When I try to add a bridge, it become in UP state without a fe80:: IPv6 address:

$ ip link add br0 type bridge
$ ip link set br0 up
$ ip address show br0
40: br0: <NO-CARRIER,BROADCAST,MULTICAST,UP> mtu 1500 qdisc noqueue state DOWN group default qlen 1000
    link/ether c2:c3:09:08:da:5b brd ff:ff:ff:ff:ff:ff

But when I try to do the same, but inside a network namespace the fe80:: address is assigned normally:

$ ip netns add nsx
$ ip netns exec nsx ip link add br0 type bridge
$ ip netns exec nsx ip link set br0 up
$ ip netns exec nsx ip address show br0
2: br0: <BROADCAST,MULTICAST,UP,LOWER_UP> mtu 1500 qdisc noqueue state UNKNOWN group default qlen 1000
    link/ether aa:45:d1:77:37:b3 brd ff:ff:ff:ff:ff:ff
    inet6 fe80::a845:d1ff:fe77:37b3/64 scope link 
       valid_lft forever preferred_lft forever

I also tested in a virtual machine and it has the same problem.

How can I make the newly created interfaces (bridge or tap) to have a fe80:: address when bringing them up?

PS: I'm using NetworkManager, both in host and the virtual machine and my kernel flag net.ipv6.conf.all.autoconf is 1.

  • 2
    40: br0: <NO-CARRIER> ... state DOWN serverfault.com/a/1075277/149509
    – gapsf
    Sep 25, 2022 at 4:00
  • superuser.com/questions/1594751/…
    – gapsf
    Sep 25, 2022 at 4:02
  • 1
    Starting a (5.19) Linux system in single user mode and init=/bin/bash makes the host's behavior as usual (ie: UNKNOWN until attached to or the MAC address fixed). So it's something done in host's configuration that makes the host behavior to change. Anyway the behavior with DOWN is a sane behavior.
    – A.B
    Sep 25, 2022 at 15:13
  • 1
    @phantomcraft and I tested with 5.9.11 booted with init=/bin/bash (ie single user without even systemd) and using immediately ip link add ... type bridge: gets UNKNOWN. Booted normally: DOWN. Not so sure.
    – A.B
    Sep 27, 2022 at 6:13
  • 1
    @phantomcraft behavior difference can be explained in this Q/A: unix.stackexchange.com/questions/719379/… that's not because of newer kernels, but of newer systemd (-udev).
    – A.B
    Oct 1, 2022 at 12:01

1 Answer 1


If ip reports state DOWN for any interface (you can see a NO-CARRIER among the flags), the kernel won't assign a link-local IPv6 address, because the interface hasn't been completely activated. You are going to notice this behavior with any interface that doesn't have a peer connected (a bridge can essentially be considered as a local interface to the host it is created on, and if no ports are attached, that can be taken as a missing connection).

Now, if you are attaching a cable to a physical interface and turn the remote side on or attach a port to a bridge, that essentially means that you are establishing an active link (ip is goin to report state UP). In this moment the kernel automatically assigns a link-local address to the interface.

If you need to force an IP address even on an interface that is down, you can first assign a value of 1 to net.ipv6.conf.<interface>.addr_gen_mode, then reset it to 0. This forces the kernel to assign an IPv6 link-local address to it without having to plug anything in (please note the tentative flag set for this link-local address, though, as there haven't been any DAD checks so far so it cannot be used).

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