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What Is IPV6? How to Disable It on Ubuntu?

What is IPv6?

IPv6 or Internet Protocol version 6 is the successor to the widely used Internet Protocol version 4 (IPv4). Its main purpose is to solve the problem of IPv4 address exhaustion, which has become critical as the Internet grows exponentially. Here’s a closer look at what IPv6 is and why it’s important:

Addressing the IP Address Shortage:

  • IPv4 uses 32-bit addresses, limiting the total number of available addresses to approximately 4.3 billion. This number was sufficient in the early days of the Internet, but as connected devices rapidly increased, the pool of available addresses began to shrink.
  • IPv6, on the other hand, uses 128-bit addresses, expanding the number of potential addresses to an incredible 3.4 x 10^38, essentially eliminating the possibility of running out of addresses in the foreseeable future.

Advanced Features:

IPv6 also offers several advantages over IPv4, including:

  • Simplified header format: This enables faster network routing and improves performance.
  • Built-in security features: IPv6 includes security features such as IPsec, reducing the need for additional security measures.
  • Auto-configuration: The device can automatically configure its IP address without manual configuration.
  • Quality of Service (QoS) support: IPv6 allows prioritization of different types of network traffic, ensuring smooth performance of critical applications.

While IPv6 is critical to the long-term growth of the Internet, there are some situations where you may need to disable it on your Ubuntu system.

Here’s how to disable IPv6 on Ubuntu to resolve compatibility issues, network configurations, or specific use cases where IPv6 needs to be disabled.

How To Permanently Disable IPv6 On Ubuntu?

To disable IPv6 on an Ubuntu system, open a terminal by pressing Ctrl + Alt + T and open the sysctl configuration file using Nano Editor:

sudo nano /etc/sysctl.conf

Now add the following code in the configuration file to disable the IPv6 service:

net.ipv6.conf.all.disable_ipv6 = 1
net.ipv6.conf.default.disable_ipv6 = 1
net.ipv6.conf.lo.disable_ipv6 = 1

In the code above:

  • The first line disables IPv6 for all network interfaces in the system.
  • The second line specifically targets the default interface and disables it.
  • The third line disables IPv6 on the loopback interface, meaning the machine does not use IPV6 for internal communication.

After adding the specified code, press Ctrl + O to save changes and exit the editor. Now apply the changes to the system:

sudo sysctl -p

Restart your network service using the following command:

sudo systemctl restart systemd-networkd

Check the status of the disabled IPv6 service by doing the following:

cat /proc/sys/net/ipv6/conf/all/disable_ipv6

If the output shows status “1”, it means IPv6 has been successfully disabled on Ubuntu.

How to temporarily disable IPv6 on Ubuntu?

To temporarily disable IPv6 on Ubuntu, run the following systemctl command with the -w option:

sudo sysctl -w net.ipv6.conf.all.disable_ipv6=1

Now restart the network service using the following command:

sudo systemctl restart systemd-networkd

Therefore, all dependencies are configured to temporarily disable IPv6 services.

Responsible for network configuration of Ubuntu PC

Ubuntu makes it relatively easy to control IPv6 settings, ensuring that you can tailor your system’s networking behavior to your specific needs. Remember to use this knowledge with caution, as IPv6 will continue to play a critical role in the global Internet infrastructure.

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