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Versions: 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 RFC 1970

INTERNET-DRAFT                                        Thomas Narten, IBM
March 14, 1996                           Erik Nordmark, Sun Microsystems
                                                 W A Simpson, Daydreamer


               Neighbor Discovery for IP Version 6 (IPv6)

                  <draft-ietf-ipngwg-discovery-06.txt>


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-Drafts Shadow
   Directories on ds.internic.net (US East Coast), nic.nordu.net
   (Europe), ftp.isi.edu (US West Coast), or munnari.oz.au (Pacific
   Rim).

   Distribution of this memo is unlimited.

   This Internet Draft expires September 14, 1996.



Abstract

   This document specifies the Neighbor Discovery protocol for IP
   Version 6.  IPv6 nodes on the same link use Neighbor Discovery to
   discover each other's presence, to determine each other's link-layer
   addresses, to find routers and to maintain reachability information
   about the paths to active neighbors.










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Contents

   Status of this Memo..........................................    1

   1.  INTRODUCTION.............................................    4

   2.  TERMINOLOGY..............................................    4
      2.1.  General.............................................    4
      2.2.  Link Types..........................................    8
      2.3.  Addresses...........................................    9
      2.4.  Requirements........................................   10

   3.  PROTOCOL OVERVIEW........................................   11
      3.1.  Comparison with IPv4................................   15
      3.2.  Supported Link Types................................   16

   4.  MESSAGE FORMATS..........................................   18
      4.1.  Router Solicitation Message Format..................   18
      4.2.  Router Advertisement Message Format.................   19
      4.3.  Neighbor Solicitation Message Format................   22
      4.4.  Neighbor Advertisement Message Format...............   24
      4.5.  Redirect Message Format.............................   26
      4.6.  Option Formats......................................   28
         4.6.1.  Source/Target Link-layer Address...............   29
         4.6.2.  Prefix Information.............................   30
         4.6.3.  Redirected Header..............................   32
         4.6.4.  MTU............................................   33

   5.  CONCEPTUAL MODEL OF A HOST...............................   34
      5.1.  Conceptual Data Structures..........................   34
      5.2.  Conceptual Sending Algorithm........................   36
      5.3.  Garbage Collection and Timeout Requirements.........   38

   6.  ROUTER AND PREFIX DISCOVERY..............................   38
      6.1.  Message Validation..................................   39
         6.1.1.  Validation of Router Solicitation Messages.....   39
         6.1.2.  Validation of Router Advertisement Messages....   40
      6.2.  Router Specification................................   40
         6.2.1.  Router Configuration Variables.................   41
         6.2.2.  Becoming An Advertising Interface..............   44
         6.2.3.  Router Advertisement Message Content...........   45
         6.2.4.  Sending Unsolicited Router Advertisements......   46
         6.2.5.  Ceasing To Be An Advertising Interface.........   47
         6.2.6.  Processing Router Solicitations................   47
         6.2.7.  Router Advertisement Consistency...............   49
         6.2.8.  Link-local Address Change......................   49
      6.3.  Host Specification..................................   50
         6.3.1.  Host Configuration Variables...................   50



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         6.3.2.  Host Variables.................................   50
         6.3.3.  Interface Initialization.......................   51
         6.3.4.  Processing Received Router Advertisements......   51
         6.3.5.  Timing out Prefixes and Default Routers........   54
         6.3.6.  Default Router Selection.......................   54
         6.3.7.  Sending Router Solicitations...................   55

   7.  ADDRESS RESOLUTION AND NEIGHBOR UNREACHABILITY DETECTION.   56
      7.1.  Message Validation..................................   57
         7.1.1.  Validation of Neighbor Solicitations...........   57
         7.1.2.  Validation of Neighbor Advertisements..........   57
      7.2.  Address Resolution..................................   58
         7.2.1.  Interface Initialization.......................   58
         7.2.2.  Sending Neighbor Solicitations.................   59
         7.2.3.  Receipt of Neighbor Solicitations..............   60
         7.2.4.  Sending Solicited Neighbor Advertisements......   60
         7.2.5.  Receipt of Neighbor Advertisements.............   61
         7.2.6.  Sending Unsolicited Neighbor Advertisements....   62
         7.2.7.  Anycast Neighbor Advertisements................   63
         7.2.8.  Proxy Neighbor Advertisements..................   64
      7.3.  Neighbor Unreachability Detection...................   64
         7.3.1.  Reachability Confirmation......................   65
         7.3.2.  Neighbor Cache Entry States....................   66
         7.3.3.  Node Behavior..................................   67

   8.  REDIRECT FUNCTION........................................   69
      8.1.  Validation of Redirect Messages.....................   69
      8.2.  Router Specification................................   70
      8.3.  Host Specification..................................   71

   9.  EXTENSIBILITY - OPTION PROCESSING........................   72

   10.  PROTOCOL CONSTANTS......................................   74

   11.  SECURITY CONSIDERATIONS.................................   75

   REFERENCES...................................................   77

   AUTHORS' ADDRESSES...........................................   78

   APPENDIX A: MULTIHOMED HOSTS.................................   79

   APPENDIX B: FUTURE EXTENSIONS................................   80

   APPENDIX C: STATE MACHINE FOR THE REACHABILITY STATE.........   81

   APPENDIX D: IMPLEMENTATION ISSUES............................   83




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      Appendix D.1: Reachability confirmations..................   83






1.  INTRODUCTION

This specification defines the Neighbor Discovery (ND) protocol for
Internet Protocol Version 6 (IPv6).  Nodes (hosts and routers) use
Neighbor Discovery to determine the link-layer addresses for neighbors
known to reside on attached links and to quickly purge cached values
that become invalid.  Hosts also use Neighbor Discovery to find
neighboring routers that are willing to forward packets on their behalf.
Finally, nodes use the protocol to actively keep track of which
neighbors are reachable and which are not, and to detect changed link-
layer addresses.  When a router or the path to a router fails, a host
actively searches for functioning alternates.

Unless specified otherwise (in a document that covers operating IP over
a particular link type) this document applies to all link types.
However, because ND uses link-layer multicast for some of its services,
it is possible that on some link types (e.g., NBMA links) alternative
protocols or mechanisms to implement those services will be specified
(in the appropriate document covering the operation of IP over a
particular link type).  The services described in this document that are
not directly dependent on multicast, such as Redirects, Next-hop
determination, Neighbor Unreachability Detection, etc., are expected to
be provided as specified in this document.  The details of how one uses
ND on NBMA links is an area for further study.

The authors would like to acknowledge the contributions the IPNGWG
working group and, in particular, (in alphabetical order) Ran Atkinson,
Jim Bound, Scott Bradner, Alex Conta, Stephen Deering, Francis Dupont,
Robert Elz, Robert Gilligan, Robert Hinden, Allison Mankin, Dan
McDonald, Charles Perkins, Matt Thomas, and Susan Thomson.


2.  TERMINOLOGY


2.1.  General

   IP          - Internet Protocol Version 6.  The terms IPv4 and IPv6
                 are used only in contexts where necessary to avoid
                 ambiguity.




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   ICMP        - Internet Message Control Protocol for the Internet
                 Protocol Version 6.  The terms ICMPv4 and ICMPv6 are
                 used only in contexts where necessary to avoid
                 ambiguity.

   node        - a device that implements IP.

   router      - a node that forwards IP packets not explicitly
                 addressed to itself.

   host        - any node that is not a router.

   upper layer - a protocol layer immediately above IP.  Examples are
                 transport protocols such as TCP and UDP, control
                 protocols such as ICMP, routing protocols such as OSPF,
                 and internet or lower-layer protocols being "tunneled"
                 over (i.e., encapsulated in) IP such as IPX, AppleTalk,
                 or IP itself.

   link        - a communication facility or medium over which nodes can
                 communicate at the link layer, i.e., the layer
                 immediately below IP.  Examples are Ethernets (simple
                 or bridged), PPP links, X.25, Frame Relay, or ATM
                 networks as well as internet (or higher) layer
                 "tunnels", such as tunnels over IPv4 or IPv6 itself.

   interface   - a node's attachment to a link.

   neighbors   - nodes attached to the same link.

   address     - an IP-layer identifier for an interface or a set of
                 interfaces.

   anycast address
               - an identifier for a set of interfaces (typically
                 belonging to different nodes).  A packet sent to an
                 anycast address is delivered to one of the interfaces
                 identified by that address (the "nearest" one,
                 according to the routing protocol's measure of
                 distance).  See [ADDR-ARCH].

                 Note that an anycast address is syntactically
                 indistinguishable from a unicast address.  Thus, nodes
                 sending packets to anycast addresses don't generally
                 know that an anycast address is being used.  Throughout
                 the rest of this document, references to unicast
                 addresses also apply to anycast addresses in those
                 cases where the node is unaware that a unicast address



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                 is actually an anycast address.

   prefix      - a bit string that consists of some number of initial
                 bits of an address.

   link-layer address
               - a link-layer identifier for an interface.  Examples
                 include IEEE 802 addresses for Ethernet links and E.164
                 addresses for ISDN links.

   on-link     - an address that is assigned to an interface on a
                 specified link.  A node considers an address to be on-
                 link if:

                   - it is covered by one of the link's prefixes, or

                   - a neighboring router specifies the address as the
                     target of a Redirect message, or

                   - a Neighbor Advertisement message is received for
                     the (target) address, or

                   - any Neighbor Discovery message is received from the
                     address.

   off-link    - the opposite of "on-link"; an address that is not
                 assigned to any interfaces on the specified link.

   longest prefix match
               - The process of determining which prefix (if any) in a
                 set of prefixes covers a target address.  A target
                 address is covered by a prefix if all of the bits in
                 the prefix match the left-most bits of the target
                 address.  When multiple prefixes cover an address, the
                 longest prefix is the one that matches.

   reachability
               - whether or not the one-way "forward" path to a neighbor
                 is functioning properly.  In particular, whether
                 packets sent to a neighbor are reaching the IP layer on
                 the neighboring machine and are being processed
                 properly by the receiving IP layer.  For neighboring
                 routers, reachability means that packets sent by a
                 node's IP layer are delivered to the router's IP layer,
                 and the router is indeed forwarding packets (i.e., it
                 is configured as a router, not a host).  For hosts,
                 reachability means that packets sent by a node's IP
                 layer are delivered to the neighbor host's IP layer.



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   packet      - an IP header plus payload.

   link MTU    - the maximum transmission unit, i.e., maximum packet
                 size in octets, that can be conveyed in one piece over
                 a link.

   target      - an address about which address resolution information
                 is sought, or an address which is the new first-hop
                 when being redirected.

   proxy       - a router that responds to Neighbor Discovery query
                 messages on behalf of another node.  A router acting on
                 behalf of a mobile node that has moved off-link could
                 potentially act as a proxy for the mobile node.

   ICMP destination unreachable indication
               - an error indication returned to the original sender of
                 a packet that cannot be delivered for the reasons
                 outlined in [ICMPv6].  If the error occurs on a node
                 other than the node originating the packet, an ICMP
                 error message is generated.  If the error occurs on the
                 originating node, an implementation is not required to
                 actually create and send an ICMP error packet to the
                 source, as long as the upper-layer sender is notified
                 through an appropriate mechanism (e.g., return value
                 from a procedure call).  Note, however, that an
                 implementation may find it convenient in some cases to
                 return errors to the sender by taking the offending
                 packet, generating an ICMP error message, and then
                 delivering it (locally) through the generic error
                 handling routines.

   random delay
               - when sending out messages, it is sometimes necessary to
                 delay a transmission for a random amount of time in
                 order to prevent multiple nodes from transmitting at
                 exactly the same time, or to prevent long-range
                 periodic transmissions from synchronizing with each
                 other [SYNC].  When a random component is required, a
                 node calculates the actual delay in such a way that the
                 computed delay forms a uniformly-distributed random
                 value that falls between the specified minimum and
                 maximum delay times.  The implementor must take care to
                 insure that the granularity of the calculated random
                 component and the resolution of the timer used are both
                 high enough to insure that the probability of multiple
                 nodes delaying the same amount of time is small.




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   random delay seed
               - If a pseudo-random number generator is used in
                 calculating a random delay component, the generator
                 should be initialized with a unique seed prior to being
                 used.  Note that it is not sufficient to use the
                 interface token alone as the seed, since interface
                 tokens will not always be unique.  To reduce the
                 probability that duplicate interface tokens cause the
                 same seed to be used, the seed should be calculated
                 from a variety of input sources (e.g., machine
                 components) that are likely to be different even on
                 identical "boxes".  For example, the seed could be
                 formed by combining the CPU's serial number with an
                 interface token.



2.2.  Link Types

Different link layers have different properties.  The ones of concern to
Neighbor Discovery are:

   multicast      - a link that supports a native mechanism at the link
                    layer for sending packets to all (i.e., broadcast)
                    or a subset of all neighbors.

   point-to-point - a link that connects exactly two interfaces.  A
                    point-to-point link is assumed to have multicast
                    capability and have a link-local address.

   non-broadcast multi-access (NBMA)
                  - a link to which more than two interfaces can attach,
                    but that does not support a native form of multicast
                    or broadcast (e.g., X.25, ATM, frame relay, etc.).
                    Note that all link types (including NBMA) are
                    expected to provide multicast service for IP (e.g.,
                    using multicast servers), but it is an issue for
                    further study whether ND should use such facilities
                    or an alternate mechanism that provides the
                    equivalent ND services.

   shared media   - a link that allows direct communication among a
                    number of nodes, but attached nodes are configured
                    in such a way that they do not have complete prefix
                    information for all on-link destinations.  That is,
                    at the IP level, nodes on the same link may not know
                    that they are neighbors; by default, they
                    communicate through a router.  Examples are large



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                    (switched) public data networks such as SMDS and B-
                    ISDN.  Also known as "large clouds".  See [SH-
                    MEDIA].

   variable MTU   - a link that does not have a well-defined MTU (e.g.,
                    IEEE 802.5 token rings).  Many links (e.g.,
                    Ethernet) have a standard MTU defined by the link-
                    layer protocol or by the specific document
                    describing how to run IP over the link layer.

   asymmetric reachability
                  - a link where non-reflexive and/or non-transitive
                    reachability is part of normal operation.  (Non-
                    reflexive reachability means packets from A reach B
                    but packets from B don't reach A.  Non-transitive
                    reachability means packets from A reach B, and
                    packets from B reach C, but packets from A don't
                    reach C.)  Many radio links exhibit these
                    properties.



2.3.  Addresses

Neighbor Discovery makes use of a number of different addresses defined
in [ADDR-ARCH], including:

   all-nodes multicast address
               - the link-local scope address to reach all nodes.
                 FF02::1

   all-routers multicast address
               - the link-local scope address to reach all routers.
                 FF02::2

   solicited-node multicast address
               - a link-local scope multicast address that is computed
                 as a function of the solicited target's address.  The
                 solicited-node multicast address is formed by taking
                 the low-order 32 bits of the target IP address and
                 appending those bits to the 96-bit prefix
                 FF02:0:0:0:0:1 to produce a multicast address within
                 the range FF02::1:0:0 to FF02::1:FFFF:FFFF.  For
                 example, the solicited node multicast address
                 corresponding to the IP address 4037::01:800:200E:8C6C
                 is FF02::1:200E:8C6C.  IP addresses that differ only in
                 the high-order bits, e.g., due to multiple high-order
                 prefixes associated with different providers, will map



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                 to the same solicited-node address thereby reducing the
                 number of multicast addresses a node must join.

   link-local address
               - a unicast address having link-only scope that can be
                 used to reach neighbors.  All interfaces on routers
                 MUST have a link-local address.  Also, [ADDRCONF]
                 requires that interfaces on hosts have a link-local
                 address.

   unspecified address
               - a reserved address value that indicates the lack of an
                 address (e.g., the address is unknown).  It is never
                 used as a destination address, but may be used as a
                 source address if the sender does not (yet) know its
                 own address (e.g., while verifying an address is unused
                 during address autoconfiguration [ADDRCONF]).  The
                 unspecified address has a value of 0:0:0:0:0:0:0:0.



2.4.  Requirements

Throughout this document, the words that are used to define the
significance of the particular requirements are capitalized.  These
words are:

   MUST
        This word or the adjective "REQUIRED" means that the item is an
        absolute requirement of this specification.

   MUST NOT
        This phrase means the item is an absolute prohibition of this
        specification.

   SHOULD
        This word or the adjective "RECOMMENDED" means that there may
        exist valid reasons in particular circumstances to ignore this
        item, but the full implications should be understood and the
        case carefully weighed before choosing a different course.

   SHOULD NOT
        This phrase means that there may exist valid reasons in
        particular circumstances when the listed behavior is acceptable
        or even useful, but the full implications should be understood
        and the case carefully weighted before implementing any behavior
        described with this label.




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   MAY  This word or the adjective "OPTIONAL" means that this item is
        truly optional.  One vendor may choose to include the item
        because a particular marketplace requires it or because it
        enhances the product, for example, another vendor may omit the
        same item.

This document also makes use of internal conceptual variables to
describe protocol behavior and external variables that an implementation
must allow system administrators to change.  The specific variable
names, how their values change, and how their settings influence
protocol behavior are provided to demonstrate protocol behavior.  An
implementation is not required to have them in the exact form described
here, so long as its external behavior is consistent with that described
in this document.


3.  PROTOCOL OVERVIEW

This protocol solves a set of problems related to the interaction
between nodes attached to the same link.  It defines mechanisms for
solving each of the following problems:

    Router Discovery: How hosts locate routers that reside on an
               attached link.

    Prefix Discovery: How hosts discover the set of address prefixes
               that define which destinations are on-link for an
               attached link.  (Nodes use prefixes to distinguish
               destinations that reside on-link from those only
               reachable through a router.)

    Parameter Discovery: How a node learns such link parameters as the
               link MTU or such Internet parameters as the hop limit
               value to place in outgoing packets.

    Address Autoconfiguration: How nodes automatically configure an
               address for an interface.

    Address resolution: How nodes determine the link-layer address of an
               on-link destination (e.g., a neighbor) given only the
               destination's IP address.

    Next-hop determination: The algorithm for mapping an IP destination
               address into the IP address of the neighbor to which
               traffic for the destination should be sent.  The next-hop
               can be a router or the destination itself.

    Neighbor Unreachability Detection: How nodes determine that a



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               neighbor is no longer reachable.  For neighbors used as
               routers, alternate default routers can be tried.  For
               both routers and hosts, address resolution can be
               performed again.

    Duplicate Address Detection: How a node determines that an address
               it wishes to use is not already in use by another node.

    Redirect:  How a router informs a host of a better first-hop node to
               reach a particular destination.

Neighbor Discovery defines five different ICMP packet types: A pair of
Router Solicitation and Router Advertisement messages, a pair of
Neighbor Solicitation and Neighbor Advertisements messages, and a
Redirect message.  The messages serve the following purpose:

    Router Solicitation: When an interface becomes enabled, hosts may
               send out Router Solicitations that request routers to
               generate Router Advertisements immediately rather than at
               their next scheduled time.

    Router Advertisement: Routers advertise their presence together with
               various link and Internet parameters either periodically,
               or in response to a Router Solicitation message.  Router
               Advertisements contain prefixes that are used for on-link
               determination and/or address configuration, a suggested
               hop limit value, etc.

    Neighbor Solicitation: Sent by a node to determine the link-layer
               address of a neighbor, or to verify that a neighbor is
               still reachable via a cached link-layer address.
               Neighbor Solicitations are also used for Duplicate
               Address Detection.

    Neighbor Advertisement: A response to a Neighbor Solicitation
               message.  A node may also send unsolicited Neighbor
               Advertisements to announce a link-layer address change.

    Redirect:  Used by routers to inform hosts of a better first hop for
               a destination.

On multicast-capable links, each router periodically multicasts a Router
Advertisement packet announcing its availability.  A host receives
Router Advertisements from all routers, building a list of default
routers.  Routers generate Router Advertisements frequently enough that
hosts will learn of their presence within a few minutes, but not
frequently enough to rely on an absence of advertisements to detect
router failure; a separate Neighbor Unreachability Detection algorithm



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provides failure detection.

Router Advertisements contain a list of prefixes used for on-link
determination and/or autonomous address configuration; flags associated
with the prefixes specify the intended uses of a particular prefix.
Hosts use the advertised on-link prefixes to build and maintain a list
that is used in deciding when a packet's destination is on-link or
beyond a router.  Note that a destination can be on-link even though it
is not covered by any advertised on-link prefix.  In such cases a router
can send a Redirect informing the sender that the destination is a
neighbor.

Router Advertisements (and per-prefix flags) allow routers to inform
hosts how to perform Address Autoconfiguration.  For example, routers
can specify whether hosts should use stateful (DHCPv6) and/or autonomous
(stateless) address configuration.  The exact semantics and usage of the
address configuration-related information is specified in [ADDRCONF].

Router Advertisement messages also contain Internet parameters such as
the hop limit that hosts should use in outgoing packets and, optionally,
link parameters such as the link MTU.  This facilitates centralized
administration of critical parameters that can be set on routers and
automatically propagated to all attached hosts.

Nodes accomplish address resolution by multicasting a Neighbor
Solicitation that asks the target node to return its link-layer address.
Neighbor Solicitation messages are multicast to the solicited-node
multicast address of the target address.  The target returns its link-
layer address in a unicast Neighbor Advertisement message.  A single
request-response pair of packets is sufficient for both the initiator
and the target to resolve each other's link-layer addresses; the
initiator includes its link-layer address in the Neighbor Solicitation.

Neighbor Solicitation messages can also be used to determine if more
than one node has been assigned the same unicast address.  The use of
Neighbor Solicitation messages for Duplicate Address Detection is
specified in [ADDRCONF].

Neighbor Unreachability Detection detects the failure of a neighbor or
the failure of the forward path to the neighbor.  Doing so requires
positive confirmation that packets sent to a neighbor are actually
reaching that neighbor and being processed properly by its IP layer.
Neighbor Unreachability Detection uses confirmation from two sources.
When possible, upper-layer protocols provide a positive confirmation
that a connection is making "forward progress", that is, previously sent
data is known to have been delivered correctly (e.g., new
acknowledgments were received recently).  When positive confirmation is
not forthcoming through such "hints", a node sends unicast Neighbor



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Solicitation messages that solicit Neighbor Advertisements as
reachability confirmation from the next hop.  To reduce unnecessary
network traffic, probe messages are only sent to neighbors to which the
node is actively sending packets.

In addition to addressing the above general problems, Neighbor Discovery
also handles the following situations:

     Link-layer address change - A node that knows its link-layer
          address has changed can multicast a few (unsolicited) Neighbor
          Advertisement packets to all nodes to quickly update cached
          link-layer addresses that have become invalid.  Note that the
          sending of unsolicited advertisements is a performance
          enhancement only (e.g., unreliable).  The Neighbor
          Unreachability Detection algorithm ensures that all nodes will
          reliably discover the new address, though the delay may be
          somewhat longer.

     Inbound load balancing - Nodes with replicated interfaces may want
          to load balance the reception of incoming packets across
          multiple network interfaces on the same link.  Such nodes have
          multiple link-layer addresses assigned to the same interface.
          For example, a single network driver could represent multiple
          network interface cards as a single logical interface having
          multiple link-layer addresses.  Load balancing is handled by
          allowing routers to omit the source link-layer address from
          Router Advertisement packets, thereby forcing neighbors to use
          Neighbor Solicitation messages to learn link-layer addresses
          of routers.  Returned Neighbor Advertisement messages can then
          contain link-layer addresses that differ depending on who
          issued the solicitation.

     Anycast addresses - Anycast addresses identify one of a set of
          nodes providing an equivalent service, and multiple nodes on
          the same link may be configured to recognize the same Anycast
          address.  Neighbor Discovery handles anycasts by having nodes
          expect to receive multiple Neighbor Advertisements for the
          same target.  All advertisements for anycast addresses are
          tagged as being non-Override advertisements.  This invokes
          specific rules to determine which of potentially multiple
          advertisements should be used.

     Proxy advertisements - A router willing to accept packets on behalf
          of a target address that is unable to respond to Neighbor
          Solicitations can issue non-Override Neighbor Advertisements.
          There is currently no specified use of proxy, but proxy
          advertising could potentially be used to handle cases like
          mobile nodes that have moved off-link.  However, it is not



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          intended as a general mechanism to handle nodes that, e.g., do
          not implement this protocol.



3.1.  Comparison with IPv4

The IPv6 Neighbor Discovery protocol corresponds to a combination of the
IPv4 protocols ARP [ARP], ICMP Router Discovery [RDISC], and ICMP
Redirect [ICMPv4].  In IPv4 there is no generally agreed upon protocol
or mechanism for Neighbor Unreachability Detection, although Hosts
Requirements [HR-CL] does specify some possible algorithms for Dead
Gateway Detection (a subset of the problems Neighbor Unreachability
Detection tackles).

The Neighbor Discovery protocol provides a multitude of improvements
over the IPv4 set of protocols:

     Router Discovery is part of the base protocol set; there is no need
     for hosts to "snoop" the routing protocols.

     Router advertisements carry link-layer addresses; no additional
     packet exchange is needed to resolve the router's link-layer
     address.

     Router advertisements carry prefixes for a link; there is no need
     to have a separate mechanism to configure the "netmask".

     Router advertisements enable Address Autoconfiguration.

     Routers can advertise an MTU for hosts to use on the link, ensuring
     that all nodes use the same MTU value on links lacking a well-
     defined MTU.

     Address resolution multicasts are "spread" over 4 billion (2^32)
     multicast addresses greatly reducing address resolution related
     interrupts on nodes other than the target.  Moreover, non-IPv6
     machines should not be interrupted at all.

     Redirects contain the link-layer address of the new first hop;
     separate address resolution is not needed upon receiving a
     redirect.

     Multiple prefixes can be associated with the same link.  By
     default, hosts learn all on-link prefixes from Router
     Advertisements.  However, routers may be configured to omit some or
     all prefixes from Router Advertisements.  In such cases hosts
     assume that destinations are off-link and send traffic to routers.



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     A router can then issue redirects as appropriate.

     Unlike IPv4, the recipient of an IPv6 redirect assumes that the new
     next-hop is on-link.  In IPv4, a host ignores redirects specifying
     a next-hop that is not on-link according to the link's network
     mask.  The IPv6 redirect mechanism is analogous to the XRedirect
     facility specified in [SH-MEDIA].  It is expected to be useful on
     non-broadcast and shared media links in which it is undesirable or
     not possible for nodes to know all prefixes for on-link
     destinations.

     Neighbor Unreachability Detection is part of the base significantly
     improving the robustness of packet delivery in the presence of
     failing routers, partially failing or partitioned links and nodes
     that change their link-layer addresses.  For instance, mobile nodes
     can move off-link without losing any connectivity due to stale ARP
     caches.

     Unlike ARP, Neighbor Discovery detects half-link failures (using
     Neighbor Unreachability Detection) and avoids sending traffic to
     neighbors with which two-way connectivity is absent.

     Unlike in IPv4 Router Discovery the Router Advertisement messages
     do not contain a preference field.  The preference field is not
     needed to handle routers of different "stability"; the Neighbor
     Unreachability Detection will detect dead routers and switch to a
     working one.

     The use of link-local addresses to uniquely identify routers (for
     Router Advertisement and Redirect messages) makes it possible for
     hosts to maintain the router associations in the event of the site
     renumbering to use new global prefixes.

     Using the Hop Limit equal to 255 trick Neighbor Discovery is immune
     to off-link senders that accidentally or intentionally send ND
     messages.  In IPv4 off-link senders can send both ICMP Redirects
     and Router Advertisement messages.

     Placing address resolution at the ICMP layer makes the protocol
     more media-independent than ARP and makes it possible to use
     standard IP authentication and security mechanisms as appropriate
     [IPv6-AUTH, IPv6-ESP].



3.2.  Supported Link Types

Neighbor Discovery supports links with different properties.  In the



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presence of certain properties only a subset of the ND protocol
mechanisms are fully specified in this document:

   point-to-point - Neighbor Discovery handles such links just like
                    multicast links.  (Multicast can be trivially
                    provided on point to point links, and interfaces can
                    be assigned link-local addresses.)  Neighbor
                    Discovery should be implemented as described in this
                    document.

   multicast      - Neighbor Discovery should be implemented as
                    described in this document.

   non-broadcast multiple access (NBMA)
                  - Redirect, Neighbor Unreachability Detection and
                    next-hop determination should be implemented as
                    described in this document.  Address resolution, and
                    the mechanism for delivering Router Solicitations
                    and Advertisements on NBMA links is not specified in
                    this document.  Note that if hosts support manual
                    configuration of a list of default routers, hosts
                    can dynamically acquire the link-layer addresses for
                    their neighbors from Redirect messages.

   shared media   - The Redirect message is modeled after the XRedirect
                    message in [SH-MEDIA] in order to simplify use of
                    the protocol on shared media links.

                    This specification does not address shared media
                    issues that only relate to routers, such as:

                     - How routers exchange reachability information on
                       a shared media link.

                     - How a router determines the link-layer address of
                       a host, which it needs to send redirect messages
                       to the host.

                     - How a router determines that it is the first-hop
                       router for a received packet.

                    The protocol is extensible (through the definition
                    of new options) so that other solutions might be
                    possible in the future.

   variable MTU   - Neighbor Discovery allows routers to specify a MTU
                    for the link, which all nodes then use.  All nodes
                    on a link must use the same MTU (or Maximum Receive



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                    Unit) in order for multicast to work properly.
                    Otherwise when multicasting a sender, which can not
                    know which nodes will receive the packet, could not
                    determine a minimum packet size all receivers can
                    process.

   asymmetric reachability
                  - Neighbor Discovery detects the absence of symmetric
                    reachability; a node avoids paths to a neighbor with
                    which it does not have symmetric connectivity.

                    The Neighbor Unreachability Detection will typically
                    identify such half-links and the node will refrain
                    from using them.

                    The protocol can presumably be extended in the
                    future to find viable paths in environments that
                    lack reflexive and transitive connectivity.



4.  MESSAGE FORMATS


4.1.  Router Solicitation Message Format

Hosts send Router Solicitations in order to prompt routers to generate
Router Advertisements quickly.

      0                   1                   2                   3
      0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1
     +-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+
     |     Type      |     Code      |          Checksum             |
     +-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+
     |                            Reserved                           |
     +-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+
     |   Options ...
     +-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-

IP Fields:

   Source Address
                  An IP address assigned to the sending interface, or
                  the unspecified address if no address is assigned to
                  the sending interface.

   Destination Address
                  Typically the all-routers multicast address.



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   Hop Limit      255

   Priority       15

   Authentication Header
                  If a Security Association for the IP Authentication
                  Header exists between the sender and the destination
                  address, then the sender SHOULD include this header.

ICMP Fields:

   Type           133

   Code           0

   Checksum       The ICMP checksum.  See [ICMPv6].

   Reserved       This field is unused.  It MUST be initialized to zero
                  by the sender and MUST be ignored by the receiver.

Valid Options:

   Source link-layer address
                  The link-layer address of the sender, if known.

   Future versions of this protocol may define new option types.
   Receivers MUST silently ignore any options they do not recognize and
   continue processing the message.



4.2.  Router Advertisement Message Format

Routers send out Router Advertisement message periodically, or in
response to a Router Solicitation.
















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      0                   1                   2                   3
      0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1
     +-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+
     |     Type      |     Code      |          Checksum             |
     +-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+
     | Cur Hop Limit |M|O|  Reserved |       Router Lifetime         |
     +-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+
     |                         Reachable Time                        |
     +-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+
     |                          Retrans Timer                        |
     +-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+
     |   Options ...
     +-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-

IP Fields:

   Source Address
                  MUST be the link-local address assigned to the
                  interface from which this message is sent.

   Destination Address
                  Typically the Source Address of an invoking Router
                  Solicitation or the all-nodes multicast address.

   Hop Limit      255

   Priority       15

   Authentication Header
                  If a Security Association for the IP Authentication
                  Header exists between the sender and the destination
                  address, then the sender SHOULD include this header.

ICMP Fields:

   Type           134

   Code           0

   Checksum       The ICMP checksum.  See [ICMPv6].

   Cur Hop Limit  8-bit unsigned integer.  The default value that should
                  be placed in the Hop Count field of the IP header for
                  outgoing IP packets.  A value of zero means
                  unspecified (by this router).

   M              1-bit "Managed address configuration" flag.  When set,
                  hosts use the administered (stateful) protocol for



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                  address autoconfiguration in addition to any addresses
                  autoconfigured using stateless address
                  autoconfiguration.  The use of this flag is described
                  in [ADDRCONF].

   O              1-bit "Other stateful configuration" flag.  When set,
                  hosts use the administered (stateful) protocol for
                  autoconfiguration of other (non-address) information.
                  The use of this flag is described in [ADDRCONF].

   Reserved       A 6-bit unused field.  It MUST be initialized to zero
                  by the sender and MUST be ignored by the receiver.

   Router Lifetime
                  16-bit unsigned integer.  The lifetime associated with
                  the default router in units of seconds.  The maximum
                  value corresponds to 18.2 hours.  A Lifetime of 0
                  indicates that the router is not a default router and
                  SHOULD NOT appear on the default router list.  The
                  Router Lifetime applies only to the router's
                  usefulness as a default router; it does not apply to
                  information contained in other message fields or
                  options.  Options that need time limits for their
                  information include their own lifetime fields.

   Reachable Time 32-bit unsigned integer.  The time, in milliseconds,
                  that a node assumes a neighbor is reachable after
                  having received a reachability confirmation.  Used by
                  the Neighbor Unreachability Detection algorithm (see
                  Section 7.3).  A value of zero means unspecified (by
                  this router).

   Retrans Timer  32-bit unsigned integer.  The time, in milliseconds,
                  between retransmitted Neighbor Solicitation messages.
                  Used by address resolution and the Neighbor
                  Unreachability Detection algorithm (see Sections 7.2
                  and 7.3).  A value of zero means unspecified (by this
                  router).

Possible options:

   Source link-layer address
                  The link-layer address of the interface from which the
                  Router Advertisement is sent.  Only used on link
                  layers that have addresses.  A router MAY omit this
                  option in order to enable inbound load sharing across
                  multiple link-layer addresses.




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   MTU            SHOULD be sent on links that have a variable MTU (as
                  specified in the document that describes how to run IP
                  over the particular link type).  MAY be sent on other
                  links.

   Prefix Information
                  These options specify the prefixes that are on-link
                  and/or are used for address autoconfiguration.  A
                  router SHOULD include all its on-link prefixes (except
                  the link-local prefix) so that multihomed hosts have
                  complete prefix information about on-link destinations
                  for the links to which they attach.  If complete
                  information is lacking, a multihomed host may not be
                  able to chose the correct outgoing interface when
                  sending traffic to its neighbors.

   Future versions of this protocol may define new option types.
   Receivers MUST silently ignore any options they do not recognize and
   continue processing the message.



4.3.  Neighbor Solicitation Message Format

Nodes send Neighbor Solicitations to request the link-layer address of a
target node while also providing their own link-layer address to the
target.  Neighbor Solicitations are multicast when the node needs to
resolve an address and unicast when the node seeks to verify the
reachability of a neighbor.






















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      0                   1                   2                   3
      0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1
     +-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+
     |     Type      |     Code      |          Checksum             |
     +-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+
     |                           Reserved                            |
     +-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+
     |                                                               |
     +                                                               +
     |                                                               |
     +                       Target Address                          +
     |                                                               |
     +                                                               +
     |                                                               |
     +-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+
     |   Options ...
     +-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-

IP Fields:

   Source Address
                  Either an address assigned to the interface from which
                  this message is sent or (if Duplicate Address
                  Detection is in progress [ADDRCONF]) the unspecified
                  address.

   Destination Address
                  Either the solicited-node multicast address
                  corresponding to the target address, or the target
                  address.

   Hop Limit      255

   Priority       15

   Authentication Header
                  If a Security Association for the IP Authentication
                  Header exists between the sender and the destination
                  address, then the sender SHOULD include this header.

ICMP Fields:

   Type           135

   Code           0

   Checksum       The ICMP checksum.  See [ICMPv6].




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   Reserved       This field is unused.  It MUST be initialized to zero
                  by the sender and MUST be ignored by the receiver.

   Target Address
                  The IP address of the target of the solicitation.  It
                  MUST NOT be a multicast address.

Possible options:

   Source link-layer address
                  The link-layer address for the sender.  On link layers
                  that have addresses this option MUST be included in
                  multicast solicitations and SHOULD be included in
                  unicast solicitations.

   Future versions of this protocol may define new option types.
   Receivers MUST silently ignore any options they do not recognize and
   continue processing the message.



4.4.  Neighbor Advertisement Message Format

A node sends Neighbor Advertisements in response to Neighbor
Solicitations and sends unsolicited Neighbor Advertisements in order to
(unreliably) propagate new information quickly.

      0                   1                   2                   3
      0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1
     +-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+
     |     Type      |     Code      |          Checksum             |
     +-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+
     |R|S|O|                     Reserved                            |
     +-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+
     |                                                               |
     +                                                               +
     |                                                               |
     +                       Target Address                          +
     |                                                               |
     +                                                               +
     |                                                               |
     +-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+
     |   Options ...
     +-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-

IP Fields:

   Source Address



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                  An address assigned to the interface from which the
                  advertisement is sent.

   Destination Address
                  For solicited advertisements, the Source Address of an
                  invoking Neighbor Solicitation or, if the
                  solicitation's Source Address is the unspecified
                  address, the all-nodes multicast address.

                  For unsolicited advertisements typically the all-nodes
                  multicast address.

   Hop Limit      255

   Priority       15

   Authentication Header
                  If a Security Association for the IP Authentication
                  Header exists between the sender and the destination
                  address, then the sender SHOULD include this header.

ICMP Fields:

   Type           136

   Code           0

   Checksum       The ICMP checksum.  See [ICMPv6].

   R              Router flag.  When set, the R-bit indicates that the
                  sender is a router.  The R-bit is used by Neighbor
                  Unreachability Detection to detect a router that
                  changes to a host.

   S              Solicited flag.  When set, the S-bit indicates that
                  the advertisement was sent in response to a Neighbor
                  Solicitation from the Destination address.  The S-bit
                  is used as a reachability confirmation for Neighbor
                  Unreachability Detection.  It MUST NOT be set in
                  multicast advertisements or in unsolicited unicast
                  advertisements.

   O              Override flag.  When set, the O-bit indicates that the
                  advertisement should override an existing cache entry
                  and update the cached link-layer address.  When it is
                  not set the advertisement will not update a cached
                  link-layer address though it will update an existing
                  Neighbor Cache entry for which no link-layer address



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                  is known.  It SHOULD NOT be set in solicited
                  advertisements for anycast addresses and in solicited
                  proxy advertisements.  It SHOULD be set in other
                  solicited advertisements and in unsolicited
                  advertisements.

   Reserved       29-bit unused field.  It MUST be initialized to zero
                  by the sender and MUST be ignored by the receiver.

   Target Address
                  For solicited advertisements, the Target Address field
                  in the Neighbor Solicitation message that prompted
                  this advertisement.  For an unsolicited advertisement,
                  the address whose link-layer address has changed.  The
                  Target Address MUST NOT be a multicast address.

Possible options:

   Target link-layer address
                  The link-layer address for the target, i.e., the
                  sender of the advertisement.  MUST be included on link
                  layers that have addresses.

   Future versions of this protocol may define new option types.
   Receivers MUST silently ignore any options they do not recognize and
   continue processing the message.



4.5.  Redirect Message Format

Routers send Redirect packets to inform a host of a better first-hop
node on the path to a destination.  Hosts can be redirected to a better
first-hop router but can also be informed by a redirect that the
destination is in fact a neighbor.  The latter is accomplished by
setting the ICMP Target Address equal to the ICMP Destination Address.















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      0                   1                   2                   3
      0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1
     +-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+
     |     Type      |     Code      |          Checksum             |
     +-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+
     |                           Reserved                            |
     +-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+
     |                                                               |
     +                                                               +
     |                                                               |
     +                       Target Address                          +
     |                                                               |
     +                                                               +
     |                                                               |
     +-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+
     |                                                               |
     +                                                               +
     |                                                               |
     +                     Destination Address                       +
     |                                                               |
     +                                                               +
     |                                                               |
     +-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+
     |   Options ...
     +-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-

IP Fields:

   Source Address
                  MUST be the link-local address assigned to the
                  interface from which this message is sent.

   Destination Address
                  The Source Address of the packet that triggered the
                  redirect.

   Hop Limit      255

   Priority       15

   Authentication Header
                  If a Security Association for the IP Authentication
                  Header exists between the sender and the destination
                  address, then the sender SHOULD include this header.

ICMP Fields:

   Type           137



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   Code           0

   Checksum       The ICMP checksum.  See [ICMPv6].

   Reserved       This field is unused.  It MUST be initialized to zero
                  by the sender and MUST be ignored by the receiver.

   Target Address An IP address that is a better first hop to use for
                  the ICMP Destination Address.  When the target is the
                  actual endpoint of communication, i.e., the
                  destination is a neighbor, the Target Address field
                  MUST contain the same value as the ICMP Destination
                  Address field.  Otherwise the target is a better
                  first-hop router and the Target Address MUST be the
                  router's link-local address so that hosts can uniquely
                  identify routers.

   Destination Address
                  The IP address of the destination which is redirected
                  to the target.

Possible options:

   Target link-layer address
                  The link-layer address for the target.  It SHOULD be
                  included (if known).  Note that on NBMA links, hosts
                  may rely on the presence of the Target Link-Layer
                  Address option in Redirect messages as the means for
                  determining the link-layer addresses of neighbors.  In
                  such cases, the option MUST be included in Redirect
                  messages.

   Redirected Header
                  As much as possible of the IP packet that triggered
                  the sending of the Redirect without making the
                  redirect packet exceed 576 octets.



4.6.  Option Formats

Neighbor Discovery messages include zero or more options, some of which
may appear multiple times in the same message.  All options are of the
form:







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      0                   1                   2                   3
      0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1
     +-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+
     |     Type      |    Length     |              ...              |
     +-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+
     ~                              ...                              ~
     +-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+

Fields:

   Type           8-bit identifier of the type of option.  The options
                  defined in this document are:

                        Option Name                             Type

                     Source Link-Layer Address                    1
                     Target Link-Layer Address                    2
                     Prefix Information                           3
                     Redirected Header                            4
                     MTU                                          5


   Length         8-bit unsigned integer.  The length of the option in
                  units of 8 octets.  The value 0 is invalid.  Nodes
                  MUST silently discard an ND packet that contains an
                  option with length zero.



4.6.1.  Source/Target Link-layer Address

      0                   1                   2                   3
      0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1
     +-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+
     |     Type      |    Length     |    Link-Layer Address ...
     +-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+

Fields:

   Type
                  1 for Source Link-layer Address
                  2 for Target Link-layer Address

   Length         The length of the option in units of 8 octets.  For
                  example, the length for IEEE 802 addresses is 1
                  [IPv6-ETHER].

   Link-Layer Address



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                  The variable length link-layer address.

                  The content and format of this field (including byte
                  and bit ordering) is expected to be specified in
                  specific documents that describe how IPv6 operates
                  over different link layers.  For instance, [IPv6-
                  ETHER].

Description
                  The Source Link-Layer Address option contains the
                  link-layer address of the sender of the packet.  It is
                  used in the Neighbor Solicitation, Router
                  Solicitation, and Router Advertisement packets.

                  The Target Link-Layer Address option contains the
                  link-layer address of the target.  It is used in
                  Neighbor Advertisement and Redirect packets.

                  These options MUST be silently ignored for other
                  Neighbor Discovery messages.



4.6.2.  Prefix Information

      0                   1                   2                   3
      0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1
     +-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+
     |     Type      |    Length     | Prefix Length |L|A| Reserved1 |
     +-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+
     |                         Valid Lifetime                        |
     +-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+
     |                       Preferred Lifetime                      |
     +-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+
     |                           Reserved2                           |
     +-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+
     |                                                               |
     +                                                               +
     |                                                               |
     +                            Prefix                             +
     |                                                               |
     +                                                               +
     |                                                               |
     +-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+

Fields:

   Type           3



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   Length         4

   Prefix Length  8-bit unsigned integer.  The number of leading bits in
                  the Prefix that are valid.  The value ranges from 0 to
                  128.

   L              1-bit on-link flag.  When set, indicates that this
                  prefix can be used for on-link determination.  When
                  not set the advertisement makes no statement about
                  on-link or off-link properties of the prefix.  For
                  instance, the prefix might be used for address
                  configuration with some of the addresses belonging to
                  the prefix being on-link and others being off-link.

   A              1-bit autonomous address-configuration flag.  When set
                  indicates that this prefix can be used for autonomous
                  address configuration as specified in [ADDRCONF].

   Reserved1      6-bit unused field.  It MUST be initialized to zero by
                  the sender and MUST be ignored by the receiver.

   Valid Lifetime
                  32-bit unsigned integer.  The length of time in
                  seconds (relative to the time the packet is sent) that
                  the prefix is valid for the purpose of on-link
                  determination.  A value of all one bits (0xffffffff)
                  represents infinity.  The Valid Lifetime is also used
                  by [ADDRCONF].

   Preferred Lifetime
                  32-bit unsigned integer.  The length of time in
                  seconds (relative to the time the packet is sent) that
                  addresses generated from the prefix via stateless
                  address autoconfiguration remain preferred [ADDRCONF].
                  A value of all one bits (0xffffffff) represents
                  infinity.  See [ADDRCONF].

   Reserved2      This field is unused.  It MUST be initialized to zero
                  by the sender and MUST be ignored by the receiver.

   Prefix         An IP address or a prefix of an IP address.  The
                  Prefix Length field contains the number of valid
                  leading bits in the prefix.  The bits in the prefix
                  after the prefix length are reserved and MUST be
                  initialized to zero by the sender and ignored by the
                  receiver.  A router SHOULD NOT send a prefix option
                  for the link-local prefix and a host SHOULD ignore
                  such a prefix option.



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Description
                  The Prefix Information option provide hosts with on-
                  link prefixes and prefixes for Address
                  Autoconfiguration.

                  The Prefix Information option appears in Router
                  Advertisement packets and MUST be silently ignored for
                  other messages.



4.6.3.  Redirected Header

      0                   1                   2                   3
      0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1
     +-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+
     |     Type      |    Length     |            Reserved           |
     +-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+
     |                           Reserved                            |
     +-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+
     |                                                               |
     ~                       IP header + data                        ~
     |                                                               |
     +-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+

Fields:

   Type           4

   Length         The length of the option in units of 8 octets.

   Reserved       These fields are unused.  They MUST be initialized to
                  zero by the sender and MUST be ignored by the
                  receiver.

   IP header + data
                  The original packet truncated to ensure that the size
                  of the redirect message does not exceed 576 octets.

Description
                  The Redirected Header option is used in Redirect
                  messages and contains all or part of the packet that
                  is being redirected.

                  This option MUST be silently ignored for other
                  Neighbor Discovery messages.





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4.6.4.  MTU

      0                   1                   2                   3
      0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1
     +-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+
     |     Type      |    Length     |           Reserved            |
     +-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+
     |                              MTU                              |
     +-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+

Fields:

   Type           5

   Length         1

   Reserved       This field is unused.  It MUST be initialized to zero
                  by the sender and MUST be ignored by the receiver.

   MTU            32-bit unsigned integer.  The recommended MTU for the
                  link.

Description
                  The MTU option is used in  Router Advertisement
                  messages to insure that all nodes on a link use the
                  same MTU value in those cases where the link MTU is
                  not well known.

                  This option MUST be silently ignored for other
                  Neighbor Discovery messages.

                  In configurations in which heterogeneous technologies
                  are bridged together, the maximum supported MTU may
                  differ from one segment to another.  If the bridges do
                  not generate ICMP Packet Too Big messages,
                  communicating nodes will be unable to use Path MTU to
                  dynamically determine the appropriate MTU on a per-
                  neighbor basis.  In such cases, routers use the MTU
                  option to specify an MTU value supported by all
                  segments.











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5.  CONCEPTUAL MODEL OF A HOST

This section describes a conceptual model of one possible data structure
organization that hosts (and to some extent routers) will maintain in
interacting with neighboring nodes.  The described organization is
provided to facilitate the explanation of how the Neighbor Discovery
protocol should behave.  This document does not mandate that
implementations adhere to this model as long as their external behavior
is consistent with that described in this document.

This model is only concerned with the aspects of host behavior directly
related to Neighbor Discovery.  In particular, it does not concern
itself with such issues as source address selection or the selecting of
an outgoing interface on a multihomed host.


5.1.  Conceptual Data Structures

Hosts will need to maintain the following pieces of information for each
interface:

   Neighbor Cache
                - A set of entries about individual neighbors to which
                  traffic has been sent recently.  Entries are keyed on
                  the neighbor's on-link unicast IP address and contain
                  such information as its link-layer address, a flag
                  indicating whether the neighbor is a router or a host
                  (called IsRouter in this document), a pointer to any
                  queued packets waiting for address resolution to
                  complete, etc.

                  A Neighbor Cache entry also contains information used
                  by the Neighbor Unreachability Detection algorithm,
                  including the reachability state, the number of
                  unanswered probes, and the time the next Neighbor
                  Unreachability Detection event is scheduled to take
                  place.

   Destination Cache
                - A set of entries about destinations to which traffic
                  has been sent recently.  The Destination Cache
                  includes both on-link and off-link destinations and
                  provides a level of indirection into the Neighbor
                  Cache; the Destination Cache maps a destination IP
                  address to the IP address of the next-hop neighbor.
                  This cache is updated with information learned from
                  Redirect messages.  Implementations may find it
                  convenient to store additional information not



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                  directly related to Neighbor Discovery in Destination
                  Cache entries, such as the Path MTU (PMTU) and round
                  trip timers maintained by transport protocols.

   Prefix List  - A list of the prefixes that define a set of addresses
                  that are on-link.  Prefix List entries are created
                  from information received in Router Advertisements.
                  Each entry has an associated invalidation timer value
                  (extracted from the advertisement) used to expire
                  prefixes when they become invalid.  A special
                  "infinity" timer value specifies that a prefix remains
                  valid forever, unless a new (finite) value is received
                  in a subsequent advertisement.

                  The link-local prefix is considered to be on the
                  prefix list with an infinite invalidation timer
                  regardless of whether routers are advertising a prefix
                  for it.  Received Router Advertisements SHOULD NOT
                  modify the invalidation timer for the link-local
                  prefix.

   Default Router List
                - A list of routers to which packets may be sent.
                  Router list entries point to entries in the Neighbor
                  Cache; the algorithm for selecting a default router
                  favors routers known to be reachable over those whose
                  reachability is suspect.  Each entry also has an
                  associated invalidation timer value (extracted from
                  Router Advertisements) used to delete entries that are
                  no longer advertised.

Note that the above conceptual data structures can be implemented using
a variety of techniques.  One possible implementation is to use a single
longest-match routing table for all of the above data structures.
Regardless of the specific implementation, it is critical that the
Neighbor Cache entry for a router is shared by all Destination Cache
entries using that router in order to prevent redundant Neighbor
Unreachability Detection probes.

Note also that other protocols (e.g. IPv6 Mobility) might add additional
conceptual data structures.  An implementation is at liberty to
implement such data structures in any way it pleases.  For example, an
implementation could merge all conceptual data structures into a single
routing table.

The Neighbor Cache contains information maintained by the Neighbor
Unreachability Detection algorithm.  A key piece of information is a
neighbor's reachability state, which is one of five possible values.



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The following definitions are informal; precise definitions can be found
in Section 7.3.2.

   INCOMPLETE  Address resolution is in progress and the link-layer
               address of the neighbor has not yet been determined.

   REACHABLE   Roughly speaking, the neighbor is known to have been
               reachable recently (within tens of seconds ago).

   STALE       The neighbor is no longer known to be reachable but until
               traffic is sent to the neighbor, no attempt should be
               made to verify its reachability.

   DELAY       The neighbor is no longer known to be reachable, and
               traffic has recently be sent to the neighbor.  Rather
               than probe the neighbor immediately, however, delay
               sending probes for a short while in order to give upper
               layer protocols a chance to provide reachability
               confirmation.

   PROBE       The neighbor is no longer known to be reachable, and
               unicast Neighbor Solicitation probes are being sent to
               verify reachability.



5.2.  Conceptual Sending Algorithm

When sending a packet to a destination, a node uses a combination of the
Destination Cache, the Prefix List, and the Default Router List to
determine the IP address of the appropriate next hop, an operation known
as "next-hop determination".  Once the IP address of the next hop is
known, the Neighbor Cache is consulted for link-layer information about
that neighbor.

Next-hop determination for a given unicast destination operates as
follows.  The sender performs a longest prefix match against the Prefix
List to determine whether the packet's destination is on- or off-link.
If the destination is on-link, the next-hop address is the same as the
packet's destination address.  Otherwise, the sender selects a router
from the Default Router List (following the rules described in Section
6.3.6).  If the Default Router List is empty, the sender assumes that
the destination is on-link.

For efficiency reasons, next-hop determination is not performed on every
packet that is sent.  Instead, the results of next-hop determination
computations are saved in the Destination Cache (which also contains
updates learned from Redirect messages).  When the sending node has a



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packet to send, it first examines the Destination Cache.  If no entry
exists for the destination, next-hop determination is invoked to create
a Destination Cache entry.

Once the IP address of the next-hop node is known, the sender examines
the Neighbor Cache for link-layer information about that neighbor.  If
no entry exists, the sender creates one, sets its state to INCOMPLETE,
initiates Address Resolution, and then queues the data packet pending
completion of address resolution.  For multicast-capable interfaces
Address Resolution consists of sending a Neighbor Solicitation message
and waiting for a Neighbor Advertisement.  When a Neighbor Advertisement
response is received, the link-layer addresses is entered in the
Neighbor Cache entry and the queued packet is transmitted.  The address
resolution mechanism is described in detail in Section 7.2.

For multicast packets the next-hop is always the (multicast) destination
address and is considered to be on-link.  The procedure for determining
the link-layer address corresponding to a given IP multicast address can
be found in a separate document that covers operating IP over a
particular link type (e.g., [IPv6-ETHER]).

Each time a Neighbor Cache entry is accessed while transmitting a
unicast packet, the sender checks Neighbor Unreachability Detection
related information according to the Neighbor Unreachability Detection
algorithm (Section 7.3).  This unreachability check might result in the
sender transmitting a unicast Neighbor Solicitation to verify that the
neighbor is still reachable.

Next-hop determination is done the first time traffic is sent to a
destination.  As long as subsequent communication to that destination
proceeds successfully, the Destination Cache entry continues to be used.
If at some point communication ceases to proceed, as determined by the
Neighbor Unreachability Detection algorithm, next-hop determination may
need to be performed again.  For example, traffic through a failed
router should be switched to a working router.  Likewise, it may be
possible to reroute traffic destined for a mobile node to a "mobility
agent".

Note that when a node redoes next-hop determination there is no need to
discard the complete Destination Cache entry.  In fact, it is generally
beneficial to retain such cached information as the PMTU and round trip
timer values that may also be kept in the Destination Cache entry.

Routers and multihomed hosts have multiple interfaces.  The remainder of
this document assumes that all sent and received Neighbor Discovery
messages refer to the interface of appropriate context.  For example,
when responding to a Router Solicitation, the corresponding Router
Advertisement is sent out the interface on which the solicitation was



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received.


5.3.  Garbage Collection and Timeout Requirements

The conceptual data structures described above use different mechanisms
for discarding potentially stale or unused information.

From the perspective of correctness there is no need to periodically
purge Destination and Neighbor Cache entries.  Although stale
information can potentially remain in the cache indefinitely, the
Neighbor Unreachability Detection algorithm ensures that stale
information is purged quickly if it is actually being used.

To limit the storage needed for the Destination and Neighbor Caches, a
node may need to garbage-collect old entries.  However, care must be
taken to insure that sufficient space is always present to hold the
working set of active entries.  A small cache may result in an excessive
number of Neighbor Discovery messages if entries are discarded and
rebuilt in quick succession.  Any LRU-based policy that only reclaims
entries that have not been used in some time (e.g., ten minutes or more)
should be adequate for garbage-collecting unused entries.

A node should retain entries in the Default Router List and the Prefix
List until their lifetimes expire.  However, a node may garbage collect
entries prematurely if it is low on memory.  If not all routers are kept
on the Default Router list, a node should retain at least two entries in
the Default Router List (and preferably more) in order to maintain
robust connectivity for off-link destinations.

When removing an entry from the Prefix List there is no need to purge
any entries from the Destination or Neighbor Caches.  Neighbor
Unreachability Detection will efficiently purge any entries in these
caches that have become invalid.  When removing an entry from the
Default Router List, however, any entries in the Destination Cache that
go through that router must perform next-hop determination again to
select a new default router.


6.  ROUTER AND PREFIX DISCOVERY

This section describes router and host behavior related to the Router
Discovery portion of Neighbor Discovery.  Router Discovery is used to
locate neighboring routers as well as learn prefixes and configuration
parameters related to address autoconfiguration.

Prefix Discovery is the process through which hosts learn the ranges of
IP addresses that reside on-link and can be reached directly without



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going through a router.  Routers send Router Advertisements that
indicate whether the sender is willing to be a default router.  Router
Advertisements also contain Prefix Information options that list the set
of prefixes that identify on-link IP addresses.

Stateless Address Autoconfiguration must also obtain subnet prefixes as
part of configuring addresses.  Although the prefixes used for address
autoconfiguration are logically distinct from those used for on-link
determination, autoconfiguration information is piggybacked on Router
Discovery messages to reduce network traffic.  Indeed, the same prefixes
can be advertised for on-link determination and address
autoconfiguration by specifying the appropriate flags in the Prefix
Information options.  See [ADDRCONF] for details on how
autoconfiguration information is processed.


6.1.  Message Validation


6.1.1.  Validation of Router Solicitation Messages

Hosts MUST silently discard any received Router Solicitation Messages.

A router MUST silently discard any received Router Solicitation messages
that do not satisfy all of the following validity checks:

   - The IP Hop Limit field has a value of 255, i.e., the packet could
     not possibly have been forwarded by a router.

   - If the message includes an IP Authentication Header, the message
     authenticates correctly.

   - ICMP Checksum is valid.

   - ICMP Code is 0.

   - ICMP length (derived from the IP length) is 8 or more octets.

   - All included options have a length that is greater than zero.

The contents of the Reserved field, and of any unrecognized options,
MUST be ignored.  Future, backward-compatible changes to the protocol
may specify the contents of the Reserved field or add new options;
backward-incompatible changes may use different Code values.

The contents of any defined options that are not specified to be used
with Router Solicitation messages MUST be ignored and the packet
processed as normal.  The only defined option that may appear is the



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Source Link-Layer Address option.

A solicitation that passes the validity checks is called a "valid
solicitation".


6.1.2.  Validation of Router Advertisement Messages

A node MUST silently discard any received Router Advertisement messages
that do not satisfy all of the following validity checks:

   - IP Source Address is a link-local address.  Routers must use their
     link-local address as the source for Router Advertisement and
     Redirect messages so that hosts can uniquely identify routers.

   - The IP Hop Limit field has a value of 255, i.e., the packet could
     not possibly have been forwarded by a router.

   - If the message includes an IP Authentication Header, the message
     authenticates correctly.

   - ICMP Checksum is valid.

   - ICMP Code is 0.

   - ICMP length (derived from the IP length) is 16 or more octets.

   - All included options have a length that is greater than zero.

The contents of the Reserved field, and of any unrecognized options,
MUST be ignored.  Future, backward-compatible changes to the protocol
may specify the contents of the Reserved field or add new options;
backward-incompatible changes may use different Code values.

The contents of any defined options that are not specified to be used
with Router Advertisement messages MUST be ignored and the packet
processed as normal.  The only defined options that may appear are the
Source Link-Layer Address, Prefix Information and MTU options.

An advertisement that passes the validity checks is called a "valid
advertisement".


6.2.  Router Specification







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6.2.1.  Router Configuration Variables

A router MUST allow for the following conceptual variables to be
configured by system management.  The specific variable names are used
for demonstration purposes only, and an implementation is not required
to have them, so long as its external behavior is consistent with that
described in this document.  Default values are specified to simplify
configuration in common cases.

The default values for some of the variables listed below may be
overridden by specific documents that describe how IPv6 operates over
different link layers.  This rule simplifies the configuration of
Neighbor Discovery over link types with widely differing performance
characteristics.

For each multicast interface:

     AdvSendAdvertisements
                    A flag indicating whether or not the router sends
                    periodic Router Advertisements and responds to
                    Router Solicitations.

                    Default: FALSE

                    Note that AdvSendAdvertisements MUST be false by
                    default so that a node will not accidentally start
                    acting as a router unless it is explicitly
                    configured by system management to send Router
                    Advertisements.

     MaxRtrAdvInterval
                    The maximum time allowed between sending unsolicited
                    multicast Router Advertisements from the interface,
                    in seconds.  MUST be no less than 4 seconds and no
                    greater than 1800 seconds.

                    Default: 600 seconds

     MinRtrAdvInterval
                    The minimum time allowed between sending unsolicited
                    multicast Router Advertisements from the interface,
                    in seconds.  MUST be no less than 3 seconds and no
                    greater than .75 * MaxRtrAdvInterval.

                    Default: 0.33 * MaxRtrAdvInterval

     AdvManagedFlag
                    The true/false value to be placed in the "Managed



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                    address configuration" flag field in the Router
                    Advertisement.  See [ADDRCONF].

                    Default: FALSE

     AdvOtherConfigFlag
                    The true/false value to be placed in the "Other
                    stateful configuration" flag field in the Router
                    Advertisement.  See [ADDRCONF].

                    Default: FALSE

     AdvLinkMTU     The value to be placed in MTU options sent by the
                    router.  A value of zero indicates that no MTU
                    options are sent.

                    Default: 0

     AdvReachableTime
                    The value to be placed in the Reachable Time field
                    in the Router Advertisement messages sent by the
                    router.  The value zero means unspecified (by this
                    router).  MUST be no greater than 3,600,000
                    milliseconds (1 hour).

                    Default: 0

     AdvRetransTimer
                    The value to be placed in the Retrans Timer field in
                    the Router Advertisement messages sent by the
                    router.  The value zero means unspecified (by this
                    router).

                    Default: 0

     AdvCurHopLimit
                    The default value to be placed in the Cur Hop Limit
                    field in the Router Advertisement messages sent by
                    the router.  The value should be set to that current
                    diameter of the Internet.  The value zero means
                    unspecified (by this router).

                    Default:  The value specified in the "Assigned
                    Numbers" RFC [ASSIGNED] that was in effect at the
                    time of implementation.

     AdvDefaultLifetime
                    The value to be placed in the Router Lifetime field



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                    of Router Advertisements sent from the interface, in
                    seconds.  MUST be either zero or between
                    MaxRtrAdvInterval and 9000 seconds.  A value of zero
                    indicates that the router is not to be used as a
                    default router.

                    Default: 3 * MaxRtrAdvInterval

     AdvPrefixList
                    A list of prefixes to be placed in Prefix
                    Information options in Router Advertisement messages
                    sent from the interface.

                    Default: all prefixes that the router advertises via
                    routing protocols as being on-link for the interface
                    from which the advertisement is sent.  The link-
                    local prefix SHOULD NOT be included in the list of
                    advertised prefixes.

                    Each prefix has an associated:

                       AdvValidLifetime
                            The value to be placed in the Valid Lifetime
                            in the Prefix Information option, in
                            seconds.  The designated value of all 1's
                            (0xffffffff) represents infinity.

                            Default: infinity.

                       AdvOnLinkFlag
                            The value to be placed in the on-link flag
                            ("L-bit") field in the Prefix Information
                            option.

                            Default: TRUE

                    Automatic address configuration [ADDRCONF] defines
                    additional information associated with each the
                    prefixes:

                       AdvPreferredLifetime
                            The value to be placed in the Preferred
                            Lifetime in the Prefix Information option,
                            in seconds.  The designated value of all 1's
                            (0xffffffff) represents infinity.  See
                            [ADDRCONF].

                            Default: 604800 seconds (7 days)



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                       AdvAutonomousFlag
                            The value to be placed in the Autonomous
                            Flag field in the Prefix Information option.
                            See [ADDRCONF].

                            Default: TRUE


The above variables contain information that is placed in outgoing
Router Advertisement messages.  Hosts use the received information to
initialize a set of analogous variables that control their external
behavior (see Section 6.3.2).  Some of these host variables (e.g.,
CurHopLimit, RetransTimer, and ReachableTime) apply to all nodes
including routers.  In practice, these variables may not actually be
present on routers, since their contents can be derived from the
variables described above.  However, external router behavior MUST be
the same as host behavior with respect to these variables.  In
particular, this includes the occasional randomization of the
ReachableTime value as described in Section 6.3.2.

Protocol constants are defined in Section 10.


6.2.2.  Becoming An Advertising Interface

The term "advertising interface" refers to any functioning and enabled
multicast interface that has at least one unicast IP address assigned to
it and whose corresponding AdvSendAdvertisements flag is TRUE.  A router
MUST NOT send Router Advertisements out any interface that is not an
advertising interface.

An interface may become an advertising interface at times other than
system startup.  For example:

   - changing the AdvSendAdvertisements flag on an enabled interface
     from FALSE to TRUE, or

   - administratively enabling the interface, if it had been
     administratively disabled, and its AdvSendAdvertisements flag is
     TRUE, or

   - enabling IP forwarding capability (i.e., changing the system from
     being a host to being a router), when the interface's
     AdvSendAdvertisements flag is TRUE.

A router MUST join the all-routers multicast address on an advertising
interface.  Routers respond to Router Solicitations sent to the all-
routers address and verify the consistency of Router Advertisements sent



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by neighboring routers.


6.2.3.  Router Advertisement Message Content

A router sends periodic as well as solicited Router Advertisements out
its advertising interfaces.  Outgoing Router Advertisements are filled
with the following values consistent with the message format given in
Section 4.2:

   - In the Router Lifetime field: the interface's configured
     AdvDefaultLifetime.

   - In the M and O flags: the interface's configured AdvManagedFlag and
     AdvOtherConfigFlag, respectively.  See [ADDRCONF].

   - In the Cur Hop Limit field: the interface's configured CurHopLimit.

   - In the Reachable Time field: the interface's configured
     AdvReachableTime.

   - In the Retrans Timer field: the interface's configured
     AdvRetransTimer.

   - In the options:

        o Source Link-Layer Address option: link-layer address of the
          sending interface.  This option MAY be omitted to facilitate
          in-bound load balancing over replicated interfaces.

        o MTU option: the interface's configured AdvLinkMTU value if the
          value is non-zero.  If AdvLinkMTU is zero the MTU option is
          not sent.

        o Prefix Information options: one Prefix Information option for
          each prefix listed in AdvPrefixList with the option fields set
          from the information in the AdvPrefixList entry as follows:

             - In the "on-link" flag: the entry's AdvOnLinkFlag.

             - In the Valid Lifetime field: the entry's
               AdvValidLifetime.

             - In the "Autonomous address configuration" flag: the
               entry's AdvAutonomousFlag.

             - In the Preferred Lifetime field: the entry's
               AdvPreferredLifetime.



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A router might want to send Router Advertisements without advertising
itself as a default router.  For instance, a router might advertise
prefixes for address autoconfiguration while not wishing to forward
packets.  Such a router sets the Router Lifetime field in outgoing
advertisements to zero.

A router MAY choose not to include some or all options when sending
unsolicited Router Advertisements.  For example, if prefix lifetimes are
much longer than AdvDefaultLifetime, including them every few
advertisements may be sufficient.  However, when responding to a Router
Solicitation or while sending the first few initial unsolicited
advertisements, a router SHOULD include all options so that all
information (e.g., prefixes) is propagated quickly during system
initialization.

If including all options causes the size of an advertisement to exceed
the link MTU, multiple advertisements can be sent, each containing a
subset of the options.


6.2.4.  Sending Unsolicited Router Advertisements

A host MUST NOT send Router Advertisement messages at any time.

Unsolicited Router Advertisements are not strictly periodic: the
interval between subsequent transmissions is randomized to reduce the
probability of synchronization with the advertisements from other
routers on the same link [SYNC].  Each advertising interface has its own
timer.  Whenever a multicast advertisement is sent from an interface,
the timer is reset to a uniformly-distributed random value between the
interface's configured MinRtrAdvInterval and MaxRtrAdvInterval;
expiration of the timer causes the next advertisement to be sent and a
new random value to be chosen.

For the first few advertisements (up to MAX_INITIAL_RTR_ADVERTISEMENTS)
sent from an interface when it becomes an advertising interface, if the
randomly chosen interval is greater than
MAX_INITIAL_RTR_ADVERT_INTERVAL, the timer SHOULD be set to
MAX_INITIAL_RTR_ADVERT_INTERVAL instead.  Using a smaller interval for
the initial advertisements increases the likelihood of a router being
discovered quickly when it first becomes available, in the presence of
possible packet loss.

The information contained in Router Advertisements may change through
actions of system management.  For instance, the lifetime of advertised
prefixes may change, new prefixes could be added, a router could cease
to be a router (i.e., switch from being a router to being a host), etc.
In such cases, the router MAY transmit up to



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MAX_INITIAL_RTR_ADVERTISEMENTS unsolicited advertisements, using the
same rules as when an interface becomes an advertising interface.


6.2.5.  Ceasing To Be An Advertising Interface

An interface may cease to be an advertising interface, through actions
of system management such as:

   - changing the AdvSendAdvertisements flag of an enabled interface
     from TRUE to FALSE, or

   - administratively disabling the interface, or

   - shutting down the system.

In such cases the router SHOULD transmit one or more (but not more than
MAX_FINAL_RTR_ADVERTISEMENTS) final multicast Router Advertisements on
the interface with a Router Lifetime field of zero.  In the case of a
router becoming a host, the system SHOULD also depart from the all-
routers IP multicast group on all interfaces on which the router
supports IP multicast (whether or not they had been advertising
interfaces).  In addition, the host MUST insure that subsequent Neighbor
Advertisement messages sent from the interface have the Router flag set
to zero.

Note that system management may disable a router's IP forwarding
capability (i.e., changing the system from being a router to being a
host), a step that does not necessarily imply that the router's
interfaces stop being advertising interfaces.  In such cases, subsequent
Router Advertisements MUST set the Router Lifetime field to zero.


6.2.6.  Processing Router Solicitations

A host MUST silently discard any received Router Solicitation messages.

In addition to sending periodic, unsolicited advertisements, a router
sends advertisements in response to valid solicitations received on an
advertising interface.  A router MAY choose to unicast the response
directly to the soliciting host's address (if the solicitation's source
address is not the unspecified address), but the usual case is to
multicast the response to the all-nodes group.  In the latter case, the
interface's interval timer is reset to a new random value, as if an
unsolicited advertisement had just been sent (see Section 6.2.4).

In all cases, Router Advertisements sent in response to a Router
Solicitation MUST be delayed by a random time between 0 and



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MAX_RA_DELAY_TIME seconds. (If a single advertisement is sent in
response to multiple solicitations, the delay is relative to the first
solicitation.)  In addition, consecutive Router Advertisements sent to
the all-nodes multicast address MUST be rate limited to no more than one
advertisement every MIN_DELAY_BETWEEN_RAS seconds.

A router might process Router Solicitations as follows:

 - Upon receipt of a Router Solicitation, compute a random delay within
   the range 0 through MAX_RA_DELAY_TIME.  If the computed value
   corresponds to a time later than the time the next multicast Router
   Advertisement is scheduled to be sent, ignore the random delay and
   send the advertisement at the already-scheduled time.

 - If the router sent a multicast Router Advertisement (solicited or
   unsolicited) within the last MIN_DELAY_BETWEEN_RAS seconds, schedule
   the advertisement to be sent at a time corresponding to
   MIN_DELAY_BETWEEN_RAS plus the random value after the previous
   advertisement was sent.  This ensures that the multicast Router
   Advertisements are rate limited.

 - Otherwise, schedule the sending of a Router Advertisement at the time
   given by the random value.

Note that a router is permitted to send multicast Router Advertisements
more frequently than indicated by the MinRtrAdvInterval configuration
variable so long as the more frequent advertisements are responses to
Router Solicitations.  In all cases, however, unsolicited multicast
advertisements MUST NOT be sent more frequently than indicated by
MinRtrAdvInterval.

When a router receives a Router Solicitation and the Source Address is
not the unspecified address, it records that the source of the packet is
a neighbor by creating or updating the Neighbor Cache entry.  If the
solicitation contains a Source Link-Layer Address option, and the router
has a Neighbor Cache entry for the neighbor, the link-layer address
SHOULD be updated in the Neighbor Cache.  If a Neighbor Cache entry is
created for the source its reachability state MUST be set to STALE as
specified in Section 7.3.3.  If a cache entry already exists and is
updated with a different link-layer address the reachability state MUST
also be set to STALE.  In either case the entry's IsRouter flag SHOULD
be set to false.

If the Source Address is the unspecified address the router MUST NOT
create or update the Neighbor Cache entry.






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6.2.7.  Router Advertisement Consistency

Routers SHOULD inspect valid Router Advertisements sent by other routers
and verify that the routers are advertising consistent information on a
link.  Detected inconsistencies indicate that one or more routers might
be misconfigured and SHOULD be logged to system or network management.
The minimum set of information to check includes:

 - Cur Hop Limit values (except for the unspecified value of zero).

 - Values of the M or O flags.

 - Reachable Time values (except for the unspecified value of zero).

 - Retrans Timer values (except for the unspecified value of zero).

 - Values in the MTU options.

 - Preferred and Valid Lifetimes for the same prefix.

Note that it is not an error for different routers to advertise
different sets of prefixes.  Also, some routers might leave some fields
as unspecified, i.e., with the value zero, while other routers specify
values.  The logging of errors SHOULD be restricted to conflicting
information that causes hosts to switch from one value to another with
each received advertisement.

Any other action on reception of Router Advertisement messages by a
router is beyond the scope of this document.


6.2.8.  Link-local Address Change

The link-local address on a router SHOULD change rarely, if ever.  Nodes
receiving Neighbor Discovery messages use the source address to identify
the sender.  If multiple packets from the same router contain different
source addresses, nodes will assume they come from different routers,
leading to undesirable behavior.  For example, a node will ignore
Redirect messages that are believed to have been sent by a router other
than the current first-hop router.  Thus the source address used in
Router Advertisements sent by a particular router must be identical to
the target address in a Redirect message when redirecting to that
router.

Using the link-local address to uniquely identify routers on the link
has the benefit that the address a router is known by should not change
when a site renumbers.




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If a router changes the link-local address for one of its interfaces, it
SHOULD inform hosts of this change.  The router SHOULD multicast a few
Router Advertisements from the old link-local address with the Router
Lifetime field set to zero and also multicast a few Router
Advertisements from the new link-local address.  The overall effect
should be the same as if one interface ceases being an advertising
interface, and a different one starts being an advertising interface.


6.3.  Host Specification


6.3.1.  Host Configuration Variables

None.


6.3.2.  Host Variables

A host maintains certain Neighbor Discovery related variables in
addition to the data structures defined in Section 5.1.  The specific
variable names are used for demonstration purposes only, and an
implementation is not required to have them, so long as its external
behavior is consistent with that described in this document.

These variables have default values that are overridden by information
received in Router Advertisement messages.  The default values are used
when there is no router on the link or when all received Router
Advertisements have left a particular value unspecified.

The default values in this specification may be overridden by specific
documents that describe how IP operates over different link layers.
This rule allows Neighbor Discovery to operate over links with widely
varying performance characteristics.

For each interface:

     LinkMTU        The MTU of the link.

                    Default: The valued defined in the specific document
                    that describes how IPv6 operates over the particular
                    link layer (e.g., [IPv6-ETHER]).

     CurHopLimit    The default hop limit to be used when sending
                    (unicast) IP packets.

                    Default: The value specified in the "Assigned
                    Numbers" RFC [ASSIGNED] that was in effect at the



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                    time of implementation.

     BaseReachableTime
                    A base value used for computing the random
                    ReachableTime value.

                    Default: REACHABLE_TIME milliseconds.

     ReachableTime  The time a neighbor is considered reachable after
                    receiving a reachability confirmation.

                    This value should be a uniformly-distributed random
                    value between MIN_RANDOM_FACTOR and
                    MAX_RANDOM_FACTOR times BaseReachableTime
                    milliseconds.  A new random value should be
                    calculated when BaseReachableTime changes (due to
                    Router Advertisements) or at least every few hours
                    even if no Router Advertisements are received.

     RetransTimer   The time between retransmissions of Neighbor
                    Solicitation messages to a neighbor when resolving
                    the address or when probing the reachability of a
                    neighbor.

                    Default: RETRANS_TIMER milliseconds



6.3.3.  Interface Initialization

The host joins the all-nodes multicast address on all multicast-capable
interfaces.


6.3.4.  Processing Received Router Advertisements

When multiple routers are present, the information advertised
collectively by all routers may be a superset of the information
contained in a single Router Advertisement.  Moreover, information may
also be obtained through other dynamic means, such as stateful
autoconfiguration.  Hosts accept the union of all received information;
the receipt of a Router Advertisement MUST NOT invalidate all
information received in a previous advertisement or from another source.
However, when received information for a specific parameter (e.g., Link
MTU) or option (e.g., Lifetime on a specific Prefix) differs from
information received earlier, and the parameter/option can only have one
value, the most recently-received information is considered
authoritative.



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Some Router Advertisement fields (e.g., Cur Hop Limit, Reachable Time
and Retrans Timer) may contain a value denoting unspecified.  In such
cases, the parameter should be ignored and the host should continue
using whatever value it is already using.  In particular, a host MUST
NOT interpret the unspecified value as meaning change back to the
default value that was in use before the first Router Advertisement was
received.  This rule prevents hosts from continually changing an
internal variable when one router advertises a specific value, but other
routers advertise the unspecified value.

On receipt of a valid Router Advertisement, a host extracts the source
address of the packet and does the following:

   - If the address is not already present in the host's Default Router
     List, and the advertisement's Router Lifetime is non-zero, create a
     new entry in the list, and initialize its invalidation timer value
     from the advertisement's Router Lifetime field.

   - If the address is already present in the host's Default Router List
     as a result of a previously-received advertisement, reset its
     invalidation timer to the Router Lifetime value in the newly-
     received advertisement.

   - If the address is already present in the host's Default Router List
     and the received Router Lifetime value is zero, immediately time-
     out the entry as specified in Section 6.3.5.

To limit the storage needed for the Default Router List, a host MAY
choose not to store all of the router addresses discovered via
advertisements.  However, a host MUST retain at least two router
addresses and SHOULD retain more.  Default router selections are made
whenever communication to a destination appears to be failing.  Thus,
the more routers on the list, the more likely an alternative working
router can be found quickly (e.g., without having to wait for the next
advertisement to arrive).

If the received Cur Hop Limit value is non-zero the host SHOULD set its
CurHopLimit variable to the received value.

If the received Reachable Time value is non-zero the host SHOULD set its
BaseReachableTime variable to the received value.  If the new value
differs from the previous value, the host SHOULD recompute a new random
ReachableTime value.  ReachableTime is computed as a uniformly-
distributed random value between MIN_RANDOM_FACTOR and MAX_RANDOM_FACTOR
times the BaseReachableTime.  Using a random component eliminates the
possibility Neighbor Unreachability Detection messages synchronize with
each other.




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In most cases, the advertised Reachable Time value will be the same in
consecutive Router Advertisements and a host's BaseReachableTime rarely
changes.  In such cases, an implementation SHOULD insure that a new
random value gets recomputed at least once every few hours.

The RetransTimer variable SHOULD be copied from the Retrans Timer field,
if the received value is non-zero.

After extracting information from the fixed part of the Router
Advertisement message, the advertisement is scanned for valid options.
If the advertisement contains a Source Link-Layer Address option the
link-layer address SHOULD be recorded in the Neighbor Cache entry for
the router (creating an entry if necessary) and the IsRouter flag in the
Neighbor Cache entry MUST be set to true.  The IsRouter flag is used by
Neighbor Unreachability Detection to determine when a router changes to
being a host (i.e., no longer capable of forwarding packets).  If a
Neighbor Cache entry is created for the router its reachability state
MUST be set to STALE as specified in Section 7.3.3.  If a cache entry
already exists and is updated with a different link-layer address the
reachability state MUST also be set to STALE.

If the MTU option is present, hosts SHOULD copy the option's value into
LinkMTU if the value does not exceed the default LinkMTU value specified
in the link type specific document (e.g., [IPv6-ETHER]).

Prefix Information options that have the "on-link" (L) flag set indicate
a prefix identifying a range of addresses that should be considered on-
link.  Note, however, that a Prefix Information option with the on-link
flag set to zero conveys no information concerning on-link determination
and MUST NOT be interpreted to mean that addresses covered by the prefix
are off-link.  The default behavior (see Section 5.2) when no
information is known about an address is to send the packets to a
default router and the reception of a Prefix Information option with the
"on-link " (L) flag set to zero does not change this behavior.  The
reasons for an address being treated as on-link is specified in the
definition of "on-link" in Section 2.1.  Prefixes with the on-link flag
set to zero would normally have the autonomous flag set and be used by
[ADDRCONF].

For each Prefix Information option with the on-link flag set, a host
does the following:

   - If the prefix is the link-local prefix, silently ignore the Prefix
     Information option.

   - If the prefix is not already present in the Prefix List, and the
     Prefix Information option's Valid Lifetime field is non-zero,
     create a new entry for the prefix and initialize its invalidation



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     timer to the Valid Lifetime value in the Prefix Information option.

   - If the prefix is already present in the host's Prefix List as the
     result of a previously-received advertisement, reset its
     invalidation timer to the Valid Lifetime value in the Prefix
     Information option.  If the new Lifetime value is zero, time-out
     the prefix immediately (see Section 6.3.5).

   - If the Prefix Information option's Valid Lifetime field is zero,
     and the prefix is not present in the host's Prefix List, silently
     ignore the option.

   Note: Implementations can choose to process the on-link aspects of
   the prefixes separately from the address autoconfiguration aspects of
   the prefixes by, e.g., passing a copy of each valid Router
   Advertisement message to both an "on-link" and an "addrconf"
   function.  Each function can then operate independently on the
   prefixes that have the appropriate flag set.



6.3.5.  Timing out Prefixes and Default Routers

Whenever the invalidation timer expires for a Prefix List entry, that
entry is discarded.  No existing Destination Cache entries need be
updated, however.  Should a reachability problem arise with an existing
Neighbor Cache entry, Neighbor Unreachability Detection will perform any
needed recovery.

Whenever the Lifetime of an entry in the Default Router List expires,
that entry is discarded.  When removing a router from the Default Router
list, the node MUST update the Destination Cache in such a way that all
entries using the router perform next-hop determination again rather
than continue sending traffic to the (deleted) router.


6.3.6.  Default Router Selection

The algorithm for selecting a router depends in part on whether or not a
router is known to be reachable.  The exact details of how a node keeps
track of a neighbor's reachability state are covered in Section 7.3.
The algorithm for selecting a default router is invoked during next-hop
determination when no Destination Cache entry exists for an off-link
destination or when communication through an existing router appears to
be failing.  Under normal conditions, a router would be selected the
first time traffic is sent to a destination, with subsequent traffic for
that destination using the same router as indicated in the Destination
Cache modulo any changes to the Destination Cache caused by Redirect



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messages.

The policy for selecting routers from the Default Router List is as
follows:

  1) Routers that are reachable or probably reachable (i.e., in any
     state other than INCOMPLETE) SHOULD be preferred over routers whose
     reachability is unknown or suspect (i.e., in the INCOMPLETE state,
     or for which no Neighbor Cache entry exists).  An implementation
     may choose to always return the same router or cycle through the
     router list in a round-robin fashion as long as it always returns a
     reachable or a probably reachable router when one is available.

  2) When no routers on the list are known to be reachable or probably
     reachable, routers SHOULD be selected in a round-robin fashion, so
     that subsequent requests for a default router do not return the
     same router until all other routers have been selected.

     Cycling through the router list in this case ensures that all
     available routers are actively probed by the Neighbor
     Unreachability Detection algorithm.  A request for a default router
     is made in conjunction with the sending of a packet to a router,
     and the selected router will be probed for reachability as a side
     effect.

  3) If the Default Router List is empty, assume that all destinations
     are on-link as specified in Section 5.2.



6.3.7.  Sending Router Solicitations

When an interface becomes enabled, a host may be unwilling to wait for
the next unsolicited Router Advertisement to locate default routers or
learn prefixes.  To obtain Router Advertisements quickly, a host SHOULD
transmit up to MAX_RTR_SOLICITATIONS Router Solicitation messages each
separated by at least RTR_SOLICITATION_INTERVAL seconds.  Router
Solicitations may be sent after any of the following events:

   - The interface is initialized at system startup time.

   - The interface is reinitialized after a temporary interface failure
     or after being temporarily disabled by system management.

   - The system changes from being a router to being a host, by having
     its IP forwarding capability turned off by system management.

   - The host attaches to a link for the first time.



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   - The host re-attaches to a link after being detached for some time.

A host sends Router Solicitations to the all-routers multicast address.
The IP source address is set to either one of the interface's unicast
addresses or the unspecified address.  The Source Link-Layer Address
option SHOULD be set to the host's link-layer address, if the IP source
address is a unicast address.

Before a host sends an initial solicitation, it SHOULD delay the
transmission for a random amount of time between 0 and
MAX_RTR_SOLICITATION_DELAY.  This serves to alleviate congestion when
many hosts start up on a link at the same time, such as might happen
after recovery from a power failure.  If a host has already performed a
random delay since the interface became (re)enabled (e.g., as part of
Duplicate Address Detection [ADDRCONF]) there is no need to delay again
before sending the first Router Solicitation message.

Once the host sends a Router Solicitation, and receives a valid Router
Advertisement with a non-zero Router Lifetime, the host MUST desist from
sending additional solicitations on that interface, until the next time
one of the above events occurs.  Moreover, a host SHOULD send at least
one solicitation in the case where an advertisement is received prior to
having sent a solicitation.  Unsolicited Router Advertisements may be
incomplete (see Section 6.2.3); solicited advertisements are expected to
contain complete information.

If a host sends MAX_RTR_SOLICITATIONS solicitations, and receives no
Router Advertisements after having waited MAX_RTR_SOLICITATION_DELAY
seconds after sending the last solicitation, the host concludes that
there are no routers on the link for the purpose of [ADDRCONF].
However, the host continues to receive and process Router Advertisements
messages in the event that routers appear on the link.


7.  ADDRESS RESOLUTION AND NEIGHBOR UNREACHABILITY DETECTION

This section describes the functions related to Neighbor Solicitation
and Neighbor Advertisement messages and includes descriptions of address
resolution and the Neighbor Unreachability Detection algorithm.

Neighbor Solicitation and Advertisement messages are also used for
Duplicate Address Detection as specified by [ADDRCONF].  In particular,
Duplicate Address Detection sends Neighbor Solicitation messages with an
unspecified source address targeting its own "tentative" address.  Such
messages trigger nodes already using the address to respond with a
multicast Neighbor Advertisement indicating that the address is in use.





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7.1.  Message Validation


7.1.1.  Validation of Neighbor Solicitations

A node MUST silently discard any received Neighbor Solicitation messages
that do not satisfy all of the following validity checks:

   - The IP Hop Limit field has a value of 255, i.e., the packet could
     not possibly have been forwarded by a router.

   - If the message includes an IP Authentication Header, the message
     authenticates correctly.

   - ICMP Checksum is valid.

   - ICMP Code is 0.

   - ICMP length (derived from the IP length) is 24 or more octets.

   - Target Address is not a multicast address.

   - All included options have a length that is greater than zero.

The contents of the Reserved field, and of any unrecognized options,
MUST be ignored.  Future, backward-compatible changes to the protocol
may specify the contents of the Reserved field or add new options;
backward-incompatible changes may use different Code values.

The contents of any defined options that are not specified to be used
with Neighbor Solicitation messages MUST be ignored and the packet
processed as normal.  The only defined option that may appear is the
Source Link-Layer Address option.

A Neighbor Solicitation that passes the validity checks is called a
"valid solicitation".


7.1.2.  Validation of Neighbor Advertisements

A node MUST silently discard any received Neighbor Advertisement
messages that do not satisfy all of the following validity checks:

   - The IP Hop Limit field has a value of 255, i.e., the packet could
     not possibly have been forwarded by a router.

   - If the message includes an IP Authentication Header, the message
     authenticates correctly.



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   - ICMP Checksum is valid.

   - ICMP Code is 0.

   - ICMP length (derived from the IP length) is 24 or more octets.

   - Target Address is not a multicast address.

   - If the IP Destination Address is a multicast address the Solicited
     flag is zero.

   - All included options have a length that is greater than zero.

The contents of the Reserved field, and of any unrecognized options,
MUST be ignored.  Future, backward-compatible changes to the protocol
may specify the contents of the Reserved field or add new options;
backward-incompatible changes may use different Code values.

The contents of any defined options that are not specified to be used
with Neighbor Advertisement messages MUST be ignored and the packet
processed as normal.  The only defined option that may appear is the
Target Link-Layer Address option.

A Neighbor Advertisements that passes the validity checks is called a
"valid advertisement".


7.2.  Address Resolution

Address resolution is the process through which a node determines the
link-layer address of a neighbor given only its IP address.  Address
resolution is performed only on addresses that are determined to be on-
link and for which the sender does not know the corresponding link-layer
address.  Address resolution is never performed on multicast addresses.


7.2.1.  Interface Initialization

When a multicast-capable interface becomes enabled the node MUST join
the all-nodes multicast address on that interface, as well as the
solicited-node multicast address corresponding to each of the IP
addresses assigned to the interface.

The set of addresses assigned to an interface may change over time.  New
addresses might be added and old addresses might be removed [ADDRCONF].
In such cases the node MUST join and leave the solicited-node multicast
address corresponding to the new and old addresses, respectively.  Note
that multiple unicast addresses may map into the same solicited-node



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multicast address; a node MUST NOT leave the solicited-node multicast
group until all assigned addresses corresponding to that multicast
address have been removed.


7.2.2.  Sending Neighbor Solicitations

When a node has a unicast packet to send to a neighbor, but does not
know the neighbor's link-layer address, it performs address resolution.
For multicast-capable interfaces this entails creating a Neighbor Cache
entry in the INCOMPLETE state and transmitting a Neighbor Solicitation
message targeted at the neighbor.  The solicitation is sent to the
solicited-node multicast address corresponding to the target address.

If the source address of the packet prompting the solicitation is the
same as one of the addresses assigned to the outgoing interface, that
address SHOULD be placed in the IP Source Address of the outgoing
solicitation.  Otherwise, any one of the addresses assigned to the
interface should be used.  Using the prompting packet's source address
when possible insures that the recipient of the Neighbor Solicitation
installs in its Neighbor Cache the IP address that is highly likely to
be used in subsequent return traffic belonging to the prompting packet's
"connection".

If the solicitation is being sent to a solicited-node multicast address,
the sender MUST include its link-layer address (if it has one) as a
Source Link-Layer Address option.  Otherwise, the sender SHOULD include
its link-layer address (if it has one) as a Source Link-Layer Address
option.  Including the source link-layer address in a multicast
solicitation is required to give the target an address to which it can
send the Neighbor Advertisement.

While waiting for address resolution to complete, the sender MUST, for
each neighbor, retain a small queue of packets waiting for address
resolution to complete.  The queue MUST hold at least one packet, and
MAY contain more.  However, the number of queued packets per neighbor
SHOULD be limited to some small value.  When a queue overflows, the new
arrival SHOULD replace the oldest entry.  Once address resolution
completes, the node transmits any queued packets.

While awaiting a response, the sender SHOULD retransmit Neighbor
Solicitation messages approximately every RetransTimer milliseconds,
even in the absence of additional traffic to the neighbor.
Retransmissions MUST be rate-limited to at most one solicitation per
neighbor every RetransTimer milliseconds.

If no Neighbor Advertisement is received after MAX_MULTICAST_SOLICIT
solicitations, address resolution has failed.  The sender MUST return



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ICMP destination unreachable indications with code 3 (Address
Unreachable) for each packet queued awaiting address resolution.


7.2.3.  Receipt of Neighbor Solicitations

A valid Neighbor Solicitation where the Target Address is not a unicast
or anycast address assigned to the receiving interface, and the Target
Address is not a "tentative" address on which Duplicate Address
Detection is being performed [ADDRCONF] MUST be silently ignored.  If
the Target Address is tentative, the Neighbor Solicitation should be
processed as described in [ADDRCONF].

Upon receipt of a valid Neighbor Solicitation targeted at the node, the
recipient SHOULD update the Neighbor Cache entry for the IP Source
Address of the solicitation if the Source Address is not the unspecified
address.  If an entry does not already exist, the node SHOULD create a
new one and set its reachability state to STALE as specified in
Section 7.3.3.  If a cache entry already exists and is updated with a
different link-layer address its reachability state MUST be set to
STALE.  If the solicitation contains a Source Link-Layer Address option,
the entry's cached link-layer address should be replaced with the one in
the solicitation.

If the Source Address is the unspecified address the node MUST NOT
create or update the Neighbor Cache entry.

After any updates to the Neighbor Cache, the node sends a Neighbor
Advertisement response as described in the next section.


7.2.4.  Sending Solicited Neighbor Advertisements

A node sends a Neighbor Advertisement in response to a valid Neighbor
Solicitation targeting one of the node's assigned addresses.  The Target
Address of the advertisement is copied from the Target Address of the
solicitation.  If the solicitation's IP Destination Address is a unicast
or anycast address, the Target Link-Layer Address option SHOULD NOT be
included; the neighboring node's cached value must already be current in
order for the solicitation to have been received.  If the solicitation's
IP Destination Address is a solicited-node multicast address, the Target
Link-Layer option MUST be included in the advertisement.  If the node is
a router, it MUST set the Router flag to one; otherwise it MUST set the
flag to zero.

If the Target Address is either an anycast address or a unicast address
for which the node is providing proxy service, or the Target Link-Layer
Address option is not included in the outgoing advertisement, the



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Override flag SHOULD be set to zero.  Otherwise, it SHOULD be set to
one.  Proper setting of the Override flag insures that nodes give
preference to non-proxy advertisements, even when received after proxy
advertisements, but that the first advertisement for an anycast address
"wins".

If the source of the solicitation is the unspecified address, the node
MUST set the Solicited flag to zero and multicast the advertisement to
the all-nodes address.  Otherwise, the node MUST set the Solicited flag
to one and unicast the advertisement to the Source Address of the
solicitation.

If the Target Address is an anycast address the sender SHOULD delay
sending a response for a random time between 0 and
MAX_ANYCAST_DELAY_TIME seconds.


7.2.5.  Receipt of Neighbor Advertisements

When a valid Neighbor Advertisement is received (either solicited or
unsolicited), the Neighbor Cache is searched for the target's entry.  If
no entry exists, the advertisement SHOULD be silently discarded.  There
is no need to create an entry in this case, since the recipient has
apparently not initiated any communication with the target.

Once the appropriate Neighbor Cache entry has been located, the specific
actions taken depend on the state of the Neighbor Cache entry and the
flags in the advertisement.  If the entry is in an INCOMPLETE state
(i.e., no link-layer address is cached for the target) the received
advertisement updates the entry.  If a cached link-layer address is
already present, however, a node might choose to ignore the received
advertisement and continue using the cached link-layer address.

If the target's Neighbor Cache entry is in the INCOMPLETE state, the
receiving node records the link-layer address in the Neighbor Cache
entry and sends any packets queued for the neighbor awaiting address
resolution.  If the Solicited flag is set, the reachability state for
the neighbor MUST be set to REACHABLE; otherwise it MUST be set to
STALE. (A more detailed explanation of reachability state is described
in Section 7.3.3).  The Override flag is ignored if the entry is in the
INCOMPLETE state.

If the target's Neighbor Cache entry is in any state other than
INCOMPLETE when the advertisement is received, the advertisement's
Override flag's setting determines whether the Target Link-Layer Address
option (if present) replaces the cached address.  If the Override flag
is set, the receiving node MUST install the link-layer address in its
cache; if the flag is zero, the receiving node MUST NOT install the



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link-layer address in its cache.  An advertisement's sender sets the
Override flag when it wants its Target Link-Layer Address option to
replace the cached value in Neighbor Cache entries, regardless of their
current contents.

If the target's Neighbor Cache entry is in any state other than
INCOMPLETE when the advertisement is received, the advertisement's
Solicited flag setting determines what the entry's new state should be.
If the Solicited flag is set, the entry's state MUST be set to
REACHABLE; if the flag is zero, the entry's state MUST be set to STALE.
An advertisement's Solicited flag should only be set if the
advertisement is a response to a Neighbor Solicitation.  Because
Neighbor Unreachability Solicitations are sent to the cached link-layer
address, a receipt of a solicited advertisement indicates that the
forward path is working.  Receipt of an unsolicited advertisement,
however, suggests that a neighbor has urgent information to announce
(e.g., a changed link-layer address).  Regardless of whether or not the
new link-layer address is installed in the cache, a node should verify
the reachability of the path it is currently using when it sends the
next packet, so that it quickly finds a working path if the existing
path has failed (e.g., as would be the case if the unsolicited Neighbor
Advertisement is sent to announce a link-layer address change).

In those cases where the cached link-layer address is updated, the
receiving node MUST examine the Router flag in the received
advertisement and update the IsRouter flag in the Neighbor Cache entry
to reflect whether the node is a host or router.  In those cases where
the neighbor was previously used as a router, but the advertisement's
Router flag is now set to zero, the node MUST remove that router from
the Default Router List and update the Destination Cache entries for all
destinations using that neighbor as a router as specified in
Section 7.3.3.


7.2.6.  Sending Unsolicited Neighbor Advertisements

In some cases a node may be able to determine that its link-layer
address has changed (e.g., hot-swap of an interface card) and may wish
to inform its neighbors of the new link-layer address quickly.  In such
cases a node MAY send up to MAX_NEIGHBOR_ADVERTISEMENT unsolicited
Neighbor Advertisement messages to the all-nodes multicast address.
These advertisements MUST be separated by at least RetransTimer seconds.

The Target Address field in the unsolicited advertisement is set to an
IP address of the interface, and the Target Link-Layer Address option is
filled with the new link-layer address.  The Solicited flag MUST be set
to zero, in order to avoid confusing the Neighbor Unreachability
Detection algorithm.  If the node is a router, it MUST set the Router



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flag to one; otherwise it MUST set it to zero.  The Override flag MAY be
set to either zero or one.  In either case, neighboring nodes will
immediately change the state of their Neighbor Cache entries for the
Target Address to STALE, prompting them to verify the path for
reachability.  If the Override flag is set to one, neighboring nodes
will install the new link-layer address in their caches.  Otherwise,
they will ignore the new link-layer address, choosing instead to probe
the cached address.

A node that has multiple IP addresses assigned to an interface MAY
multicast a separate Neighbor Advertisement for each address.  In such a
case the node SHOULD introduce a small delay between the sending of each
advertisement to reduce the probability of the advertisements being lost
due to congestion.

A proxy MAY multicast Neighbor Advertisements when its link-layer
address changes or when it is configured (by system management or other
mechanisms) to proxy for an address.  If there are multiple nodes that
are providing proxy services for the same set of addresses the proxies
SHOULD provide a mechanism that prevents multiple proxies from
multicasting advertisements for any one address, in order to reduce the
risk of excessive multicast traffic.

Also, a node belonging to an anycast address MAY multicast unsolicited
Neighbor Advertisements for the anycast address when the node's link-
layer address changes.

Note that because unsolicited Neighbor Advertisements do not reliably
update caches in all nodes (the advertisements might not be received by
all nodes), they should only be viewed as a performance optimization to
quickly update the caches in most neighbors.  The Neighbor
Unreachability Detection algorithm ensures that all nodes obtain a
reachable link-layer address, though the delay may be slightly longer.


7.2.7.  Anycast Neighbor Advertisements

From the perspective of Neighbor Discovery, anycast addresses are
treated just like unicast addresses in most cases.  Because an anycast
address is syntactically the same as a unicast address, nodes performing
address resolution or Neighbor Unreachability Detection on an anycast
address treat it as if it were a unicast address.  No special processing
takes place.

Nodes that have an anycast address assigned to an interface treat them
exactly the same as if they were unicast addresses with two exceptions.
First, Neighbor Advertisements sent in response to a Neighbor
Solicitation SHOULD be delayed by a random time between 0 and



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MAX_ANYCAST_DELAY_TIME to reduce the probability of network congestion.
Second, the Override flag in Neighbor Advertisements SHOULD be set to 0,
so that when multiple advertisements are received, the first received
advertisement is used rather than the most recently received
advertisement.

As with unicast addresses, Neighbor Unreachability Detection ensures
that a node quickly detects when the current binding for an anycast
address becomes invalid.


7.2.8.  Proxy Neighbor Advertisements

Under limited circumstances, a router MAY proxy for one or more other
nodes, that is, through Neighbor Advertisements indicate that it is
willing to accept packets not explicitly addressed to itself.  For
example, a router might accept packets on behalf of a mobile node that
has moved off-link.  The mechanisms used by proxy are identical to the
mechanisms used with anycast addresses.

A proxy MUST join the solicited-node multicast address(es) that
correspond to the IP address(es) assigned to the node for which it is
proxying.

All solicited proxy Neighbor Advertisement messages MUST have the
Override flag set to zero.  This ensures that if the node itself is
present on the link its Neighbor Advertisement (with the Override flag
set to one) will take precedence of any advertisement received from a
proxy.  A proxy MAY send unsolicited advertisements with the Override
flag set to one as specified in Section 7.2.6, but doing so may cause
the proxy advertisement to override a valid entry created by the node
itself.

Finally, when sending a proxy advertisement in response to a Neighbor
Solicitation, the sender should delay its response by a random time
between 0 and MAX_ANYCAST_DELAY_TIME seconds.


7.3.  Neighbor Unreachability Detection

Communication to or through a neighbor may fail for numerous reasons at
any time, including hardware failure, hot-swap of an interface card,
etc.  If the destination has failed, no recovery is possible and
communication fails.  On the other hand, if it is the path that has
failed, recovery may be possible.  Thus, a node actively tracks the
reachability "state" for the neighbors to which it is sending packets.

Neighbor Unreachability Detection is used for all paths between hosts



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and neighboring nodes, including host-to-host, host-to-router, and
router-to-host communication.  Neighbor Unreachability Detection may
also be used between routers, but is not required if an equivalent
mechanism is available, for example, as part of the routing protocols.

When a path to a neighbor appears to be failing, the specific recovery
procedure depends on how the neighbor is being used.  If the neighbor is
the ultimate destination, for example, address resolution should be
performed again.  If the neighbor is a router, however, attempting to
switch to another router would be appropriate.  The specific recovery
that takes place is covered under next-hop determination; Neighbor
Unreachability Detection signals the need for next-hop determination by
deleting a Neighbor Cache entry.

Neighbor Unreachability Detection is performed only for neighbors to
which unicast packets are sent; it is not used when sending to multicast
addresses.


7.3.1.  Reachability Confirmation

A neighbor is considered reachable if the node has recently received a
confirmation that packets sent recently to the neighbor were received by
its IP layer.  Positive confirmation can be gathered in two ways: hints
from upper layer protocols that indicate a connection is making "forward
progress", or receipt of a Neighbor Advertisement message that is a
response to a Neighbor Solicitation message.

A connection makes "forward progress" if the packets received from a
remote peer can only be arriving if recent packets sent to that peer are
actually reaching it.  In TCP, for example, receipt of a (new)
acknowledgement indicates that previously sent data reached the peer.
Likewise, the arrival of new (non-duplicate) data indicates that earlier
acknowledgements are being delivered to the remote peer.  If packets are
reaching the peer, they must also be reaching the sender's next-hop
neighbor; thus "forward progress" is a confirmation that the next-hop
neighbor is reachable.  For off-link destinations, forward progress
implies that the first-hop router is reachable.  When available, this
upper-layer information SHOULD be used.

In some cases (e.g., UDP-based protocols and routers forwarding packets
to hosts) such reachability information may not be readily available
from upper-layer protocols.  When no hints are available and a node is
sending packets to a neighbor, the node actively probes the neighbor
using unicast Neighbor Solicitation messages to verify that the forward
path is still working.

The receipt of a solicited Neighbor Advertisement serves as reachability



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confirmation, since advertisements with the Solicited flag set to one
are sent only in response to a Neighbor Solicitation.  Receipt of other
Neighbor Discovery messages such as Router Advertisements and Neighbor
Advertisement with the Solicited flag set to zero MUST NOT be treated as
a reachability confirmation.  Receipt of unsolicited messages only
confirm the one-way path from the sender to the recipient node.  In
contrast, Neighbor Unreachability Detection requires that a node keep
track of the reachability of the forward path to a neighbor from the its
perspective, not the neighbor's perspective.  Note that receipt of a
solicited advertisement indicates that a path is working in both
directions.  The solicitation must have reached the neighbor, prompting
it to generate an advertisement.  Likewise, receipt of an advertisement
indicates that the path from the sender to the recipient is working.
However, the latter fact is known only to the recipient; the
advertisement's sender has no direct way of knowing that the
advertisement it sent actually reached a neighbor.  From the perspective
of Neighbor Unreachability Detection, only the reachability of the
forward path is of interest.


7.3.2.  Neighbor Cache Entry States

A Neighbor Cache entry can be in one of five states:

   INCOMPLETE  Address resolution is being performed on the entry.
               Specifically, a Neighbor Solicitation has been sent to
               the solicited-node multicast address of the target, but
               the corresponding Neighbor Advertisement has not yet been
               received.

   REACHABLE   Positive confirmation was received within the last
               ReachableTime milliseconds that the forward path to the
               neighbor was functioning properly.  While REACHABLE, no
               special action takes place as packets are sent.

   STALE       More than ReachableTime milliseconds have elapsed since
               the last positive confirmation was received that the
               forward path was functioning properly.  While stale, no
               action takes place until a packet is sent.

               The STALE state is entered upon receiving an unsolicited
               Neighbor Discovery message that updates the cached link-
               layer address.  Receipt of such a message does not
               confirm reachability, and entering the STALE state
               insures reachability is verified quickly if the entry is
               actually being used.  However, reachability is not
               actually verified until the entry is actually used.




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   DELAY       More than ReachableTime milliseconds have elapsed since
               the last positive confirmation was received that the
               forward path was functioning properly, and a packet was
               sent within the last DELAY_FIRST_PROBE_TIME seconds.  If
               no reachability confirmation is received within
               DELAY_FIRST_PROBE_TIME seconds of entering the DELAY
               state, send a Neighbor Solicitation and change the state
               to PROBE.

               The DELAY state is an optimization that gives upper-layer
               protocols additional time to provide reachability
               confirmation in those cases where ReachableTime
               milliseconds have passed since the last confirmation due
               to lack of recent traffic.  Without this optimization the
               opening of a TCP connection after a traffic lull would
               initiate probes even though the subsequent three-way
               handshake would provide a reachability confirmation
               almost immediately.

   PROBE       A reachability confirmation is actively sought by
               retransmitting Neighbor Solicitations every RetransTimer
               milliseconds until a reachability confirmation is
               received.



7.3.3.  Node Behavior

Neighbor Unreachability Detection operates in parallel with the sending
of packets to a neighbor.  While reasserting a neighbor's reachability,
a node continues sending packets to that neighbor using the cached
link-layer address.  If no traffic is sent to a neighbor, no probes are
sent.

When a node needs to perform address resolution on a neighboring
address, it creates an entry in the INCOMPLETE state and initiates
address resolution as specified in Section 7.2.  If address resolution
fails, the entry SHOULD be deleted, so that subsequent traffic to that
neighbor invokes the next-hop determination procedure again.  Invoking
next-hop determination at this point insures that alternate default
routers are tried.

When a reachability confirmation is received (either through upper-layer
advice or a solicited Neighbor Advertisement) an entry's state changes
to REACHABLE.  The one exception is that upper-layer advice has no
effect on entries in the INCOMPLETE state (e.g., for which no link-layer
address is cached).




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When ReachableTime milliseconds have passed since receipt of the last
reachability confirmation for a neighbor, the Neighbor Cache entry's
state changes from REACHABLE to STALE.

   Note: An implementation may actually defer changing the state from
   REACHABLE to STALE until a packet is sent to the neighbor, i.e.,
   there need not be an explicit timeout event associated with the
   expiration of ReachableTime.

The first time a node sends a packet to a neighbor whose entry is STALE,
the sender changes the state to DELAY and a sets a timer to expire in
DELAY_FIRST_PROBE_TIME seconds.  If the entry is still in the DELAY
state when the timer expires, the entry's state changes to PROBE.  If
reachability confirmation is received, the entry's state changes to
REACHABLE.

Upon entering the PROBE state, a node sends a unicast Neighbor
Solicitation message to the neighbor using the cached link-layer
address.  While in the PROBE state, a node retransmits Neighbor
Solicitation messages every RetransTimer milliseconds until reachability
confirmation is obtained.  Probes are retransmitted even if no
additional packets are sent to the neighbor.  If no response is received
after waiting RetransTimer milliseconds after sending the
MAX_UNICAST_SOLICIT solicitations, retransmissions cease and the entry
SHOULD be deleted.  Subsequent traffic to that neighbor will recreate
the entry and performs address resolution again.

Note that all Neighbor Solicitations are rate-limited on a per-neighbor
basis.  A node MUST NOT send Neighbor Solicitations to the same neighbor
more frequently than once every RetransTimer milliseconds.

A Neighbor Cache entry enters the STALE state when created as a result
of receiving packets other than solicited Neighbor Advertisements (i.e.,
Router Solicitations, Router Advertisements, Redirects, and Neighbor
Solicitations).  These packets contain the link-layer address of either
the sender or, in the case of Redirect, the redirection target.
However, receipt of these link-layer addresses does not confirm
reachability of the forward-direction path to that node.  Placing a
newly created Neighbor Cache entry for which the link-layer address is
known in the STALE state provides assurance that path failures are
detected quickly.  In addition, should a cached link-layer address be
modified due to receiving one of the above messages the state SHOULD
also be set to STALE to provide prompt verification that the path to the
new link-layer address is working.

To properly detect the case where a router switches from being a router
to being a host (e.g., if its IP forwarding capability is turned off by
system management), a node MUST compare the Router flag field in all



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received Neighbor Advertisement messages with the IsRouter flag recorded
in the Neighbor Cache entry.  When a node detects that a neighbor has
changed from being a router to being a host, the node MUST remove that
router from the Default Router List and update the Destination Cache as
described in Section 6.3.5.  Note that a router may not be listed in the
Default Router List, even though a Destination Cache entry is using it
(e.g., a host was redirected to it).  In such cases, all Destination
Cache entries that reference the (former) router must perform next-hop
determination again before using the entry.

In some cases, link-specific information may indicate that a path to a
neighbor has failed (e.g., the resetting of a virtual circuit).  In such
cases, link-specific information may be used to purge Neighbor Cache
entries before the Neighbor Unreachability Detection would do so.
However, link-specific information MUST NOT be used to confirm the
reachability of a neighbor; such information does not provide end-to-end
confirmation between neighboring IP layers.


8.  REDIRECT FUNCTION

This section describes the functions related to the sending and
processing of Redirect messages.

Redirect messages are sent by routers to redirect a host to a better
first-hop router for a specific destination or to inform hosts that a
destination is in fact a neighbor (i.e., on-link).  The latter is
accomplished by having the ICMP Target Address be equal to the ICMP
Destination Address.

A router MUST be able to determine the link-local address for each of
its neighboring routers in order to ensure that the target address in a
Redirect message identifies the neighbor router by its link-local
address.  For static routing this requirement implies that the next-hop
router's address should be specified using the link-local address of the
router.  For dynamic routing this requirement implies that all IPv6
routing protocols must somehow exchange the link-local addresses of
neighboring routers.


8.1.  Validation of Redirect Messages

A host MUST silently discard any received Redirect message that does not
satisfy all of the following validity checks:

   - IP Source Address is a link-local address.  Routers must use their
     link-local address as the source for Router Advertisement and
     Redirect messages so that hosts can uniquely identify routers.



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   - The IP Hop Limit field has a value of 255, i.e., the packet could
     not possibly have been forwarded by a router.

   - If the message includes an IP Authentication Header, the message
     authenticates correctly.

   - ICMP Checksum is valid.

   - ICMP Code is 0.

   - ICMP length (derived from the IP length) is 40 or more octets.

   - The IP source address of the Redirect is the same as the current
     first-hop router for the specified ICMP Destination Address.

   - The ICMP Destination Address field in the redirect message does not
     contain a multicast address.

   - The ICMP Target Address is either a link-local address (when
     redirected to a router) or the same as the ICMP Destination Address
     (when redirected to the on-link destination).

   - All included options have a length that is greater than zero.

The contents of the Reserved field, and of any unrecognized options MUST
be ignored.  Future, backward-compatible changes to the protocol may
specify the contents of the Reserved field or add new options;
backward-incompatible changes may use different Code values.

The contents of any defined options that are not specified to be used
with Redirect messages MUST be ignored and the packet processed as
normal.  The only defined options that may appear are the Target Link-
Layer Address option and the Redirected Header option.

A host MUST NOT consider a redirect invalid just because the Target
Address of the redirect is not covered under one of the link's prefixes.
Part of the semantics of the Redirect message is that the Target Address
is on-link.

A redirect that passes the validity checks is called a "valid redirect".


8.2.  Router Specification

A router SHOULD send a redirect message, subject to rate limiting,
whenever it forwards a packet that is not explicitly addressed to itself
(i.e. a packet that is not source routed through the router) in which:




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   - the Source Address field of the packet identifies a neighbor, and

   - the router determines that a better first-hop node resides on the
     same link as the sending node for the Destination Address of the
     packet being forwarded, and

   - the Destination Address of the packet is not a multicast address,
     and

The transmitted redirect packet contains, consistent with the message
format given in Section 4.5:

   - In the Target Address field: the address to which subsequent
     packets for the destination SHOULD be sent.  If the target is a
     router, that router's link-local address MUST be used.  If the
     target is a host the target address field MUST be set to the same
     value as the Destination Address field.

   - In the Destination Address field: the destination address of the
     invoking IP packet.

   - In the options:

        o Target Link-Layer Address option: link-layer address of the
          target, if known.

        o Redirected Header: as much of the forwarded packet as can fit
          without the redirect packet exceeding 576 octets in size.


A router MUST limit the rate at which Redirect messages are sent, in
order to limit the bandwidth and processing costs incurred by the
Redirect messages when the source does not correctly respond to the
Redirects, or the source chooses to ignore unauthenticated Redirect
messages.  More details on the rate-limiting of ICMP error messages can
be found in [ICMPv6].

A router MUST NOT update its routing tables upon receipt of a Redirect.


8.3.  Host Specification

A host receiving a valid redirect SHOULD update its Destination Cache
accordingly so that subsequent traffic goes to the specified target.  If
no Destination Cache entry exists for the destination, an implementation
SHOULD create such an entry.

If the redirect contains a Target Link-Layer Address option the host



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either creates or updates the Neighbor Cache entry for the target.  In
both cases the cached link-layer address is copied from the Target
Link-Layer Address option.  If a Neighbor Cache entry is created for the
target its reachability state MUST be set to STALE as specified in
Section 7.3.3.  If a cache entry already existed and it is updated with
a different link-layer address its reachability state MUST also be set
to STALE.

In addition, if the Target Address is the same as the Destination
Address, the host MUST treat the destination as on-link and set the
IsRouter field in the corresponding Neighbor Cache entry to FALSE.
Otherwise it MUST set IsRouter to true.

Redirect messages apply to all flows that are being sent to a given
destination.  That is, upon receipt of a Redirect for a Destination
Address, all Destination Cache entries to that address should be updated
to use the specified next-hop, regardless of the contents of the Flow
Label field that appears in the Redirected Header option.

A host MAY have a configuration switch that can be set to make it ignore
a Redirect message that does not have an IP Authentication header.

A host MUST NOT send Redirect messages.


9.  EXTENSIBILITY - OPTION PROCESSING

Options provide a mechanism for encoding variable length fields, fields
that may appear multiple times in the same packet, or information that
may not appear in all packets.  Options can also be used to add
additional functionality to future versions of ND.

In order to ensure that future extensions properly coexist with current
implementations, all nodes MUST silently ignore any options they do not
recognize in received ND packets and continue processing the packet.
All options specified in this document MUST be recognized.  A node MUST
NOT ignore valid options just because the ND message contains
unrecognized ones.

The current set of options is defined in such a way that receivers can
process multiple options in the same packet independently of each other.
In order to maintain these properties future options SHOULD follow the
simple rule:

     The option MUST NOT depend on the presence or absence of any other
     options.  The semantics of an option should depend only on the
     information in the fixed part of the ND packet and on the
     information contained in the option itself.



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Adhering to the above rule has the following benefits:

  1) Receivers can process options independently of one another.  For
     example, an implementation can choose to process the Prefix
     Information option contained in a Router Advertisement message in a
     user-space process while the link-layer address option in the same
     message is processed by routines in the kernel.

  2) Should the number of options cause a packet to exceed a link's MTU,
     multiple packets can carry subsets of the options without any
     change in semantics.

  3) Senders MAY send a subset of options in different packets.  For
     instance, if a prefix's Valid and Preferred Lifetime are high
     enough, it might not be necessary to include the Prefix Information
     option in every Router Advertisement.  In addition, different
     routers might send different sets of options.  Thus, a receiver
     MUST NOT associate any action with the absence of an option in a
     particular packet.  This protocol specifies that receivers should
     only act on the expiration of timers and on the information that is
     received in the packets.

Options in Neighbor Discovery packets can appear in any order; receivers
MUST be prepared to process them independently of their order.  There
can also be multiple instances of the same option in a message (e.g.,
Prefix Information options).

If the number of included options in a Router Advertisement causes the
advertisement's size to exceed the link MTU, the router can send
multiple separate advertisements each containing a subset of the
options.

The amount of data to include in the Redirected Header option MUST be
limited so that the entire redirect packet does not exceed 576 octets.

All options are a multiple of 8 octets of length, ensuring appropriate
alignment without any "pad" options.  The fields in the options (as well
as the fields in ND packets) are defined to align on their natural
boundaries (e.g., a 16-bit field is aligned on a 16-bit boundary) with
the exception of the 128-bit IP addresses/prefixes, which are aligned on
a 64-bit boundary.  The link-layer address field contains an
uninterpreted octet string; it is aligned on an 8-bit boundary.

The size of an ND packet including the IP header is limited to the link
MTU (which is at least 576 octets).  When adding options to an ND packet
a node MUST NOT exceed the link MTU.

Future versions of this protocol may define new option types.  Receivers



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MUST silently ignore any options they do not recognize and continue
processing the message.


10.  PROTOCOL CONSTANTS

Router constants:

         MAX_INITIAL_RTR_ADVERT_INTERVAL  16 seconds

         MAX_INITIAL_RTR_ADVERTISEMENTS    3 transmissions

         MAX_FINAL_RTR_ADVERTISEMENTS      3 transmissions

         MIN_DELAY_BETWEEN_RAS             3 seconds

         MAX_RA_DELAY_TIME                 .5 seconds

Host constants:

         MAX_RTR_SOLICITATION_DELAY        1 second

         RTR_SOLICITATION_INTERVAL         4 seconds

         MAX_RTR_SOLICITATIONS             3 transmissions

Node constants:

         MAX_MULTICAST_SOLICIT             3 transmissions

         MAX_UNICAST_SOLICIT               3 transmissions

         MAX_ANYCAST_DELAY_TIME            1 second

         MAX_NEIGHBOR_ADVERTISEMENT        3 transmissions

         REACHABLE_TIME               30,000 milliseconds

         RETRANS_TIMER                 1,000 milliseconds

         DELAY_FIRST_PROBE_TIME            5 seconds

         MIN_RANDOM_FACTOR                 .5

         MAX_RANDOM_FACTOR                 1.5

Additional protocol constants are defined with the message formats in
Section 4.



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All protocol constants are subject to change in future revisions of the
protocol.

The constants in this specification may be overridden by specific
documents that describe how IPv6 operates over different link layers.
This rule allows Neighbor Discovery to operate over links with widely
varying performance characteristics.


11.  SECURITY CONSIDERATIONS

Neighbor Discovery is subject to attacks that cause IP packets to flow
to unexpected places.  Such attacks can be used to cause denial of
service but also allow nodes to intercept and optionally modify packets
destined for other nodes.

The protocol reduces the exposure to such threats in the absence of
authentication by ignoring ND packets received from off-link senders.
The Hop Limit field of all received packets is verified to contain 255,
the maximum legal value.  Because routers decrement the Hop Limit on all
packets they forward, received packets containing a Hop Limit of 255
must have originated from a neighbor.

The trust model for redirects is the same as in IPv4.  A redirect is
accepted only if received from the same router that is currently being
used for that destination.  It is natural to trust the routers on the
link.  If a host has been redirected to another node (i.e., the
destination is on-link) there is no way to prevent the target from
issuing another redirect to some other destination.  However, this
exposure is no worse than it was; the target host, once subverted, could
always act as a hidden router to forward traffic elsewhere.

The protocol contains no mechanism to determine which neighbors are
authorized to send a particular type of message e.g.  Router
Advertisements; any neighbor, presumably even in the presence of
authentication, can send Router Advertisement messages thereby being
able to cause denial of service.  Furthermore, any neighbor can send
proxy Neighbor Advertisements as well as unsolicited Neighbor
Advertisements as a potential denial of service attack.

Neighbor Discovery protocol packet exchanges can be authenticated using
the IP Authentication Header [IPv6-AUTH].  A node SHOULD include an
Authentication Header when sending Neighbor Discovery packets if a
security association for use with the IP Authentication Header exists
for the destination address.  The security associations may have been
created through manual configuration or through the operation of some
key management protocol.




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Received Authentication Headers in Neighbor Discovery packets MUST be
verified for correctness and packets with incorrect authentication MUST
be ignored.

It SHOULD be possible for the system administrator to configure a node
to ignore any Neighbor Discovery messages that are not authenticated
using either the Authentication Header or Encapsulating Security
Payload.  The configuration technique for this MUST be documented.  Such
a switch SHOULD default to allowing unauthenticated messages.

Confidentiality issues are addressed by the IP Security Architecture and
the IP Encapsulating Security Payload documents [IPv6-SA, IPv6-ESP].







































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REFERENCES


  [ADDRCONF] S. Thomson, T. Narten, "IPv6 Address Autoconfiguration",
          Work in Progress.

  [ADDR-ARCH] S. Deering, R. Hinden, Editors, "IP Version 6 Addressing
          Architecture", RFC 1884, January, 1996.

  [ANYCST] C. Partridge, T. Mendez, and W. Milliken, "Host Anycasting
          Service", RFC 1546, November 1993.

  [ARP] D. Plummer, "An Ethernet Address Resolution Protocol", STD 37,
          RFC 826, November 1982.

  [HR-CL] R. Braden, Editor, "Requirements for Internet Hosts --
          Communication Layers", STD 3, RFC 1122, October 1989.

  [ICMPv4] J. Postel, "Internet Control Message Protocol", STD 5, RFC
          792, September 1981.

  [ICMPv6] A. Conta, and S. Deering, "Internet Control Message Protocol
          (ICMPv6) for the Internet Protocol Version 6 (IPv6)", RFC
          1885, January 1996.

  [IPv6] S. Deering, R. Hinden, Editors, "Internet Protocol, Version 6
          (IPv6) Specification", RFC 1883, January, 1996.

  [IPv6-ETHER] M. Crawford. "A Method for the Transmission of IPv6
          Packets over Ethernet Networks", Work in Progress.

  [IPv6-SA] R. Atkinson.  "Security Architecture for the Internet
          Protocol".  RFC 1825, August 1995.

  [IPv6-AUTH] R. Atkinson.  "IP Authentication Header",  RFC 1826,
          August 1995.

  [IPv6-ESP] R. Atkinson.  "IP Encapsulating Security Payload (ESP)",
          RFC 1827, August 1995.

  [RDISC] S. Deering, "ICMP Router Discovery Messages", RFC 1256,
          September 1991.

  [SH-MEDIA] R. Braden, J. Postel, Y. Rekhter, "Internet Architecture
          Extensions for Shared Media", RFC 1620, May 1994.

  [ASSIGNED] J. Reynolds, J. Postel, "ASSIGNED NUMBERS", RFC 1700,
          October 1994.



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  [SYNC] S. Floyd, V. Jacobsen, "The Synchronization of Periodic Routing
          Messages", IEEE/ACM Transactions on Networking, April 1994.
          ftp://ftp.ee.lbl.gov/papers/sync_94.ps.Z



AUTHORS' ADDRESSES

     Erik Nordmark                Thomas Narten
     Sun Microsystems, Inc.       IBM Corporation
     2550 Garcia Ave              P.O. Box 12195
     Mt. View, CA 94041           Research Triangle Park, NC 27709-2195
     USA                          USA

     phone: +1 415 786 5166       phone: +1 919 254 7798
     fax:   +1 415 786 5896       fax:   +1 919 254 4027
     email: nordmark@sun.com      email: narten@vnet.ibm.com

     William Allen Simpson
     Daydreamer
     Computer Systems Consulting Services
     1384 Fontaine
     Madison Heights, Michigan  48071
     USA

     email: Bill.Simpson@um.cc.umich.edu
            bsimpson@MorningStar.com
























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APPENDIX A: MULTIHOMED HOSTS


There are a number of complicating issues that arise when Neighbor
Discovery is used by hosts that have multiple interfaces.  This section
does not attempt to define the proper operation of multihomed hosts with
regard to Neighbor Discovery.  Rather, it identifies issues that require
further study.  Implementors are encouraged to experiment with various
approaches to making Neighbor Discovery work on multihomed hosts and to
report their experiences.

If a multihomed host receives Router Advertisements on all of its
interfaces, it will (probably) have learned on-link prefixes for the
addresses residing on each link.  When a packet must be sent through a
router, however, selecting the "wrong" router can result in a suboptimal
or non-functioning path.  There are number of issues to consider:

  1) In order for a router to send a redirect, it must determine that
     the packet it is forwarding originates from a neighbor.  The
     standard test for this case is to compare the source address of the
     packet to the list of on-link prefixes associated with the
     interface on which the packet was received.  If the originating
     host is multihomed, however, the source address it uses may belong
     to an interface other than the interface from which it was sent.
     In such cases, a router will not send redirects, and suboptimal
     routing is likely.  In order to be redirected, the sending host
     must always send packets out the interface corresponding to the
     outgoing packet's source address.  Note that this issue never
     arises with non-multihomed hosts; they only have one interface.

  2) If the selected first-hop router does not have a route at all for
     the destination, it will be unable to deliver the packet.  However,
     the destination may be reachable through a router on one of the
     other interfaces.  Neighbor Discovery does not address this
     scenario; it does not arise in the non-multihomed case.

  3) Even if the first-hop router does have a route for a destination,
     there may be a better route via another interface.  No mechanism
     exists for the multihomed host to detect this situation.

If a multihomed host fails to receive Router Advertisements on one or
more of its interfaces, it will not know (in the absence of configured
information) which destinations are on-link on the affected
interface(s).  This leads to a number of problems:

  1) If no Router Advertisement is received on any interfaces, a
     multihomed host will have no way of knowing which interface to send
     packets out on, even for on-link destinations.  Under similar



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     conditions in the non-multihomed host case, a node treats all
     destinations as residing on-link, and communication proceeds.  In
     the multihomed case, however, additional information is needed to
     select the proper outgoing interface.  Alternatively, a node could
     attempt to perform address resolution on all interfaces, a step
     involving significant complexity that is not present in the non-
     multihomed host case.

  2) If Router Advertisements are received on some, but not all
     interfaces, a multihomed host could choose to only send packets out
     on the interfaces on which it has received Router Advertisements.
     A key assumption made here, however, is that routers on those other
     interfaces will be able to route packets to the ultimate
     destination, even when those destinations reside on the subnet to
     which the sender connects, but has no on-link prefix information.
     Should the assumption be false, communication would fail.  Even if
     the assumption holds, packets will traverse a sub-optimal path.



APPENDIX B: FUTURE EXTENSIONS


Possible extensions for future study are:

 o Using dynamic timers to be able to adapt to links with widely varying
   delay.  Measuring round trip times, however, requires acknowledgments
   and sequence numbers in order to match received Neighbor
   Advertisements with the actual Neighbor Solicitation that triggered
   the advertisement.  Implementors wishing to experiment with such a
   facility could do so in a backwards-compatible way by defining a new
   option carrying the necessary information.  Nodes not understanding
   the option would simply ignore it.

 o Adding capabilities to facilitate the operation over links that
   currently require hosts to register with an address resolution
   server.  This could for instance enable routers to ask hosts to send
   them periodic unsolicited advertisements.  Once again this can be
   added using a new option sent in the Router Advertisements.

 o Adding additional procedures for links where asymmetric and non-
   transitive reachability is part of normal operations.  Such
   procedures might allow hosts and routers to find usable paths on,
   e.g., radio links.







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APPENDIX C: STATE MACHINE FOR THE REACHABILITY STATE


This appendix contains a summary of the rules specified in Sections 7.2
and 7.3.  This document does not mandate that implementations adhere to
this model as long as their external behavior is consistent with that
described in this document.

When performing address resolution and Neighbor Unreachability Detection
the following state transitions apply using the conceptual model:

State           Event                   Action                New state

-               Packet to send.         Create entry.         INCOMPLETE
                                        Send multicast NS.
                                        Start retransmit timer

INCOMPLETE      Retransmit timeout,     Retransmit NS         INCOMPLETE
                less than N             Start retransmit timer
                retransmissions.

INCOMPLETE      Retransmit timeout,     Discard entry         -
                N or more               Send ICMP error
                retransmissions.

INCOMPLETE      NA, Solicited=0,        Record link-layer     STALE
                Override=any            address.  Send queued
                                        packets.

INCOMPLETE      NA, Solicited=1,        Record link-layer     REACHABLE
                Override=any            address.  Send queued
                                        packets.

!INCOMPLETE     NA, Solicited=1,        -                     REACHABLE
                Override=0

!INCOMPLETE     NA, Solicited=1,        Record link-layer     REACHABLE
                Override=1              address.

!INCOMPLETE     NA, Solicited=0,        -                     STALE
                Override=0

!INCOMPLETE     NA, Solicited=0,        Record link-layer     STALE
                Override=1              address.

!INCOMPLETE     upper-layer reachability  -                   REACHABLE
                confirmation




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REACHABLE       timeout, more than      -                     STALE
                N seconds since
                reachability confirm.

STALE           Sending packet          Start delay timer     DELAY

DELAY           Delay timeout           Send unicast NS probe PROBE
                                        Start retransmit timer

PROBE           Retransmit timeout,     Retransmit NS         PROBE
                less than N
                retransmissions.

PROBE           Retransmit timeout,     Discard entry         -
                N or more
                retransmissions.



The state transitions for receiving unsolicited information other than
Neighbor Advertisement messages apply to either the source of the packet
(for Neighbor Solicitation, Router Solicitation, and Router
Advertisement messages) or the target address (for Redirect messages) as
follows:

State           Event                   Action                New state

-               NS, RS, RA, Redirect    Create entry.         STALE

INCOMPLETE      NS, RS, RA, Redirect    Record link-layer     STALE
                                        address.  Send queued
                                        packets.

!INCOMPLETE     NS, RS, RA, Redirect    Update link-layer     STALE
                Different link-layer    address
                address than cached.

!INCOMPLETE     NS, RS, RA, Redirect    -                     unchanged
                Same link-layer
                address as cached.











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APPENDIX D: IMPLEMENTATION ISSUES



Appendix D.1: Reachability confirmations

Neighbor Unreachability Detection requires explicit confirmation that a
forward-path is functioning properly.  To avoid the need for Neighbor
Solicitation probe messages, upper layer protocols should provide such
an indication when the cost of doing so is small.  Reliable connection-
oriented protocols such as TCP are generally aware when the forward-path
is working.  When TCP sends (or receives) data, for instance, it updates
its window sequence numbers, sets and cancels retransmit timers, etc.
Specific scenarios that usually indicate a properly functioning
forward-path include:

- Receipt of an acknowledgement that covers a sequence number (e.g.,
   data) not previously acknowledged indicates that the forward path was
   working at the time the data was sent.

- Completion of the initial three-way handshake is a special case of the
   previous rule; although no data is sent during the handshake, the SYN
   flags are counted as data from the sequence number perspective.  This
   applies to both the SYN+ACK for the active open the ACK of that
   packet on the passively opening peer.

- Receipt of new data (i.e., data not previously received) indicates
   that the forward-path was working at the time an acknowledgement was
   sent that advanced the peer's send window that allowed the new data
   to be sent.

To minimize the cost of communicating reachability information between
the TCP and IP layers, an implementation may wish to rate-limit the
reachability confirmations its sends IP.  One possibility is to process
reachability only every few packets.  For example, one might update
reachability information once per round trip time, if an implementation
only has one round trip timer per connection.  For those implementations
that cache Destination Cache entries within control blocks, it may be
possible to update the Neighbor Cache entry directly (i.e., without an
expensive lookup) once the TCP packet has been demultiplexed to its
corresponding control block.  For other implementation it may be
possible to piggyback the reachability confirmation on the next packet
submitted to IP assuming that the implementation guards against the
piggybacked confirmation becoming stale when no packets are sent to IP
for an extended period of time.

TCP must also guard against thinking "stale" information indicates
current reachability.  For example, new data received 30 minutes after a



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window has opened up does not constitute a confirmation that the path is
currently working.  In merely indicates that 30 minutes ago the window
update reached the peer i.e. the path was working at that point in time.
An implementation must also take into account TCP zero-window probes
that are sent even if the path is broken and the window update did not
reach the peer.

For UDP based applications (RPC, DNS) it is relatively simple to make
the client send reachability confirmations when the response packet is
received.  It is more difficult and in some cases impossible for the
server to generate such confirmations since there is no flow control,
i.e., the server can not determine whether a received request indicates
that a previous response reached the client.

Note that an implementation can not use negative upper-layer advise as a
replacement for the Neighbor Unreachability Detection algorithm.
Negative advise (e.g. from TCP when there are excessive retransmissions)
could serve as a hint that the forward path from the sender of the data
might not be working.  But it would fail to detect when the path from
the receiver of the data is not functioning causing, none of the
acknowledgement packets to reach the sender.






























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