OpenStack Networking (Neutron) Specifications
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11 KiB

Support Router Advertisement Daemon (radvd) for IPv6

Launchpad blueprint:

Add support for radvd to Neutron, and use radvd as the preferred reference implementation for IPv6 Router Advertisements and SLAAC. [RADVD] is open-source software that implements advertisements of IPv6 router addresses and IPv6 routing prefixes using NDP.

Problem description

Router Advertisements (RAs) are fundamental to the IPv6 Neighbor Discovery standard [RFC_4861]. Without radvd, Neutron would need to rely on dnsmasq for RA functionality, which has a number of shortcomings:

  • For DHCP the dnsmasq process runs in its own (dhcp) namespace. For RAs we would need to run additional dnsmasq processes in router namespaces. Since we don't want to change the current DHCP functionality we would have to disable prefix delegation for the dnsmasq processes running in router namespaces. This would lead to a lot of overhead and scale issues.
  • Unicast RAs are not supported by dnsmasq. Unicast RAs are a useful feature. For example, they can be used to provide internet access to specific end points when the default assignment is Unique Local Addresses (ULA).
  • Some older versions of dnsmasq included with distributions have insufficient IPv6 support.

This proposal is intended to cover announcing RAs, providing the announcement information requested from the ipv6_ra_mode attribute.

Proposed change

If IPv6 is enabled, start a radvd process in the namespace of each router. Enable the Neutron L3 agent to support radvd configuration and updating.

The L3 agent will be updated to support radvd configuration based on the attributes of the subnets associated with the router. Since radvd is configured by a config file, the L3 agent will maintain a separate config file per router namespace. The radvd process will need to be restarted when a configuration is changed.

When a subnet is deleted, the associated radvd configuration needs to be updated so that the prefix is no longer advertised. The L3 agent will modify the config and restart the radvd process.

Some radvd settings will affect the configuration of DHCP. The DHCP agent will be updated to treat subnet attributes and configure dnsmasq so that is is compatible with how radvd is configured.

Reasonable default values for some radvd settings, like RA interval and lifetime, will be chosen in the first implementation. Follow-up bugs or feature requests can be filed to add Neutron config options for radvd settings.


We could use dnsmasq for RA and SLAAC support. The shortcomings of this are given in section problemdescription.

Data model impact


REST API impact

No change to the API, but the user/admin should know how to use the two IPv6 addressing attributes [TWO_MODE] to configure subnets for IPv6 addressing.

ipv6 ra mode ipv6 address mode radvd A,M,O Description
N/S N/S Off VM obtains IPv6 address based on non-OpenStack services on the network, or only creates a link-local address (not sourced by OpenStack).
N/S slaac Off VM obtains IPv6 address from external router using SLAAC
N/S dhcpv6-stateful Off VM obtains IPv6 address and optional info from dnsmasq using DHCPv6 stateful
N/S dhcpv6-stateless Off VM obtains IPv6 address from external router using SLAAC and optional info from dnsmasq using DHCPv6 stateless
slaac N/S 1,0,0 VM obtains IPv6 address from radvd using SLAAC
dhcpv6-stateful N/S 0,1,1 VM obtains IPv6 address and optional info from external DHCPv6 server using DHCPv6 stateful
dhcpv6-stateless N/S 1,0,1 VM obtains IPv6 address from radvd using SLAAC and optional info from external DHCPv6 server using DHCPv6 stateless
slaac slaac 1,0,0 VM obtains IPv6 address from OpenStack radvd using SLAAC
dhcpv6-stateful dhcpv6-stateful 0,1,1 VM obtains IPv6 address from dnsmasq using DHCPv6 stateful and optional info from dnsmasq using DHCPv6 stateful
dhcpv6-stateless dhcpv6-stateless 1,0,1 VM obtains IPv6 address from radvd using SLAAC and optional info from dnsmasq using DHCPv6 stateless
slaac dhcpv6-stateful Invalid combination
slaac dhcpv6-stateless Invalid combination
dhcpv6-stateful slaac Invalid combination
dhcpv6-stateful dhcpv6-stateless Invalid combination
dhcpv6-stateless slaac Invalid combination
dhcpv6-stateless dhcpv6-stateful Invalid combination

N/S = Not Specified

Security impact

There is no security impact directly related to radvd, but it should be noted that the default security group settings for IPv6 interfaces allow RAs from Neutron routers and/or from the subnet's default gateway.

Notifications impact


Other end user impact

CLI changes?

Performance Impact

This change introduces one radvd instance per router namespace that is created by neutron. The radvd instances may load new configuration data when interfaces are added into or removed from the namespaces. Significant system performance degradation is not expected.

Other deployer impact

  • install radvd
  • config options

Developer impact




Primary assignee:
  • <gessau> Henry Gessau
Other contributors:
  • <anthony-veiga> Anthony Veiga
  • <baoli> Robert Li
  • <leblancd> Dane Leblanc
  • <scollins> Sean Collins

Work Items

  • L3 agent
  • dhcp agent


Note: For each SLAAC-enabled subnet, the Neutron L3 Agent will need to either detect or anticipate which specific IPv6 address is generated by each host. Note that for the initial release of IPv6 in OpenStack, the ability to anticipate or derive each SLAAC-generated address was added with the change set for [BP_PV_SLAAC]. This algorithm assumes that interface IDs used in forming addresses are generated using EUI-64.


Full unit test coverage.

Look into the feasibilty of adding functional tests. (Not currently considered essential.)

Add tempest tests like:

  • API tests for network/subnet create for each of the modes (see [API_TESTS]):

    • unspec/unspec, SLAAC/SLAAC, stateful/stateful, stateless/stateless
  • Scenario ping test for SLAAC/SLAAC, stateful/stateful, stateless/stateless

Documentation Impact

How to configure IPv6 addressing. Overview for Neutron and specifically for subnets.



Add IPv6 API test cases for Neutron Subnet API


Two Attributes Proposal to Control IPv6 RA Announcement and Address Assignment


L3 agent consolidation


Provider Networking - upstream SLAAC support < ipv6-provider-nets-slaac>


Router RA rule need to be updated when router is created after VM port


Linux IPv6 Router Advertisement Daemon (radvd)


Neighbor Discovery for IP version 6 (IPv6)


IPv6 Two Modes v3.0.pdf < IPv6%20T wo%20Modes%20v3.0.pdf>