Most of the CDN like Cloudflare, Incapsula, AKAMAI let you enable IPv6 from their edge network. However, if you are not using CDN that provide IPv6 and need to enable for your website then here is how you can do it.
IPv6 has a performance advantage over IPv4. It can help to decrease the page load time from 25ms to 300ms.
Around 16% of top 1000 sites in the world support IPv6 and 7% of top 1 million sites.
Pre-requisite – you have to ensure IPv6 is enabled on OS level. If you are using RHEL/CentOS, then you may refer this guide.
Let’s see the procedure to implement IPv6 in Apache HTTP and Nginx web server.
How to find IPv6 on Linux?
Before enabling in web servers, you need to know the IPv6 address. There are multiple ways to locate the IPv6 in Linux/CentOS.
You can use ifconfig with grep inet6 to find the address
[[email protected] conf]# ifconfig |grep inet6 inet6 2400:6180:0:d0::1f33:d001 prefixlen 64 scopeid 0x0<global> inet6 ::1 prefixlen 128 scopeid 0x10<host> [[email protected] conf]#
Using IP Show
[[email protected] conf]# ip -6 addr show 1: lo: <LOOPBACK,UP,LOWER_UP> mtu 65536 state UNKNOWN qlen 1 inet6 ::1/128 scope host valid_lft forever preferred_lft forever 2: eth0: <BROADCAST,MULTICAST,UP,LOWER_UP> mtu 1500 state UP qlen 1000 inet6 2400:6180:0:d0::1f33:d001/64 scope global valid_lft forever preferred_lft forever [[email protected] conf]#
So now you know your server IPv6 address.
Enable IPv6 in Apache HTTP Server
I assume you have installed Apache and it’s up and running.
- Go to the conf folder (default installation location would be /etc/httpd/conf)
- Take a backup of httpd.conf file
- Add the Listen directive with the port number
Note: ensure to put IPv6 in the square box.
- Restart the Apache HTTP server
service httpd restart
Let’s verify whether port 80 is listening on IPv6 or not.
[[email protected] conf]# netstat -anlp |grep 80 tcp 0 0 184.108.40.206:80 0.0.0.0:* LISTEN 23047/httpd tcp6 0 0 2400:6180:0:d0::1f33:80 :::* LISTEN 23047/httpd unix 2 [ ACC ] STREAM LISTENING 14080 1091/master public/qmgr [[email protected] conf]#
So you can see it’s listening as highlighted.
Enable IPv6 in Nginx Web Server
By default, Nginx is configured to listen on IPv6 address. If you take a look at the nginx.conf file you should see the following.
listen [::]:80 default_server;
if you just have one IPv6 address, then it’s alright, however, if you have multiple and would like Nginx to listen on specific IP then you need to adjust like this.
listen [2400:6180:0:d0::1f33:d001]:80 default_server;
Restart Nginx to verify it’s listening on specific IP
[[email protected] conf]# netstat -anlp |grep 80 tcp 0 0 0.0.0.0:80 0.0.0.0:* LISTEN 23257/nginx: master tcp 0 0 220.127.116.11:80 18.104.22.168:63906 TIME_WAIT - tcp 0 0 22.214.171.124:80 126.96.36.199:58416 TIME_WAIT - tcp6 0 0 2400:6180:0:d0::1f33:80 :::* LISTEN 23257/nginx: master unix 2 [ ACC ] STREAM LISTENING 14080 1091/master public/qmgr [[email protected] conf]
It’s easy, isn’t it?
Update DNS AAAA Record
You may also use IPv6 Test site to check if your website is accessible over IPv6 or not.
I hope above helps you in activating IPv6 in Apache and Nginx web server for better performance.