My workstation's configuration

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I thought it might be useful to document how I use IPv6 on my workstation. I'm running Mac OS X 10.4.11 on a Mac Pro. I use IPv6 for DNS, NTP, SSH, HTTP (including RSS), IMAP and SMTP daily.

As I mentioned previously, ET's DNS servers support queries over IPv6. I use IPv6 exclusively for DNS queries. So far, I haven't noticed any apps that break. My machine is issuing many extra DNS queries, since it checks for AAAA records for every host I connect to. This causes some extra latency, but I haven't found it to be noticable. I do reguarly capture my DNS queries with WireShark. In a later entry I'll look at DNS latency with IPv6.

Our NTP servers support IPv6. OS X's ntpd is IPv6-capable, so my Mac syncs over IPv6. From an end-user perspective, there's nothing different than using IPv4: I type in the NTP server's hostname, and my clock gets synced.

For web browsing, I use FireFox and Opera. Both support IPv6; but FireFox required a minor configuration change to enable IPv6. Occassionally, I'll experience some extra latency when loading an IPv6-connected web site. There is a useful FireFox extension, ShowIP, which displays the IP address of the web sites. It's a convenient way to check if your favorite sites support IPv6. Several of ET's internal web sites, such as our internal wiki, are IPv6-accessible.

My RSS reader, NewsFire, supports IPv6, and I have several IPv6-accessible RSS feeds in my feed list.

I use Thunderbird for email. ET's IMAP and SMTP servers are IPv6-enabled, and Thunderbird connects to them over IPv6. Like FireFox, it required a small config change to enable IPv6. OS X's mail client also supports IPv6 for IMAP, but SMTP-over-IPv6 is broken in 10.4 on Intel Macs. This has been fixed Leopard.

Several of our ssh servers are IPv6-enabled. Again, there's nothing different from an end-user perspective. If you look in my ~/.ssh/known_hosts file, you'll see IPv6 addresses for some entries. My workstation runs sshd, and I can connect to it over IPv6 as well.

I use Kerberos heavily on my machine: for logins, for unlocking the screensaver, for email, etc. The ITS Kerberos servers aren't reachable over IPv6, but they do support embeddeing IPv6 addresses in Kerberos tickets. I use addressless tickets, though. There can be issues with addressed tickets when connecting from an IPv4-only host to a dual-stacked host. For this and other reasons, I suggest using addressless tickets. In fact, addressless tickets have been the default in MIT Kerberos 1.3.

Occassionally, I need to bring up a test KDC. I tend to use Sun's SEAM version of Kerberos, since I have plenty of Solaris 10 machines handy. When I do so, OS X will obtain tickets over IPv6 without issue.

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