Thursday, March 8, 2018

IPv6 Printer Support: Finally getting there

by Craig Miller

I recently replaced my printer with a Brother laser printer. I was pleasantly surprised with the level of IPv6 support. Although the printer includes WLAN support, I already had an ethernet cable in place, and it was a snap to connect to the network.

The UI designers of printers long ago realized that the small 20 character display is too limited to provide useful information, and instead there are options to print out full pages of info, including the Network Info. On this, I could not only see the usual IPv4 info, but also the SLAAC address that the printer had picked up.

Typing in the SLAAC address only once

Armed with the SLAAC address, I updated my local DNS server, since I really only wanted to type the IPv6 address once. Once that task was done, it was a snap to log into the printer's management web page over IPv6 using the DNS name.

IPv6 info

Of course, IPv6 support isn't perfect. There is no DHCPv6 support, and the IP Filtering feature is still  IPv4-only. So the next step for Brother is feature parity, but it is a good start.

Investigating IPv6 Printer Services

Even without feature parity, a quick scan by nmap reveals that the printing services are also available over IPv6.

Starting Nmap 6.40 ( ) at 2018-03-05 09:16 PST
Nmap scan report for (2001:470:ebbd:0:3e2a:f4ff:fe37:dac4)
Host is up (0.010s latency).
Not shown: 995 closed ports
80/tcp   open  http
443/tcp  open  https
515/tcp  open  printer
631/tcp  open  ipp
9100/tcp open  jetdirect

Printing from an IPv6-only network

And I was able to successfully print to the Brother printer which sits on my dual-stack network from my IPv6-only network. Kudos to Brother.