How to solve “IPv6 addrconf: prefix with wrong length 48”

Friday, 9th December 2011

Reading Time: 2minutes
While reading some log files on one of the co-located servers at UK2.net , I’ve noticed dmesg log was filling in with tons of junk messages like:

[4288245.609762] IPv6 addrconf: prefix with wrong length 48
[4288445.984153] IPv6 addrconf: prefix with wrong length 48
[4288646.296110] IPv6 addrconf: prefix with wrong length 48
[4288846.609119] IPv6 addrconf: prefix with wrong length 48
[4289046.922604] IPv6 addrconf: prefix with wrong length 48
[4289247.267273] IPv6 addrconf: prefix with wrong length 48
[4289447.545800] IPv6 addrconf: prefix with wrong length 48
[4289647.857789] IPv6 addrconf: prefix with wrong length 48
[4289848.169308] IPv6 addrconf: prefix with wrong length 48
[4290048.595104] IPv6 addrconf: prefix with wrong length 48
[4290248.808497] IPv6 addrconf: prefix with wrong length 48
[4290449.103503] IPv6 addrconf: prefix with wrong length 48
[4290649.418747] IPv6 addrconf: prefix with wrong length 48
[4290849.742731] IPv6 addrconf: prefix with wrong length 48

After checking the message to make sure it would not suddeny lead to server hang ups I figured out the message is not dangerous but just an annoying warning that some other (routing) host on the same network as mine is advertising something using IPv6, that doesn’t fit with my IPv6 server config.
Actually the server doesn’t use the IPv6 configuration at all, and the assigned configuration is just some kind of auto set IPv6 IP address.
The server, where this message appeared is powered by 64 bit Debian GNU / Linux Squeeze

To resolve the annoying message, 5 of the kernel sysctl settings needs to be modified with cmds:

debian:~# sysctl net.ipv6.conf.all.accept_ra=0
debian:~# sysctl net.ipv6.conf.all.autoconf=0
debian:~# sysctl net.ipv6.conf.lo.autoconf=0
debian:~# sysctl net.ipv6.conf.eth0.autoconf=0
debian:~# sysctl net.ipv6.conf.eth1.autoconf=0

Furthermore to prevent the IPv6 addrconf: prefix with wrong length 48 to re-appear after future server reboots / boots the two sysctl values of course needs to be included in /etc/sysctl.conf e.g.:

debian:~# echo 'net.ipv6.conf.all.accept_ra = 0' >> /etc/sysctl.conf
debian:~# echo 'net.ipv6.conf.all.autoconf = 0' >> /etc/sysctl.conf
echo 'net.ipv6.conf.lo.autoconf = 0' >> /etc/sysctl.conf
echo 'net.ipv6.conf.eth0.autoconf = 0' >> /etc/sysctl.conf
echo 'net.ipv6.conf.eth1.autoconf = 0' >> /etc/sysctl.conf

My server has 2 etherhet interfaces, eth0 and eth1 that’s the reason I had to set up autoconf kernel the two vars net.ipv6.conf.eth0.autoconf and net.ipv6.conf.eth1.autoconf , for more interfaces more kernel vars (eth2, eth3) etc. needs to be set to “0”

I’ve seen posts online of people complaining about a similar errors to IPv6 addrconf: prefix with wrong length 48, like:

IPv6 addrconf: prefix with wrong length 96
IPv6 addrconf: prefix with wrong length 128

The solution to this messages is also done by setting the above described sysctl kernel vars. Setting the vars will suppress the messages which by the way with time could take up A LOT of disk space and fills /var/log/dmesg with this useless message, hence applying the “fix” is a must 😉

Another thing, I’ve noticed while I was researching about the error and the respective fix is that people on other deb based distributions like Ubuntu as well as on Fedora GNU / Linux had also experienced the issue.

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One Response to “How to solve “IPv6 addrconf: prefix with wrong length 48””

  1. Ryansays:
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    You should probably mention here that this is essentially *disabling* autoconfigure on IPv6. So anyone looking to use this to resolve their IPv6 issue, when they *are* using IPv6, should check to see if they need that feature before trying this: http://www.tldp.org/HOWTO/Linux+IPv6-HOWTO/proc-sys-net-ipv6..html

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