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Author Topic: Plex and IPv6  (Read 4987 times)

ravenstar

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Plex and IPv6
« on: February 02, 2015, 12:10:01 AM »

After reading Broquea's blog on Plex Media Server and IPv6 I decided to have a look at the server and the Apps.

First the server.  Enabling IPv6 was fairly painless.  However after ticking the Enable server support for IPv6 I did find it necessary to reboot the server.
I tested access via both the servers routed /64 address and also the localhost address [::1]:32400/web

The localhost address was recognised as being on the local network and allowed me to connect successfully without requiring a logon.
When accessing via the /64 address literal I was required to log in however so I looked at the white-listing feature.
AFAICT this only supports IPv4 address/netmask combinations.  Therefore there's no way to white-list an IPv6 address :( (please correct me if you know a way)
However this did give me a way to check if my hostname was connecting over IPv6 as I white-listed my public IPv4 address to allow me to connect without signing in first.

Using Web browser on both PC and Ipad Mini I was able to connect via IPv6 (although IOS/Chrome happy eyeballs did initially connect me via IPv4, this changed after I managed a successful v6 connection with Safari).

Next I had a look at the Apps
I used a Sony Xperia Z and an Apple Ipad Mini.

Both Android and IOS Apps provide an interface to allow manual entry of an IP address.  However:

Plex for Android does not allow the entry of : or letters, so it is only able to enter an IPv4 address
Plex for IOS appears to allow manual addition of an IPv6 address but it would not connect.  Being as I had connected via Browser over IPv6 literal I can only conclude that the App does not actually understand IPv6 addresses.

plex.tv and myplex still don't support IPv6 either.

Finally I looked at Plex For Home Theatre on my PC

Again while this supported a manual address entry, it is only able to add an IPv4 address.

Conclusion.
While Plex media server itself supports IPv6, direct access to the server is ONLY available via Web browser.  Therefore true IPv6 support is extremely limited.

Comments would be welcome.

Ravenstar68

Edit - corrected minor error regaring connection via [::1]
« Last Edit: February 02, 2015, 04:39:01 AM by ravenstar »
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broquea

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Re: Plex and IPv6
« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2015, 05:49:28 AM »

Your conclusion is pretty much spot on. I suspect at some point once plex.tv goes IPv6 themselves as the middleman, the server's callhome function should go over IPv6. Unless they hard-coded IPv4 in the code.
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ravenstar

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Re: Plex and IPv6
« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2015, 02:36:11 PM »

But it does represent one of the major barriers to IPv6 deployment.

That Software makers still don't get the need to support IPv6. 
It's not enough to merely give a server IPv6 access.  It needs to be paired with associated work on the client apps to support this, as well as enabling it on the plex.tv servers.  After all because plex.tv is IPv4 only it means that the only way a server on an IPv6 network can phone home would be via a 4in6 tunnel.

I don't program myself so I don't know how much it would take to enable IPv6 on the IOS app.  Indeed looking at IOS settings you'd be forgiven for not realising it even supports IPv6.  The same is true of Android.

Ravenstar68
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mattwilson9090

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Re: Plex and IPv6
« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2015, 03:31:49 PM »

IPv6 is increasingly important but there is very little need for anything but "network" software to know or understand IPv4 of IPv6. It should make a call to the operating system for what it needs, then the OS fulfills that need based upon whether it has IPv4 or IPv6 available, and what connection it can make at the other end.

I'm not familiar enough with Plex to know how it's configured, but it sounds like an appliance with it's own self contained operating system. The software itself may not know about IPv4 or IPv6, but the underlying OS would still need to know about it.
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Matt Wilson

ravenstar

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Re: Plex and IPv6
« Reply #4 on: February 05, 2015, 03:37:03 AM »

IPv6 is increasingly important but there is very little need for anything but "network" software to know or understand IPv4 of IPv6. It should make a call to the operating system for what it needs, then the OS fulfills that need based upon whether it has IPv4 or IPv6 available, and what connection it can make at the other end.

I'm not familiar enough with Plex to know how it's configured, but it sounds like an appliance with it's own self contained operating system. The software itself may not know about IPv4 or IPv6, but the underlying OS would still need to know about it.

These are media server and client apps were talking about so they do need network connectivity.
My point is that the client apps only support the manual entry of IPv4 addresses when setting up manual connections.  They require an update to be able to enter and connect to IPv6 addresses.

The underlying OS is not an issue as Android, IOS and Windows all support IPv6 by default, although it's not necessarily apparent.

Ravenstar68
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mattwilson9090

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Re: Plex and IPv6
« Reply #5 on: February 05, 2015, 02:43:43 PM »

Aw yes, if they only support entry of IP addresses that is an issue. It's generally better for software so accept an address, preferably a domain or URL, though provision should be there for an address as well, either IPv4 or IPv6.

Many programmers prefer to reinvent the wheel on everything though, and usually just end up imposing limits rather than doing something better.
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Matt Wilson