Problem solving: How to speed up the implementation of IPv6 at Internet service providers?
Nov 18th, 2009 by Anders Kringstad

In march 2001 I was introduced to IPv6. IPv6 will coexist with, and eventually replace IPv4 when the pool of available IPv4-addresses run out. Currently the estimates says that there will be no more IPv4-blocks available by 2012 for Europe and North America. This will probably all linger on, since there exist some methods to distribute addresses in private networks with NAT and I also believe the regional Internet registries (RIR) will do some kind of coordinated “official thing” when things get “bad enough” in the Internet-based services-sector.

Up until today the uptake of IPv6-based networks and services have been very slow. Here in Norway it’s really just UNINETT and the members of the national science network that have good access to native IPv6-based services and networks without the use of IPv6-via-IPv4 tunnels and such.

As some of you who read my weblog from time to time might know, I work for a small Norwegian Internet Services-provider, ITsjefen, who have six employees. We’ve tasked (thanks Dilbert) ourself with the task to deliver digitally good services in our own fibre- and ethernet-based network. As a part of this strategy we’re members of RIPE, and a local Internet registry (LIR) for ourself and our customers. Through the membership in RIPE I’ve had the pleasure of formalizing my knowledge of alot of subjects, and among them, IPv6. I’ve come to the conclusion that we need to speed up the uptake of IPv6 among the large Internet Service Providers here in Norway before it’s too late.
– To get Telenor, Ventelo(BaneTele), NExtGenTel, Get, Canal Digital and others, including service providers in the mobile Internet sector (Telenor Mobile, Network Norway, NetCom and Tele2) to plan the implementation, roll-out and marketing of IPv6 is a very heavy process. This will take time. Thus the task of getting these large players aboard is a thing for the powers of the free market, and it’s here I enter the picture again, with my funny little plan.
– Why not begin with the smaller and medium companies and through them create enough push so that the large companies will get aboard and see the purpose of rolling out services before it’s just-too-late? Well. As planned, I embarked on this with my special idea to get this done.

Five weeks ago, I was given a link to the picture submitted by American ISP Hurricane Electric (HE) with their cunning plan to solve the IPv6-disconnect in their peering with also American ISP Cogent Co. The technical guys at HE nailed it with baking a cake and bringing it to a NANOG-meeting (The North American Network Operators Group). The cake can be viewed here.

With this as backdrop and the blatant steal of the cake as an idea I thought that I could perhaps convince the upstream providers ITsjefen get the bandwidth from to implement IPv6 before 2012. To begin this I thoght it best to approach a company we share many values with and have a good partnership with, NTE Broadband. We called the local bakery in their city headquarters location in Steinkjer, Norway and asked them to bake us a kake to be delivered to the NTE NOC on Friday in time for their 1400 CET coffe-break (a tradition in Norway). This was two weeks ago, and the cake looked like this:

(click on the picture for a larger edition)

The days passed, and we wondered what NTE would do. Suddenly it was Friday again, and we got a delivery to our office at 1330 CET. The delivery was this:

(click on the picture for a larger edition)

So, what kind of conclusions can we bring to the first phase of my IPv6-by-cake uptake in the Internet Service Provider-sector of Norway?
1) It really helps to have your own IPv6-block available and ready for use when your upstreams are ready. Then you have reason to bug them for IPv6 already.
2) A cake helps even old engineers to get interested in new and shiny services in the form of one and zeroes.
3) It helps to have a good tone with your peers, the providers, partners and customers. New services should be fun and something you look forward to using.

The question now is, should we send someone else a cake, and to whom?

The Debian Edu project now with Planet!
Aug 18th, 2009 by Anders Kringstad

As part of The Debian Edu-project collaborating with ArntOG and others we have put up a Planet for an view into the minds of our community. The Planet will probably be populated in different languages as time passes, but for now it’s multi-language and open to all who have ties to the project.

Even as I myself probably need to put into words a bit more often the things I do, I’d like to point out that a short update on what you’re up to often have an inspiring effect on other community members; perhaps you’re working on the same things without knowing. IRC is fun and all that, but a weblog/blog lasts so much longer when it comes to allowing people to read up on your ideas and thoughts about a specific need or subject.

Welcome to the planet at

Surface technology is soooo 2007.. G-speak is here!
Nov 21st, 2008 by Anders Kringstad

_This_ is cool stuff!

Skolelinux for schools in Rhineland-Palatinate in Germany
Oct 13th, 2008 by Anders Kringstad

At the international Skolelinux user conference in Oslo, Norway, Kurt Gramlich, project leader of the German Skolelinux team, announced the decision to use Skolelinux as basis for installations in schools in the county Rhineland-Palatinate. Rhineland-Palatinate is one of the 16 federal states (German: Bundesländer) of Germany, has 4 Million citizens and approximately 1700 schools (about 900 primary schools).

Skolelinux has been successful internationally since 2003, is based on the Debian distribution, and can be freely used, copied and redistributed by anybody.

The Skolelinux community welcomes the decision made by the federal state of Rhineland-Palatinate. Kurt Gramlich: "After Hamburg this is the second federal state to select Skolelinux for their schools. It will be rolled out with professional support paid by the federal state. Wishes and suggestions from teachers of Rhineland-Palatinate will be included in the further development and adaptation of the software. I am looking forward to continued cooperating with the 11 pilot schools. Skolelinux will be enriched by the educational material that those schools is set out to produce. The adaptations we make will be integrated back into the international project through the Debian community."

The University of Applied Sciences Kaiserslautern has appointed prof. Dr. Bettina Reuter and certified engineer Klaus Knopper as project leaders. Both are lecturers of business economics faculty at the University of Applied Sciences Kaiserslautern. They are in charge of the adaptation of Skolelinux for Rhineland-Palatinate and the reintegration into the international project.

The newly founded "Association for the promotion of Free Software at schools in Rhineland-Palatinate", lead by Thomas Rohde, collects wishes and suggestions from teachers and pass them on to the project leaders. "The possibility for the schools in Rhineland-Palatinate to base their teaching on Free Software is long overdue", says Rohde. "Everyone can engage in the future of information technology like this and have fun." Pupils can of course take the school software with them home and use it privately too.

Klaus Knopper, known to users of free software as the producer of KNOPPIX, says that Debian and Skolelinux are mature and complete solutions: "Because of their openness and compliance with public standards, they reach a level of stability that cannot be achieved by current proprietary systems."

Mister Burkhard Schäfer at the Department of Education: "With the adapted Skolelinux for Rhineland-Palatinate we offer the schools the possibility to use a powerful and sustainable network solution without license fees. It is a solution which is user friendly for both teachers and pupils. We will not develop a new Linux distribution this way, but instead join the advantages of the existing professional network solutions of Skolelinux."

The first phase of the project will finish in March 2009. The prior network structures will be integrated into Skolelinux and easily administered with the Skolelinux server.

Let’s just say..
Aug 21st, 2008 by Anders Kringstad

"Well, let’s just say, ‘if your VCR is still blinking
12:00, you don’t want Linux’".
  — Bruce Perens

Yes, this is an old quote, but it certainly made my day!
Thank you Bruce, for that enlightening and very summarizing quote 🙂

Large Hadron Rap!
Aug 12th, 2008 by Anders Kringstad

Can’t really understand what the CERN LHC will do when it launches on the 10th of September?
Well, here’s one for you:

Here’s one for you: – Me being very late to the meme-too show
Aug 5th, 2008 by Anders Kringstad

So, everyone, their dog, grand-mother, unlawful lovers etc. are doing this, so why not me?

Thus, here’s the output of my top ten most active commands on my three primary access-points to the great world of the Terminal:

shinyng, my former work laptop, now prominently being the household random-access machine:
anders@shinyng:~$ history | awk ‘{a[$2]++ } END{for(i in a){print a[i] " " i}}’ | sort -rn | head
76 whois
71 ssh
51 exit
37 host
33 ls
23 ping
19 scp
16 cd
12 ps
11 vim

It would be pretty obvious that I use shinyng a lot for checking up on networked stuff like domains, network topology, IP addresses et. al.

Caramel is my (still) brand new work laptop sitting mostly at my desk at work, but also doing some travelling when I’m on work-related events or just need a very portable machine:

And finally, nidaros, my most beloved workhorse in the rack, the NetCore shell-server with some websites and lowhanging fruits like IRC-sessions etc:

VideoLAN Client CLI debug info — no pizza for you?
Aug 4th, 2008 by Anders Kringstad

While having a bad piece of "high-on-life", "too-much-coffee" AND "one-extremely-long-car-ride-with-ze-wife" insomnia I decided to watch some Video clips and listen to some music. This quickly turned into a VideoLAN Client playlist and at the end, while closing shop and thinking hard about getting a few hours sleep before work I found this in my console:

VLC media player 0.8.6e Janus
[00000283] main playlist: nothing to play

** (.:662): CRITICAL **: gtk_pizza_set_size: assertion `pizza != NULL’ failed
[00000283] main playlist: stopping playback

This is ofcourse a very funny naming of an variable, and I can’t help to wonder; Who is it intended to obscure things for? The users seeing the debug info? The possible commercial companies trying to benefit from reverse engineering VLC into their product without having to distribute it as free software? Is it perhaps not intended for anyone? Anyways, funny stuff. If anyone happen to know the reason for the funny debug-info and/or the naming of the variable, please do comment! 🙂

Overhauling the domain list: The old ones die young?
Jul 22nd, 2008 by Anders Kringstad

With the costs of owning domains still going down by the month/year I have never seen any reason to give up on my ever growing ‘collection’ of interesting and less interesting geeky/entertaining domain names. However, I have been ‘forced’ to take a little timeout from time to time and think over what to keep and not to keep, and this time I’ve really let one of the big ones go 🙂

In late 1998 I ‘bought’ the domain "" for the amount of AUD 0,-. The little community of Christmas Island (.cx) in the waters offshore Australia wanted to make it’s mark on the domain map with it’s two-letter domain. Fun enough at that time ("tlf cx" would to a Norwegian teen be pronounced "telef sex", aka phone sex. Very amusing. eh. (at least when you’re 16)).

Native IPv6?! – Try Madrid Airport WiFi :-D
Jun 25th, 2008 by Anders Kringstad

IPv6 LogoThe uptake of IPv6 in Europe is depending on a lot of factors. One of these factors are the support for IPv6 in consumer products such as the networking stack of operating systems. Since the slow start with plugins and code sniplets for Linux, Mac OS X and Windows the support have been put into native mode on all three of the major OS’es.

The next important factor is the support in available and sensible prised networking equipment. Most of the major brands such as Cisco, HP, Nokia et. al. now supports IPv6 within their entire product range.

The final factor that will limit usage of IPv6 is certainly the support from the Network/Internet Service Providers. In most of Europe the ISP’s are following the wishes written up by the RIPE member community. However, the implementation of the IPv6 into production and transparent use of dual-stacking have not been widespread.

Thus, it was a real joy to buy (€8/1hour) Internet access at Madrid airport today on my way home from the Honeymoon and discover the following: 

root@caramel:~# aptitude update
60% [Connecting to (2001:700:300:1800::b)

Woha there cowboy. Native IPv6 on wireless Internet from Spain to Norway. I had not even recognized this while reading email (some from IPv6 enabled servers) and surfing the web (among the sites visited a few are indeed dualstacks). Nice 🙂

I can only give my praise to AEANA and Kubi Networks of Aptilo (and it seems they had a say too; Vodafone Spain) to have put this into production.

Great stuff. Thanks for all the bits!

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