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RFC 8200, "Internet Protocol, Version 6 (IPv6) Specification", July 2017

Source of RFC: 6man (int)
See Also: RFC 8200w/ inline errata

Errata ID: 5945
Status: Verified
Type: Technical
Publication Format(s) : TEXT

Reported By: Bob Hinden
Date Reported: 2019-12-24
Verifier Name: Suresh Krishnan
Date Verified: 2020-02-03

Section 4.5 says:

4.5.  Fragment Header

   The Fragment header is used by an IPv6 source to send a packet larger
   than would fit in the path MTU to its destination.  (Note: unlike
   IPv4, fragmentation in IPv6 is performed only by source nodes, not by
   routers along a packet's delivery path -- see [RFC8200].)  The
   Fragment header is identified by a Next Header value of 44 in the
   immediately preceding header and has the following format:

   +-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+
   |  Next Header  |   Reserved    |      Fragment Offset    |Res|M|
   +-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+
   |                         Identification                        |
   +-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+

      Next Header         8-bit selector.  Identifies the initial header
                          type of the Fragmentable Part of the original
                          packet (defined below).  Uses the same values
                          as the IPv4 Protocol field [IANA-PN].

      Reserved            8-bit reserved field.  Initialized to zero for
                          transmission; ignored on reception.

      Fragment Offset     13-bit unsigned integer.  The offset, in
                          8-octet units, of the data following this
                          header, relative to the start of the
                          Fragmentable Part of the original packet.

      Res                 2-bit reserved field.  Initialized to zero for
                          transmission; ignored on reception.

      M flag              1 = more fragments; 0 = last fragment.

      Identification      32 bits.  See description below.

   In order to send a packet that is too large to fit in the MTU of the
   path to its destination, a source node may divide the packet into
   fragments and send each fragment as a separate packet, to be
   reassembled at the receiver.

   For every packet that is to be fragmented, the source node generates
   an Identification value.  The Identification must be different than
   that of any other fragmented packet sent recently* with the same
   Source Address and Destination Address.  If a Routing header is
   present, the Destination Address of concern is that of the final
   destination.


      *  "recently" means within the maximum likely lifetime of a
         packet, including transit time from source to destination and
         time spent awaiting reassembly with other fragments of the same
         packet.  However, it is not required that a source node knows
         the maximum packet lifetime.  Rather, it is assumed that the
         requirement can be met by implementing an algorithm that
         results in a low identification reuse frequency.  Examples of
         algorithms that can meet this requirement are described in
         [RFC7739].

   The initial, large, unfragmented packet is referred to as the
   "original packet", and it is considered to consist of three parts, as
   illustrated:

   original packet:

   +------------------+-------------------------+---//----------------+
   |  Per-Fragment    | Extension & Upper-Layer |   Fragmentable      |
   |    Headers       |       Headers           |      Part           |
   +------------------+-------------------------+---//----------------+

      The Per-Fragment headers must consist of the IPv6 header plus any
      extension headers that must be processed by nodes en route to the
      destination, that is, all headers up to and including the Routing
      header if present, else the Hop-by-Hop Options header if present,
      else no extension headers.

      The Extension headers are all other extension headers that are not
      included in the Per-Fragment headers part of the packet.  For this
      purpose, the Encapsulating Security Payload (ESP) is not
      considered an extension header.  The Upper-Layer header is the
      first upper-layer header that is not an IPv6 extension header.
      Examples of upper-layer headers include TCP, UDP, IPv4, IPv6,
      ICMPv6, and as noted ESP.

      The Fragmentable Part consists of the rest of the packet after the
      upper-layer header or after any header (i.e., initial IPv6 header
      or extension header) that contains a Next Header value of No Next
      Header.

   The Fragmentable Part of the original packet is divided into
   fragments.  The lengths of the fragments must be chosen such that the
   resulting fragment packets fit within the MTU of the path to the
   packet's destination(s).  Each complete fragment, except possibly the
   last ("rightmost") one, is an integer multiple of 8 octets long.

   The fragments are transmitted in separate "fragment packets" as
   illustrated:

   original packet:

   +-----------------+-----------------+--------+--------+-//-+--------+
   |  Per-Fragment   |Ext & Upper-Layer|  first | second |    |  last  |
   |    Headers      |    Headers      |fragment|fragment|....|fragment|
   +-----------------+-----------------+--------+--------+-//-+--------+

   fragment packets:

   +------------------+---------+-------------------+----------+
   |  Per-Fragment    |Fragment | Ext & Upper-Layer |  first   |
   |    Headers       | Header  |   Headers         | fragment |
   +------------------+---------+-------------------+----------+

   +------------------+--------+-------------------------------+
   |  Per-Fragment    |Fragment|    second                     |
   |    Headers       | Header |   fragment                    |
   +------------------+--------+-------------------------------+
                         o
                         o
                         o
   +------------------+--------+----------+
   |  Per-Fragment    |Fragment|   last   |
   |    Headers       | Header | fragment |
   +------------------+--------+----------+

   The first fragment packet is composed of:

      (1)  The Per-Fragment headers of the original packet, with the
           Payload Length of the original IPv6 header changed to contain
           the length of this fragment packet only (excluding the length
           of the IPv6 header itself), and the Next Header field of the
           last header of the Per-Fragment headers changed to 44.

      (2)  A Fragment header containing:

              The Next Header value that identifies the first header
              after the Per-Fragment headers of the original packet.

              A Fragment Offset containing the offset of the fragment,
              in 8-octet units, relative to the start of the
              Fragmentable Part of the original packet.  The Fragment
              Offset of the first ("leftmost") fragment is 0.

              An M flag value of 1 as this is the first fragment.

              The Identification value generated for the original
              packet.

      (3)  Extension headers, if any, and the Upper-Layer header.  These
           headers must be in the first fragment.  Note: This restricts
           the size of the headers through the Upper-Layer header to the
           MTU of the path to the packet's destinations(s).

      (4)  The first fragment.

   The subsequent fragment packets are composed of:

      (1)  The Per-Fragment headers of the original packet, with the
           Payload Length of the original IPv6 header changed to contain
           the length of this fragment packet only (excluding the length
           of the IPv6 header itself), and the Next Header field of the
           last header of the Per-Fragment headers changed to 44.

      (2)  A Fragment header containing:

              The Next Header value that identifies the first header
              after the Per-Fragment headers of the original packet.

              A Fragment Offset containing the offset of the fragment,
              in 8-octet units, relative to the start of the
              Fragmentable Part of the original packet.

              An M flag value of 0 if the fragment is the last
              ("rightmost") one, else an M flag value of 1.

              The Identification value generated for the original
              packet.

      (3)  The fragment itself.

   Fragments must not be created that overlap with any other fragments
   created from the original packet.

   At the destination, fragment packets are reassembled into their
   original, unfragmented form, as illustrated:

   reassembled original packet:

   +---------------+-----------------+---------+--------+-//--+--------+
   | Per-Fragment  |Ext & Upper-Layer|  first  | second |     | last   |
   |    Headers    |     Headers     |frag data|fragment|.....|fragment|
   +---------------+-----------------+---------+--------+-//--+--------+

   The following rules govern reassembly:

      An original packet is reassembled only from fragment packets that
      have the same Source Address, Destination Address, and Fragment
      Identification.

      The Per-Fragment headers of the reassembled packet consists of all
      headers up to, but not including, the Fragment header of the first
      fragment packet (that is, the packet whose Fragment Offset is
      zero), with the following two changes:

         The Next Header field of the last header of the Per-Fragment
         headers is obtained from the Next Header field of the first
         fragment's Fragment header.

         The Payload Length of the reassembled packet is computed from
         the length of the Per-Fragment headers and the length and
         offset of the last fragment.  For example, a formula for
         computing the Payload Length of the reassembled original packet
         is:

            PL.orig = PL.first - FL.first - 8 + (8 * FO.last) + FL.last


            where
            PL.orig  =  Payload Length field of reassembled packet.
            PL.first =  Payload Length field of first fragment packet.
            FL.first =  length of fragment following Fragment header of
                        first fragment packet.
            FO.last  =  Fragment Offset field of Fragment header of last
                        fragment packet.
            FL.last  =  length of fragment following Fragment header of
                        last fragment packet.

         The Fragmentable Part of the reassembled packet is constructed
         from the fragments following the Fragment headers in each of
         the fragment packets.  The length of each fragment is computed
         by subtracting from the packet's Payload Length the length of
         the headers between the IPv6 header and fragment itself; its
         relative position in Fragmentable Part is computed from its
         Fragment Offset value.

         The Fragment header is not present in the final, reassembled
         packet.

         If the fragment is a whole datagram (that is, both the Fragment
         Offset field and the M flag are zero), then it does not need
         any further reassembly and should be processed as a fully
         reassembled packet (i.e., updating Next Header, adjust Payload
         Length, removing the Fragment header, etc.).  Any other
         fragments that match this packet (i.e., the same IPv6 Source
         Address, IPv6 Destination Address, and Fragment Identification)
         should be processed independently.

   The following error conditions may arise when reassembling fragmented
   packets:

      o  If insufficient fragments are received to complete reassembly
         of a packet within 60 seconds of the reception of the first-
         arriving fragment of that packet, reassembly of that packet
         must be abandoned and all the fragments that have been received
         for that packet must be discarded.  If the first fragment
         (i.e., the one with a Fragment Offset of zero) has been
         received, an ICMP Time Exceeded -- Fragment Reassembly Time
         Exceeded message should be sent to the source of that fragment.

      o  If the length of a fragment, as derived from the fragment
         packet's Payload Length field, is not a multiple of 8 octets
         and the M flag of that fragment is 1, then that fragment must
         be discarded and an ICMP Parameter Problem, Code 0, message
         should be sent to the source of the fragment, pointing to the
         Payload Length field of the fragment packet.

      o  If the length and offset of a fragment are such that the
         Payload Length of the packet reassembled from that fragment
         would exceed 65,535 octets, then that fragment must be
         discarded and an ICMP Parameter Problem, Code 0, message should
         be sent to the source of the fragment, pointing to the Fragment
         Offset field of the fragment packet.

      o  If the first fragment does not include all headers through an
         Upper-Layer header, then that fragment should be discarded and
         an ICMP Parameter Problem, Code 3, message should be sent to
         the source of the fragment, with the Pointer field set to zero.

      o  If any of the fragments being reassembled overlap with any
         other fragments being reassembled for the same packet,
         reassembly of that packet must be abandoned and all the
         fragments that have been received for that packet must be
         discarded, and no ICMP error messages should be sent.

         It should be noted that fragments may be duplicated in the
         network.  Instead of treating these exact duplicate fragments
         as overlapping fragments, an implementation may choose to
         detect this case and drop exact duplicate fragments while
         keeping the other fragments belonging to the same packet.

   The following conditions are not expected to occur frequently but are
   not considered errors if they do:

      The number and content of the headers preceding the Fragment
      header of different fragments of the same original packet may
      differ.  Whatever headers are present, preceding the Fragment
      header in each fragment packet, are processed when the packets
      arrive, prior to queueing the fragments for reassembly.  Only
      those headers in the Offset zero fragment packet are retained in
      the reassembled packet.

      The Next Header values in the Fragment headers of different
      fragments of the same original packet may differ.  Only the value
      from the Offset zero fragment packet is used for reassembly.

      Other fields in the IPv6 header may also vary across the fragments
      being reassembled.  Specifications that use these fields may
      provide additional instructions if the basic mechanism of using
      the values from the Offset zero fragment is not sufficient.  For
      example, Section 5.3 of [RFC3168] describes how to combine the
      Explicit Congestion Notification (ECN) bits from different
      fragments to derive the ECN bits of the reassembled packet.
      

It should say:

4.5.  Fragment Header

   The Fragment header is used by an IPv6 source to send a packet larger
   than would fit in the path MTU to its destination.  (Note: unlike
   IPv4, fragmentation in IPv6 is performed only by source nodes, not by
   routers along a packet's delivery path -- see [RFC8200].)  The
   Fragment header is identified by a Next Header value of 44 in the
   immediately preceding header and has the following format:

   +-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+
   |  Next Header  |   Reserved    |      Fragment Offset    |Res|M|
   +-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+
   |                         Identification                        |
   +-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+

      Next Header         8-bit selector.  Identifies the initial header
                          type of the Fragmentable Part of the original
                          packet (defined below).  Uses the same values
                          as the IPv4 Protocol field [IANA-PN].

      Reserved            8-bit reserved field.  Initialized to zero for
                          transmission; ignored on reception.

      Fragment Offset     13-bit unsigned integer.  The offset, in
                          8-octet units, of the data following this
                          header, relative to the start of the
                          Fragmentable Part of the original packet.

      Res                 2-bit reserved field.  Initialized to zero for
                          transmission; ignored on reception.

      M flag              1 = more fragments; 0 = last fragment.

      Identification      32 bits.  See description below.

   In order to send a packet that is too large to fit in the MTU of the
   path to its destination, a source node may divide the packet into
   fragments and send each fragment as a separate packet, to be
   reassembled at the receiver.

   For every packet that is to be fragmented, the source node generates
   an Identification value.  The Identification must be different than
   that of any other fragmented packet sent recently* with the same
   Source Address and Destination Address.  If a Routing header is
   present, the Destination Address of concern is that of the final
   destination.

      *  "recently" means within the maximum likely lifetime of a
         packet, including transit time from source to destination and
         time spent awaiting reassembly with other fragments of the same
         packet.  However, it is not required that a source node knows
         the maximum packet lifetime.  Rather, it is assumed that the
         requirement can be met by implementing an algorithm that
         results in a low identification reuse frequency.  Examples of
         algorithms that can meet this requirement are described in
         [RFC7739].

   The initial, large, unfragmented packet is referred to as the
   "original packet", and it is considered to consist of two parts, as
   illustrated:

   original packet:

   +------------------+-----------------------------//----------------+
   |  Per-Fragment    |               Fragmentable                    |
   |    Headers       |                   Part                        |
   +------------------+-----------------------------//----------------+

      The Per-Fragment headers must consist of the IPv6 header plus any
      extension headers that must be processed by nodes en route to the
      destination, that is, all headers up to and including the Routing
      header if present, else the Hop-by-Hop Options header if present,
      else no extension headers.

      The Fragmentable Part consists of the rest of the packet, that is,
      any extension headers that need be processed only by the final
      destination node(s), plus the upper-layer header and data.

   The Fragmentable Part of the original packet is divided into
   fragments.  The lengths of the fragments must be chosen such that the
   resulting fragment packets fit within the MTU of the path to the
   packet's destination(s).  Each complete fragment, except possibly the
   last ("rightmost") one, is an integer multiple of 8 octets long.

   The fragments are transmitted in separate "fragment packets" as
   illustrated:

   original packet:

    +------------------+--------------+--------------+--//--+----------+
    |  Per-Fragment    |    first     |    second    |      |   last   |
    |   Headers        |   fragment   |   fragment   | .... | fragment |
    +------------------+--------------+--------------+--//--+----------+

   fragment packets:

   +------------------+--------+--------------+
   |  Per-Fragment    |Fragment|    first     |
   |    Headers       | Header |   fragment   |
   +------------------+--------+--------------+

   +------------------+--------+--------------+
   |  Per-Fragment    |Fragment|    second    |
   |    Headers       | Header |   fragment   |
   +------------------+--------+--------------+
                         o
                         o
                         o
   +------------------+--------+----------+
   |  Per-Fragment    |Fragment|   last   |
   |    Headers       | Header | fragment |
   +------------------+--------+----------+

   The first fragment packet is composed of:

      (1)  The Per-Fragment headers of the original packet, with the
           Payload Length of the original IPv6 header changed to contain
           the length of this fragment packet only (excluding the length
           of the IPv6 header itself), and the Next Header field of the
           last header of the Per-Fragment headers changed to 44.

      (2)  A Fragment header containing:

              The Next Header value that identifies the first header
              after the Per-Fragment headers of the original packet.

              A Fragment Offset containing the offset of the fragment,
              in 8-octet units, relative to the start of the
              Fragmentable Part of the original packet.  The Fragment
              Offset of the first ("leftmost") fragment is 0.

              An M flag value of 1 as this is the first fragment.

              The Identification value generated for the original
              packet.

      (3)  Extension headers, if any, and the Upper-Layer header.  These
           headers must be in the first fragment.  Note: This restricts
           the size of the headers through the Upper-Layer header to the
           MTU of the path to the packet's destinations(s).

           Extension headers are all other extension headers that are
           not included in the Per-Fragment headers part of the packet.
           For this purpose, the Encapsulating Security Payload (ESP) is
           not considered an extension header.  The Upper-Layer header
           is the first upper-layer header that is not an IPv6 extension
           header.  Examples of upper-layer headers include TCP, UDP,
           IPv4, IPv6, ICMPv6, and as noted ESP.

      (4)  The remainder of the first fragment.

   The subsequent fragment packets are composed of:

      (1)  The Per-Fragment headers of the original packet, with the
           Payload Length of the original IPv6 header changed to contain
           the length of this fragment packet only (excluding the length
           of the IPv6 header itself), and the Next Header field of the
           last header of the Per-Fragment headers changed to 44.

      (2)  A Fragment header containing:

              The Next Header value that identifies the first header
              after the Per-Fragment headers of the original packet.

              A Fragment Offset containing the offset of the fragment,
              in 8-octet units, relative to the start of the
              Fragmentable Part of the original packet.

              An M flag value of 0 if the fragment is the last
              ("rightmost") one, else an M flag value of 1.

              The Identification value generated for the original
              packet.

      (3)  The fragment itself.

   Fragments must not be created that overlap with any other fragments
   created from the original packet.

   At the destination, fragment packets are reassembled into their
   original, unfragmented form, as illustrated:

   reassembled original packet:

   +------------------+----------------------//------------------------+
   |  Per-Fragment    |                 Fragmentable                   |
   |    Headers       |                     Part                       |
   +------------------+----------------------//------------------------+

   The following rules govern reassembly:

      An original packet is reassembled only from fragment packets that
      have the same Source Address, Destination Address, and Fragment
      Identification.

      The Per-Fragment headers of the reassembled packet consists of all
      headers up to, but not including, the Fragment header of the first
      fragment packet (that is, the packet whose Fragment Offset is
      zero), with the following two changes:

         The Next Header field of the last header of the Per-Fragment
         headers is obtained from the Next Header field of the first
         fragment's Fragment header.

         The Payload Length of the reassembled packet is computed from
         the length of the Per-Fragment headers and the length and
         offset of the last fragment.  For example, a formula for
         computing the Payload Length of the reassembled original packet
         is:

            PL.orig = PL.first - FL.first - 8 + (8 * FO.last) + FL.last


            where
            PL.orig  =  Payload Length field of reassembled packet.
            PL.first =  Payload Length field of first fragment packet.
            FL.first =  length of fragment following Fragment header of
                        first fragment packet.
            FO.last  =  Fragment Offset field of Fragment header of last
                        fragment packet.
            FL.last  =  length of fragment following Fragment header of
                        last fragment packet.

         The Fragmentable Part of the reassembled packet is constructed
         from the fragments following the Fragment headers in each of
         the fragment packets.  The length of each fragment is computed
         by subtracting from the packet's Payload Length the length of
         the headers between the IPv6 header and fragment itself; its
         relative position in Fragmentable Part is computed from its
         Fragment Offset value.

         The Fragment header is not present in the final, reassembled
         packet.

         If the fragment is a whole datagram (that is, both the Fragment
         Offset field and the M flag are zero), then it does not need
         any further reassembly and should be processed as a fully
         reassembled packet (i.e., updating Next Header, adjust Payload
         Length, removing the Fragment header, etc.).  Any other
         fragments that match this packet (i.e., the same IPv6 Source
         Address, IPv6 Destination Address, and Fragment Identification)
         should be processed independently.

   The following error conditions may arise when reassembling fragmented
   packets:

      o  If insufficient fragments are received to complete reassembly
         of a packet within 60 seconds of the reception of the first-
         arriving fragment of that packet, reassembly of that packet
         must be abandoned and all the fragments that have been received
         for that packet must be discarded.  If the first fragment
         (i.e., the one with a Fragment Offset of zero) has been
         received, an ICMP Time Exceeded -- Fragment Reassembly Time
         Exceeded message should be sent to the source of that fragment.

      o  If the length of a fragment, as derived from the fragment
         packet's Payload Length field, is not a multiple of 8 octets
         and the M flag of that fragment is 1, then that fragment must
         be discarded and an ICMP Parameter Problem, Code 0, message
         should be sent to the source of the fragment, pointing to the
         Payload Length field of the fragment packet.

      o  If the length and offset of a fragment are such that the
         Payload Length of the packet reassembled from that fragment
         would exceed 65,535 octets, then that fragment must be
         discarded and an ICMP Parameter Problem, Code 0, message should
         be sent to the source of the fragment, pointing to the Fragment
         Offset field of the fragment packet.

      o  If the first fragment does not include all headers through an
         Upper-Layer header, then that fragment should be discarded and
         an ICMP Parameter Problem, Code 3, message should be sent to
         the source of the fragment, with the Pointer field set to zero.

      o  If any of the fragments being reassembled overlap with any
         other fragments being reassembled for the same packet,
         reassembly of that packet must be abandoned and all the
         fragments that have been received for that packet must be
         discarded, and no ICMP error messages should be sent.

         It should be noted that fragments may be duplicated in the
         network.  Instead of treating these exact duplicate fragments
         as overlapping fragments, an implementation may choose to
         detect this case and drop exact duplicate fragments while
         keeping the other fragments belonging to the same packet.

   The following conditions are not expected to occur frequently but are
   not considered errors if they do:

      The number and content of the headers preceding the Fragment
      header of different fragments of the same original packet may
      differ.  Whatever headers are present, preceding the Fragment
      header in each fragment packet, are processed when the packets
      arrive, prior to queueing the fragments for reassembly.  Only
      those headers in the Offset zero fragment packet are retained in
      the reassembled packet.

      The Next Header values in the Fragment headers of different
      fragments of the same original packet may differ.  Only the value
      from the Offset zero fragment packet is used for reassembly.

      Other fields in the IPv6 header may also vary across the fragments
      being reassembled.  Specifications that use these fields may
      provide additional instructions if the basic mechanism of using
      the values from the Offset zero fragment is not sufficient.  For
      example, Section 5.3 of [RFC3168] describes how to combine the
      Explicit Congestion Notification (ECN) bits from different
      fragments to derive the ECN bits of the reassembled packet.

Notes:

This errata replaces and resolves the issues raised in Errata 5170, 5171, 5172, 5173. Credit goes to Fernando Gont for reporting the issues raised in these errata. They correctly reported that the text in Section 4.5 of RFC8200 defined Fragment Offset as pointing to “Fragmentable Part”, this was an error and should have pointed to “Extension & Upper-Layer Headers”.

After review by the 6man working group the conclusion was to fix the issue in a more general way than what was proposed in Errata 5170, 5171, 5172, 5173, hence the need for a new errata.

Report New Errata