From: Jiri Bohac <>
Date: Thu, 13 Oct 2016 18:52:15 +0200

> The IPv6 temporary address generation uses a variable called DESYNC_FACTOR
> to prevent hosts updating the addresses at the same time. Quoting RFC 4941:
>    ... The value DESYNC_FACTOR is a random value (different for each
>    client) that ensures that clients don't synchronize with each other and
>    generate new addresses at exactly the same time ...
> DESYNC_FACTOR is defined as:
>    DESYNC_FACTOR -- A random value within the range 0 - MAX_DESYNC_FACTOR.
>    It is computed once at system start (rather than each time it is used)
>    and must never be greater than (TEMP_VALID_LIFETIME - REGEN_ADVANCE).
> First, I believe the RFC has a typo in it and meant to say: "and must
> never be greater than (TEMP_PREFERRED_LIFETIME - REGEN_ADVANCE)"
> The reason is that at various places in the RFC, DESYNC_FACTOR is used in
> smaller than (TEMP_PREFERRED_LIFETIME - REGEN_ADVANCE) for the result of
> these calculations to be larger than zero. It's never used in a
> calculation together with TEMP_VALID_LIFETIME.
> I already submitted an errata to the rfc-editor:
> The Linux implementation of DESYNC_FACTOR is very wrong:
> max_desync_factor is used in places DESYNC_FACTOR should be used.
> max_desync_factor is initialized to the RFC-recommended value for
> MAX_DESYNC_FACTOR (600) but the whole point is to get a _random_ value.
> And nothing ensures that the value used is not greater than
> (TEMP_PREFERRED_LIFETIME - REGEN_ADVANCE), which leads to underflows.  The
> effect can easily be observed when setting the temp_prefered_lft sysctl
> e.g. to 60. The preferred lifetime of the temporary addresses will be
> bogus.
> TEMP_PREFERRED_LIFETIME and REGEN_ADVANCE are not constants and can be
> influenced by these three sysctls: regen_max_retry, dad_transmits and
> temp_prefered_lft. Thus, the upper bound for desync_factor needs to be
> re-calculated each time a new address is generated and if desync_factor is
> larger than the new upper bound, a new random value needs to be
> re-generated.
> And since we already have max_desync_factor configurable per interface, we
> also need to calculate and store desync_factor per interface.
> Signed-off-by: Jiri Bohac <>


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