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   INTERNET-DRAFT                                      Mark Andrews (CSIRO)
   <draft-ietf-ipngwg-bsd-frag-01.txt>                         January 1998
   
   
                     Forcing Fragmentation to Network MTU
   
   
   Status of This Memo
   
           This document is an Internet-Draft.  Internet-Drafts are working
           documents of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), its
           areas, and its working groups.  Note that other groups may also
           distribute working documents as Internet-Drafts.
   
           Internet-Drafts are draft documents valid for a maximum of six
           months and may be updated, replaced, or obsoleted by other
           documents at any time.  It is inappropriate to use Internet-
           Drafts as reference material or to cite them other than as
           ``work in progress.''
   
           To learn the current status of any Internet-Draft, please check
           the ``1id-abstracts.txt'' listing contained in the Internet-
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           nic.nordu.net (Europe), munnari.oz.au (Pacific Rim),
           ds.internic.net (US East Coast), or ftp.isi.edu (US West Coast).
   
   
   Abstract
   
           There exists a class of applications which cannot accept Path
           MTU discovery [RFC-1981].  This is recommended to be turned on
           by default for IPv6 [IPV6-SPEC-V2, 4.5, 5].  This document
           describes an extension to the BSD API [RFC-2133] to inform the
           kernel when it should be fragmenting at the network MTU rather
           than trying to discover the path MTU.
   
           Path MTU discovery works well when there is a stream of data.
           However for distributed servers sending small answers larger
           than the network MTU to many clients the lack of fragmentation
           in intermediate nodes is anathema.
   
           RFC-1981 Section 5.6 recommends that a system utility be
           provided to:
   
           - Specify that Path MTU Discovery not be done on a given path.
   
   
   
   Expires July 1998                                              [Page 1]


   INTERNET-DRAFT                BSD FRAGMENT                     June 1996
   
   
           - Change the PMTU value associated with a given path.
   
           This documents specifies how to do the same at the application
           level to a individual socket.
   
   1 - No Path MTU Discovery
   
   Disabling path MTU.  This would be a binary option, on a per socket
   basis.  If set the kernel would fragment all IP packets generated by
   this socket at the network MTU (1280) [IPV6-SPEC-V2, 5] unless it has a
   priori knowledge of the path MTU which it could then use.
   
           int discover = 0;
   
           if (setsockopt(s, IPPROTO_IPV6, IPV6_MTU_DISCOVER,
                   (char*) &discover, sizeof(discover)) == -1)
                   perror("setsockopt IPV6_MTU_DISCOVER");
   
   
   2 - Setting IP Fragmentation Size
   
   A socket option to explicitly set the maximum IP fragment size for
   messages derived from this socket.  This should be used when it is known
   that the path MTU is greater than the network MTU.
   
   When combined with disabling path MTU discovery the resultant behaviour
   should be the same as if the network MTU was set to this value.
   
           size_t mtu = 1280;
   
           if (setsockopt(s, IPPROTO_IPV6, IPV6_MTU,
                    (char*) &mtu, sizeof(mtu)) == -1)
                    perror("setsockopt IPV6_MTU");
   
   
   3 - Usage Consideration
   
   Applications sending IPv6 datagrams larger than the network MTU should
   ensure that the reviever has buffer space large enough to receive them.
   How this is done is left upto the application.
   
   4 - Security Considerations
   
   This document is believed to introduce no security problems.
   
   
   
   
   Expires July 1998                                              [Page 2]


   INTERNET-DRAFT                BSD FRAGMENT                     June 1996
   
   
   Existing security problems with using IPv6 datagrams larger than the
   network MTU include:
   
   - Fragment overlay attacks.
   
   - Reassembly buffer exhaustion.
   
   References
   
   [RFC-1981]
           McCann, J., Deering, S., and Mogul, J. "Path MTU Discovery for
           IP version 6", RFC 1981, August 1996.
   
   [RFC-2133]
           Gilligan, R. E., Thomson, S., and Bound, J., "Basic Socket
           Interface Extensions for IPv6", RFC 2133, April 1996.
   
   [IPV6-SPEC-V2] work in progress
           Deering, S., and Hinden, R., "Internet Protocol, Version 6
           (IPv6) Specification", draft-ietf-ipngwg-ipv6-spec-v2-01.txt,
           November 1997.
   
   
   Author' Address
   
           Mark Andrews
              CSIRO Mathematical and Information Sciences
              Locked Bag 17
              North Ryde NSW 2113
              AUSTRALIA
              +61 2 9325 3148
              <Mark.Andrews@cmis.csiro.au>
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   Expires July 1998                                              [Page 3]
   

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