Enabling IPv6 on a Computer

Check out these additional IPv6 Resources:
Our IPv6 overview course at Udemy
Our IPv6 Custom Profiles for Wireshark
Our IPv6 classes at the Online School

We are often asked, how do you enable IPv6 on a computer?  With all the various versions of operating systems out there, this is no simple answer.  What we have chosen to do below is provide the procedure for Windows 7, Windows XP and Ubuntu.  Hopefully from there everyone can find their way.

Note: Some computers will not allow the user to actually enable or disable IPv6 operation due to company policy and/or Administrative level access to the computer. So if you receive warnings that do not allow you to perform these operations, try to find another student who does, and work with them.

There are no GUI options for IPv6 in Windows XP or Windows Server 2003.  Versions of Windows systems since and including Windows VISTA also have GUI as well as the netsh methods. 


Windows 7 – GUI Method

Step 1

Let’s begin by finding out if your system has IPv6 enabled.

  1. Right click on the network icon.
  2. Now“Open the Network and Sharing Center”.
  3. In the resulting window, select “Change adapter settings” on the left side.
  4. Now, in the Network Connections window that appears, select the “Local Area Connection” or “Wireless Network Connection” that is active.
  5. Now either select “Change settings of this connection” on the top tool bar, or right click the connection icon and select properties.
  6. In the connection property page, if the check the box for “Internet Protocol Version 6 (TCP/IPv6)” is checked, then IPv6 is working on your machine and you can close all the windows that opened and skip Step 2.

Step 2

To enable IPv6 on your machine, check the box “Internet Protocol Version 6 (TCP/IPv6)”. Click the OK button.


That is it!

To see what else you can do on your Computer with IPv6 simply search the site for “IPv6”.

Install Procedure for IPv6 on a Windows XP Machine

  1. Open Network Connections
  2. Right-click any local area connection, and then click Properties.
  3. Click Install.
  4. In the Select Network Component Type dialog box, click Protocol, and then click Add.
  5. In the Select Network Protocol dialog box, click Microsoft TCP/IP version 6, and then click OK.
  6. Click Close to save changes to your network connection.

That is it!

Some netsh commands you can run on a Windows Machine that is IPv6 Enabled:

Open a Start> Run> CMD window.

From the prompt, enter “netsh interface ipv6”

You can do several things from this point:

  • To set an IPv6 address type “set address “.  Here is an example: “set address LAN 2001:db8:1:1::1”
  • To install a route type “set route “.  Here is an example of setting a default route to a gateway with the link local address fe80::1: “set route ::/0 LAN fe80::1” 
  • To set a path and DNS server type “set dnsserver {dhcp | static }”. For example, if you wanted to set your system to using DHCP-lite, use “set dnsserver LAN dhcp” or to statically set the DNS “set dnsserver LAN static 2001:db8:1:1::1”  

If you wanted to display the neighbor cache (replaces the ARP cache in IPv4 networking) enter “netsh interface ipv6 show neighbors”

If you want to display the dnsservers enter “netsh interface ipv6 show dnsservers”

Another thing you can do is change the privacy settings for Windows autoconfiguration of addresses.  By default windows uses this method.  To turn it on/off enter “netsh interface ipv6 set privacy [enabled|disabled]”


Install Procedure for IPv6 on a Linux (Ubuntu) Machine

The latest versions of Ubuntu come with IPv6 enabled (since the 2.2.x kernel series).  You can check this by issuing the following command:

ip a | grep inet6

The file /proc/net/if_net6 contains a list of interfaces on which IPv6 is enabled.

If you want to add IPv6 to a running kernel – simply open a terminal window and enter “modprobe ipv6” and the host will autoconfigure itself.

If you are running an older version you can try installing via the following command:

lsmod | grep ip6

Other Linux commands of interest:

Again from the terminal prompt, you can try “ifconfig ipv6 add /” to add an IPv6 address to an interface.

  • To remove an IPv6 address use “ifconfig ipv6 del /”
  • To add a route “route -A inet6 add gw “.  For example “route -A inet6 add default gw fe80::1”
  • To add a DNS server you must edit the /etc/resolv.conf file and add a line “nameserver 2001:db8:1:1::1” replacing the example IPv6 address with the appropriate IPv6 address.
  • To examine the neighbor cache, use “ip -f inet6 neigh” command.

For a great source of IPv6 on Ubuntu, check out this page: https://wiki.ubuntu.com/IPv6


Enabling IPv6 on MAC OS X

MAC OS X natively supports IPv6 in the newer releases.  You can configure IPv6 on a MAC through the GUI or through a terminal session using CLI.

The following is a list of CLI commands for MAC OS X (for detail explanations of the commands just type “man” in front of any of these in a terminal window and you will be provided manual pages and details):

  • “ip6 -a”: enables IPv6 on all interfaces
  • “ip6 -x”: disables IPv6 on all interfaces
  • “ifconfig”: used for manual setting up of IPv6 parameters
    • ifconfig [-C] [-L] interface address_family [address [dest_address]]
    • [parameters]
    • ifconfig interface create
    • ifconfig -a [-C] [-L] [-d] [-m] [-u] [-v] [address_family]
    • ifconfig -l [-d] [-u] [address_family]
    • ifconfig [-C] [-L] [-d] [-m] [-u] [-v]
  • “route”: use this command for configuring the routing table.  Usage: route [-dnqtv] command [[modifiers] args]
  • “netstat”: use this command for displaying status, routing and interface info
    • netstat [-AaLlnW] [-f address_family | -p protocol]

    • netstat [-gilns] [-f address_family]
    • netstat -i | -I interface [-w wait] [-abdgRt]
    • netstat -i | -I interface [-w wait] [-abdgRt]
    • netstat -s [-s] [-f address_family | -p protocol] [-w wait]
    • netstat -i | -I interface -s [-f address_family | -p protocol]
    • netstat -m [-m]
    • netstat -r [-Aaln] [-f address_family]
    • netstat -rs [-s]


We hope this helps everyone with their various systems.

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