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Dollard-Des-Ormeaux, QC

1 recommendation

reply to Mersault

Re: IPv6 beta

said by Mersault:

said by rpnc:

IPv6 routers do not fragment packets - unlike IPv4.

While in a perfect world this would be true, it's not what I have observed. IPv6 was designed with the idea that it would do MTU path discovery, and that upper layer protocols would sort out payload size.

Rpnc is correct above. In the IPv6 specification, along-route routers must not independently fragment packets. The originating host, however, may. This is perfectly acceptable, and it is in fact required behaviour. The IPv6 specification requires hosts to allow fragment reassembly up to 1500 octets (bytes), and a host may silently drop larger reassembled packets. For best performance the upper-layer protocols shouldn't be sending packets larger than the MTU, but anything = 1500 octets is supposed to get there by specification, even if fragmentation is necessary by the IP layer.

The IPv6 behaviour here is analogous to the IPv4 behaviour when the 'Don't Fragment' bit is set. Otherwise, IPv4 routers are permitted to fragment packets en-route, and this becomes extremely complicated when routers can potentially re-fragment the fragments. Since they never manipulate fragments themselves, IPv6 routers can be dumber.