IPv6 Router

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IPv6 and IPv4 have significant differences, not only on the IP address format, but also on the protocol operations. In this specification, we will discuss how to support IPv6 neutron router in terms of public access.

Problem Description

For IPv4, a tenant can assign a private prefix to its network, and use floatingip to gain access to the public network that is assigned with public IP addresses. Floatingip is currently not supported for IPv6 in neutron. There is a neutron spec for IPv6 floatingip that may be possible for later openstack releases [IPV6_FIP]. To gain public access with a neutron router that is connected to a public network, a tenant can use a GUA address in its own network.

For IPv4, public IP addresses need to be assigned to the gateway port so that NAT traffic can terminate. For IPv6 with GUA tenant network, it’s not necessary to assign a GUA prefix (or any prefix) to the gateway port. This is because, by default, an IPv6 network is always assigned with the LLA prefix fe80::/10 [IPV6_ADDR]. And the same is true for the gateway port in a neutron router with IPv6 enabled.

Note that the external network can still be associated with an explicit IPv6 subnet. Its use case will be explained in [IPV6_FIP].

It’s possible that the upstream router runs RA. The RA may simply advertise a default route. In the same time, it may also carry a prefix for SLAAC. In either case, the neutron router should have a default route installed after the RA message is processed. To cover the case where the upstream router doesn’t advertise a default route with RA, there needs to be a way to configure the default nexthop in the neutron router.

Proposed Change

The implementation of router-gateway-set API will be changed so that an IPv6 subnet is not required in the external network identified by the external-network-id. To create the gateway port for a neutron router, the internal implementation of the port-create API is invoked. Currently in the IPv6 only case, without explicitly providing an IPv6 subnet, a Bad Request exception will be generated. Assuming the gateway port is associated with the fe80::/10 prefix, change will be made to ensure the gateway port is created successfully.

When an IPv4 subnet is added in a router, check to make sure that the router’s gateway port is on an IPv4 public network.

To support explicit nexthop configuration of neutron router in the absence of upstream RA, add an ipv6-gateway parameter in the l3 agent configuration file as in below:

ipv6-gateway = GATEWAY_LLA

The GATEWAY_LLA should be a valid LLA address. And if it’s not a valid LLA address, L3 agent will log a warning message. With a valid ipv6-gateway LLA address, the l3 agent will install a default route with the nexthop being the GATEWAY_LLA, and the outgoing interface the gateway port.

Data Model Impact




Security Impact


Notifications Impact


Other End User Impact


Performance Impact


IPv6 Impact

This specification specifies the changes to support IPv6 router.

Other Deployer Impact

This spec introduces a new l3 agent configuration parameter as described in above.

Developer Impact

If a plugin supports neutron router and IPv6, then it may need to be changed to support the router API semantics change.

Also devstack change may be needed to support the IPv4 only, IPv6 only and dual stack configuration.

Community Impact

This change is aligned with the community effort in support of IPv6 in neutron


In the IPv6 only case, it’s possible to create a fake ipv6 subnet and use it to create the gateway port.

In an IPv6 only router, the neutron public network doesn’t actually contain any useful information currently. But removing it would require API change. In addition, it may be useful in the future to partition the public network into smaller broadcast domains.

Another idea is to have a flag associated with a neutron router to indicate if the router is running in one of the three modes: IPv4 only, IPv6 only or dual stack. This can make sure that the gateway port is created properly with required subnets.

Is it necessary to provide a disable_ipv6 option for a neutron network, and/or an overall config option disable_ipv6 in the neutron config file?



Primary assignee:


Other contributors:

will add as needed

Work Items

  • Change due to router API semantics change

  • create the gateway port in the absence of subnets

  • Develop test cases

  • Tempest tests


It may have a dependency on the l3 agent refactoring if it’s found that change is needed in the l3 agent.


Tempest Tests

Tempest tests should be developed to ensure the neutron routers work properly in IPv4 only, IPv6 only and dual stack environment.

Functional Tests

Functional tests are needed to ensure the gateway port is properly created in IPv4 only, IPv6 only and dual stack cases.

API Tests

Existing unit tests for the router APIs may need to be updated to reflect the change. New unit tests may be needed to test the API semantic changes.

Documentation Impact

User Documentation

User guide to neutron router needs to be updated

Developer Documentation

API semantic changes need to be documented.