when I try: $ ip -6 addr I get something like:

inet6 fe80::d773:9cf0:b0fd:572d/64 scope link

if I try to ping that from the machine itself:

$ ping6 fe80::d773:9cf0:b0fd:572d/64
unknown host

$ ping6 fe80::d773:9cf0:b0fd:572d
connect: Invalid argument

What am I doing wrong?


Any IPv6 address that starts with fe80: is the equivalent of IPv4 169.254.*.* address, i.e. it's a link-local address, reachable only in the network segment it's directly connected to, using the NIC that connects to that segment specifically. Unlike IPv4, however, it is perfectly normal for a NIC to have both the link-local IPv6 address and one or more global IPv6 addresses simultaneously.

Since a fe80: IPv6 address is link-local, you must specify the network interface you want to use when pinging it.


$ ping6 fe80::beae:c5ff:febe:a742
connect: Invalid argument

$ ping6 -I eth0 fe80::beae:c5ff:febe:a742
PING fe80::beae:c5ff:febe:a742(fe80::beae:c5ff:febe:a742) from fe80::beae:c5ff:febe:a742%eth0 eth0: 56 data bytes
64 bytes from fe80::beae:c5ff:febe:a742%eth0: icmp_seq=1 ttl=64 time=0.182 ms
64 bytes from fe80::beae:c5ff:febe:a742%eth0: icmp_seq=2 ttl=64 time=0.167 ms

You can also append the interface at the end of the address by using the % sign: ping6 fe80::beae:c5ff:febe:a742%eth0.

This requirement is only for link-local IPv6 addresses: you can ping globally routable IPv6 addresses without specifying the interface.

$ ping6 2a00:1450:400f:80a::200e  # that's ipv6.google.com
PING 2a00:1450:400f:80a::200e(2a00:1450:400f:80a::200e) 56 data bytes
64 bytes from 2a00:1450:400f:80a::200e: icmp_seq=1 ttl=55 time=17.6 ms
64 bytes from 2a00:1450:400f:80a::200e: icmp_seq=2 ttl=55 time=19.6 ms
  • It also says scope link right in the output :) – hobbs Feb 12 '18 at 10:43
  • 3
    Just as an appendix to the answer: your can also specify the interface at the end of the address: ping6 fe80::beae:c5ff:febe:a742%eth0 – Ferrybig Feb 12 '18 at 12:04
  • @Ferrybig: thanks for reminding me, updated my answer. – telcoM Feb 13 '18 at 8:36
  • Note that if you want to ping a remote ipv6 address, your home router also has to support ipv6. Older routers do not always have the software/firmware update to support a connection over ipv6. You will most likely get the following message: ping6: UDP connect: No route to host – Daniel Gelling Jul 26 '18 at 2:07

From man ping6, you must tell ping which interface you are using:

-I interface address

Set source address to specified interface address. Argument may be numeric IP address or name of device. When pinging IPv6 link-local address this option is required.

For example, if your interface is eth0:

ping6 -I eth0 fe80::xxxxxx

or, without the -I option:

ping6 fe80:xxxxxx%eth0

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.