System Administration Guide: IP Services

Address Uniqueness

For safety, all addresses must be tested for uniqueness prior to their assignment to an interface. The situation is different for addresses that are created through stateless autoconfiguration. The uniqueness of an address is determined primarily by the portion of the address that is formed from an interface identifier. Thus, if a node has already verified the uniqueness of a link-local address, additional addresses that are created from the same interface identifier need not be tested individually. In contrast, all addresses that are obtained manually or by stateful address autoconfiguration should be tested individually for uniqueness. Some sites believe that the overhead of performing duplicate address detection outweighs its benefits. For these sites, the use of duplicate address detection can be disabled by setting a per-interface configuration flag.

To accelerate the autoconfiguration process, a host can generate its link-local address (and verify its uniqueness) while the host waits for a router advertisement. A router might delay a response to a router solicitation for a few seconds. Consequently, the total time necessary to complete autoconfiguration can be significantly longer if the two steps are done serially.