ILNP - Identifier-Locator Network Protocol

ILNP prototype testing for FreeBSD 14.0 @ IETF118/Prague.

A prototype implementation of ILNP on FreeBSD 14.0 was tested and demonstrated at IETF118/Prague. Details of testing, including .pcap files for the communication exchange, as well as videos, can be found here.

ILNP prototype code release based on Linux kernel v4.9.

A prototype implementation of ILNP is available on github. The code is based on extensions to the Linux kernel v4.9, and is specifically to demonstrate mobility in ILNP. A short video of this codebase in a video-streaming experiment using VLC can be found here.

The link to github is at: Please do complete the questionnaire that is linked on that page -- it will help me in trying to progress support for further development of ILNP!


This project is enhancing the Internet Architecture by enriching the set of namespaces. The basic approach to this is to deprecate the concept of an IP Address and replace it with separate Locator and Identifier values a pairing of which forms an Identifier-Locator Vector (ILV). Although the architectural concept is independent of any particular network protocol, our research demonstration will be based on IPv6.

This work was influenced by Mike O'Dell's prior work on the GSE/8+8 proposal for IPv6 and by work undertaken in the IRTF Namespace Research Group (NSRG), although the current work is different in various ways from those earlier proposals and discussions. In RFC6115 (Feb 2011), the IRTF Routing Research Group (RRG) co-chairs recommended that ILNP be pursued within the IETF.

Although our work is architectural, it is driven by actual problems with the current Internet Architecture (RC4984). For example, an operational concern addressed by this proposal at an early stage was the rapid increase in size and in entropy of the Internet routing table, specifically the Routing Information Base (RIB) (RFC4098) of the Default-Free Zone (DFZ). A cause for both routing table growth and the increase in entropy is the method for site multihoming, which depends on adding extra more-specific prefixes globally for each multihomed site.

Another example is support for mobile hosts and mobile networks. Mobile systems support was not part of the original Internet Protocol design, and so supporting mobility requires additions to IP, as well as treating addresses differently, resulting in inconsistent end-to-end semantics ('home' addresses, and 'care-of' addresses in Mobile IP).

An increasingly important concern is that of security and privacy online. The ILNP architecture can support both (topological) location privacy, and identity privacy at the network layer.

We believe that ILNP will lead to several specific advantages over the currently deployed Internet Architecture. These advantages include harmoniously integrating various functionality:

A good starting point to is to read the paper from JSAC (2010) then RFC6740 (2012).

Internet RFC documents

The following Experimental status RFC documents were reviewed and discussed within the IRTF Routing Research Group (RRG). The authors are extremely grateful to the IRTF RRG particpants, the IRTF RRG Chair (Tony Li), the IRTF Chair (Lars Eggert) and the RFC Editor team for all their help. (Please see the RFCs, linked below, for other acknowledgements.)

RFC6740 Identifier-Locator Network Protocol (ILNP) Architectural Description (Nov 2012)
RFC6741 Identifier-Locator Network Protocol (ILNP) Engineering Considerations (Nov 2012)
RFC6742 DNS Resource Records for the Identifier-Locator Network Protocol (ILNP) (Nov 2012)
RFC6743 ICMP Locator Update Message for the Identifier-Locator Network Protocol for IPv6 (ILNPv6) (Nov 2012)
RFC6744 IPv6 Nonce Destination Option for the Identifier-Locator Network Protocol for IPv6 (ILNPv6) (Nov 2012)
RFC6745 ICMP Locator Update Message for the Identifier-Locator Network Protocol for IPv4 (ILNPv4) (Nov 2012)
RFC6746 IPv4 Options for the Identifier-Locator Network Protocol (ILNP) (Nov 2012)
RFC6747 Address Resolution Protocol (ARP) for the Identifier-Locator Network Protocol for IPv4 (ILNPv4) (Nov 2012)
RFC6748 Optional Advanced Deployment Scenarios for the Identifier-Locator Network Protocol (ILNP) (Nov 2012)

Stephane Bortzmeyer has French introduction / summary information for RFC6740, RFC6741, RFC6742, RFC6743 and RFC6744.




Cheltenham Research: Ran Atkinson
University of St Andrews: Saleem Bhatti