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Configuring IPv6 on ESX 4.0.x


This article provides steps to configure IPv6 on ESX 4.0.


Supporting IPv6


  • ESX 3.5 supports virtual machines configured for IPv6.
  • ESX 4.0 supports IPv6 with the following restrictions:
    • IPv6 Storage (software iSCSI and NFS) is experimental in ESX 4.0.
    • ESX does not support TCP Segmentation Offload (TSO) with IPv6.
    • VMware High Availability and Fault Tolerance do not support IPv6.
Guest operating systems
  • Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 fully support IPv6.
  • Windows 2003 SP1 and Windows XP SP2 have the infrastructure for IPv6, but components of the system and applications are not fully compliant.
  • Linux version 2.6 is fully compliant.

Configuring IPv6 on an ESX host

IPv6 is disabled by default and must be enabled.
Note: Enabling IPv6 on an ESX host does not disable IPv4.
To enable IPv6 from the GUI:
  1. Click Host > Configuration tab > Networking > Properties.
  2. In the window that displays, select Internet Protocol Version 6.
  3. Click OK.
  4. Reboot the system for the changes to take effect.

To enable IPv6 using a command line:

  1. To enable IPv6 for the VMkernel, run the command:

    esxcfg-vmknic -6 true

  2. To enable IPv6 for the Service Console, run the command:

    esxcfg-vswif -6 true

  3. To verify that IPv6 has been enabled, run the command:

    vmkload_mod -l

    The output appears similar to:

    Name                R/O Addr          Length      R/W Addr          Length        ID Loaded
    tcpip2v6            0x4180225fd000    0xbd000     0x417fe3676f80    0x37000       47 Yes

    Noteesxcfg-module -l is the equivalent of vmkload_mod -l and is also available in the vi-cli.

To create or edit a virtual adapter (vswif for the Service Console or vmknic for the VMkernel):

  1. Click Host > Configuration tab > Networking > Properties.
  2. In the window that displays, select Internet Protocol Version 6.
  3. Click OK.
  4. There are 3 ways to assign an IPv6 address to an adapter:
    • Use DHCPv6. For more information about DHCPv6, 
    • If you have a host that advertises IPv6 configuration directives (such as an IPv6 router or a host running radvd), use the IPv6 automatic configuration feature.
    • Statically assigned. An automatically generated Link-Local IP address is assigned to communicate with potential routers in the same link.

To edit IPv6 addresses assigned to Service Console or VMkernel adapters:

  1. Click Host > Configuration tab > Networking.
  2. Select Virtual Switch or Distributed Virtual Switch and edit the interface.
Based on VMware KB 1010812

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