IPv6 - DHCPv6

DHCPv6, or Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol for IPv6, is a protocol used for assigning IP addresses and other configuration information to devices on a network. It operates similarly to DHCP for IPv4, but with specific adaptations for the IPv6 architecture. Here are some key points about DHCPv6:

Address Configuration

  • Stateful Configuration: DHCPv6 can assign IPv6 addresses dynamically in a stateful manner, meaning it keeps track of the addresses it assigns to devices.
  • Stateless Configuration: DHCPv6 can also provide other configuration information (like DNS servers) without assigning an IPv6 address, in what's called stateless address autoconfiguration (SLAAC).


  • DHCPv6 uses ICMPv6 for discovery and solicitation messages, differentiating it from DHCP for IPv4 which uses UDP. This allows devices on an IPv6 network to find DHCPv6 servers and request configuration information.

DHCPv6 Messages

  • It involves several types of messages for communication between clients and servers, such as Solicit, Advertise, Request, Confirm, Renew, Rebind, Reply, Release, and Decline.


  • Devices are identified using DUIDs (DHCP Unique Identifiers) rather than MAC addresses. This is a shift from IPv4’s DHCP reliance on MAC addresses for client identification. DUIDs provide a more flexible and consistent client identifier mechanism.

Prefix Delegation

  • DHCPv6 supports Prefix Delegation, which allows routers to obtain IPv6 prefixes from a DHCPv6 server. This is especially useful for configuring networks behind the routers, allowing for automatic subnetting and address assignment without manual configuration.


  • Like DHCP for IPv4, DHCPv6 can be susceptible to various security threats, such as unauthorized DHCP servers providing false information. However, DHCPv6 includes support for authentication using keys agreed upon by both the server and client, enhancing security.


  • DHCPv6 is necessary because IPv6 addresses are not backward compatible with IPv4 addresses, requiring a separate protocol to handle IPv6 configurations.


  • The implementation of DHCPv6 is crucial for IPv6 deployment, as it simplifies the management of large-scale networks and supports a broad range of network configuration options.

DHCPv6 plays a critical role in the deployment of IPv6 by providing a robust and flexible mechanism for address assignment and network configuration, supporting both stateful and stateless operations.