Interface 1: Loopback Pseudo-Interface 1

Addr Type  DAD State   Valid Life Pref. Life Address
---------  ----------- ---------- ---------- ------------------------
Other      Preferred     infinite   infinite ::1

Interface 9: Local Area Connection* 6

Addr Type  DAD State   Valid Life Pref. Life Address
---------  ----------- ---------- ---------- ------------------------
Other      Deprecated    infinite   infinite 2001:db8:908c:f70f:200:5efe:157.60.14.11
Other      Deprecated    infinite   infinite fe80::200:5efe:157.60.14.11%9

Interface 6: Local Area Connection

Addr Type  DAD State   Valid Life Pref. Life Address
---------  ----------- ---------- ---------- ------------------------
Public     Preferred  29d23h59m59s 6d23h59m59s 2001:db8:21da:7:713e:a426:d167:37ab
Temporary  Preferred  5d19h59m25s 5d19h59m25s 2001:db8:21da:7:5099:ba54:9881:2e54
Other      Preferred     infinite   infinite fe80::713e:a426:d167:37ab%6

Interface 10: Local Area Connection* 7

Addr Type  DAD State   Valid Life Pref. Life Address
---------  ----------- ---------- ---------- ------------------------

The netsh interface ipv6 show interface Command

The netsh interface ipv6 show interface command displays the list of IPv6 interfaces, their interface index, interface metric, maximum transmission unit (MTU), state, and name. The following is an example of the netsh interface ipv6 show interface command on a computer running Windows Vista:

Idx  Met   MTU   State        Name
---  ---  -----  -----------  -------------------
  1   50 4294967295  enabled      Loopback Pseudo-Interface 1
  9   50   1280  enabled      Local Area Connection* 6
  6   20   1500  enabled      Local Area Connection
 10   50   1280  enabled      Local Area Connection* 7
  7   10   1500  disabled     Local Area Connection 2

The netsh interface ipv6 show route Command

The netsh interface ipv6 show route command displays the IPv6 route table and includes information about whether the routes are published (if the computer is acting as an advertising router) and the route type. The following is an example of the netsh interface ipv6 show route command on a computer running Windows Vista:

Publish  Type      Met  Prefix                    Idx  Gateway/Interface Name
-------  --------  ---  ------------------------  ---  ------------------------
No       0           0  ::/0                        6  fe80::20a:42ff:feb0:5400
No       Manual      1  ::1/128                     1  Loopback Pseudo-Interface
 1
No       0           0  2001:db8:21da:7::/64         6  Local Area Connection
No       Manual      1  2001:db8:21da:7:1f3e:9e51:2178:b9ob/128    6  Local Area Connection
No       Manual      1  2001:db8:21da:7:a299:85ae:21da:59cc/128    6  Local Area Connection
No       Manual      1  fe80::/64                   6  Local Area Connection
No       Manual      1  fe80::/64                  10  Local Area Connection* 7
No       Manual      1  fe80::/64                   9  Local Area Connection* 6
No       Manual      1  fe80::5efe:1.0.0.127/128   10  Local Area Connection* 7
No       Manual      1  fe80::5efe:1.0.0.127/128    9  Local Area Connection* 6
No       Manual      1  fe80::713e:a426:d167:37ab/128   6  Local Area Connection

For More Information

See the following resources for more information:

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