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Configuring the DHCPv6 Server

The DHCPv6 server in pfSense® software will hand out addresses to DHCPv6 clients and automatically configure them for network access. By default, the DHCPv6 server is enabled on the LAN interface and set to use a prefix obtained by tracking WAN’s DHCPv6 delegation.

The DHCPv6 server page, found under Services > DHCPv6 Server, has a tab for each available interface. The DHCPv6 daemon can only run and be configured on interfaces with a Static IP address, so if a tab for an interface is not present, check that it is enabled and set with a Static IP. It is not currently possible to adjust settings for tracked interface DHCP service.

The DHCPv6 server cannot be active on any interface if the DHCPv6 Relay service is in use.

DHCP Instance Options

For each Interface, there are many options to choose from. At a minimum, the Enable box must be checked on the interface tab and an address range (starting and ending IPv6 addresses) to use for DHCPv6 clients must be defined. For the DHCPv6 server to be active on the network, Router Advertisements must also be set to either Managed or Assisted mode on the Router Advertisements tab.

The other settings may be configured, but are optional. Each option is explained in more detail on the page and also in the pfSense Book.


DHCPv6 does not provide gateway information. Router Advertisements tell hosts on the network how to reach a router. DHCPv6 is for other host configuration such as DNS, delegation, and so on.

See the DNS Forwarder article for information on the default DNS server behavior.

Some other options which may be set for clients include Network booting options, LDAP URI, and the ability to add in any custom DHCP option number and value.

Prefix Delegation

The Prefix Delegation Range allows this firewall to hand out portions of a routed subnet in turn to other local clients so they may also act as routers or firewalls. For example, if a /48 prefix is routed to this firewall, a chunk of that such as a /56 could be used for this purpose. Clients must request a delegation, so only firewalls/routers/etc would typically claim blocks of addresses from this space.

This range would NOT be within an existing prefix on an interface (WAN, LAN, etc) and must be a routed segment.

The Prefix Delegation Size indicates how large of a chunk to allocate to clients requesting a delegation. It may be a single subnet (/64) or a larger block such as a /60.

For example, if FC07:1010:1010::/48 is routed to a firewall, the Prefix Delegation Range of FC07:1010:1010:F000:: to FC07:1010:1010:FF00:: could be used with a Prefix Delegation Size of 56.

Static IP Mappings

Static IP mappings can be added at the bottom of the DHCPv6 server tab for a given interface.

To add a Static IP mapping, click fa-plus, and then enter a DUID, IPv6 Address, Hostname, and Description. These mappings can also be created from the DHCPv6 Leases view.

DUID Format

The DUID format is listed on the page, but it roughly follows the format:

DUID-LLT - ETH -- TIME --- ---- address ----

DUID-LLT is link-layer plus time, which means it uses the link type of a network interface on the system (Generally 00:01 to indicate the format, plus 00:01, or 00:06 for Ethernet), plus the timestamp at which the DUID was generated in hex, plus the MAC address of the first NIC. It may be difficult or impossible to predict a system’s DUID. Unless the operating system has a way to look it up, it may be best to allow the client to obtain a dynamic lease and then copy the DUID from the leases view.

Numbered Options Notes

When using numbered custom options, be careful of the type. Some will be OK on text/string but others are not. Also beware that numbered options do NOT correspond exactly to the DHCP numbered options for IPv4

For more information on DHCP option numbers and types, see