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2.1. What is IPv6?

IPv6 is a new layer 3 transport protocol (see linuxports/howto/intro_to_networking/ISO - OSI Model) which will supersede IPv4 (also known as IP). IPv4 was designed long time ago (RFC 760 / Internet Protocol from January 1980) and since its inception, there have been many requests for more addresses and enhanced capabilities. Major changes in IPv6 are the redesign of the header, including the increase of address size from 32 bits to 128 bits. Because layer 3 is responsible for end-to-end packet transport using packet routing based on addresses, it must include the new IPv6 addresses (source and destination), like IPv4.

For more information about the IPv6 history take a look at older IPv6 related RFCs listed e.g. at SWITCH IPv6 Pilot / References.




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