I'm using the OpenVPN client through the OpenVPN Network Manager plugin on a dual stack (meaning configured both for IPv4 and IPv6 connectivity) Ubuntu 13.10 to redirect all traffic through the VPN (redirect-gateway). It generally works fine.

However, due to the fact that IPv6 is preferred by the system, the VPN "leaks" and when connecting to sites that are also available over IPv6 (like Google, or Wikipedia), the browser connects directly.

One solution would be to configure the OpenVPN server to provide IPv6 connectivity. While possible with OpenVPN, the plugin for Network Manager currently doesn't support it.

Since IPv6 connectivity over the VPN is not strictly necessary, I'd like to simply disable IPv6 on the client when connecting to the OpenVPN server. Is it possible? If so, how can I do it?

  • 1
    Your VPN isn't carrying IPv6 traffic also? – Michael Hampton Mar 30 '14 at 15:57
  • My VPN could well be carrying IPv6 traffic but Network Manager doesn't support IPv6 configuration currently for OpenVPN as far as I can tell. – Damn Terminal Mar 31 '14 at 21:33
  • 1
    Just for the record, if your VPN provider is leaking like this, you need a new provider. There are plenty of them who get this right. IPv6 isn't going away, and disabling it is only going to cut you off from parts of the Internet. – Michael Hampton Feb 1 '17 at 20:40
  • 1
    @MichaelHampton Sadly, it's my server. I am the provider in this case. It does support IPv6 but only comes with one /64 so I would need to splice it first which is a bit of a pain. More importantly (at the time, I haven't checked since) network manager had some troubles handling IPv6-enabled OpenVPN connections (IPv6 over VPN does however work with tap and bridged network setup which is what I use now). – Damn Terminal Feb 1 '17 at 20:46

Add this to your kernel line in your boot loader to disable IPv6 altogether:


If you're using Grub (if you haven't installed your own boot-loader, then you are using Grub), your kernel line should look something like this:

linux /boot/vmlinuz-linux root=UUID=978e3e81-8048-4ae1-8a06-aa727458e8ff ipv6.disable=1

The recommended approach, for adding something to the kernel line, is to add the desired kernel parameter to the GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT variable in the /etc/default/grub file:


Once you've added that to /etc/default/grub, run the following command to regenerate your grub.cfg:

sudo grub-mkconfig -o /boot/grub/grub.cfg

Alternatively, adding ipv6.disable_ipv6=1 instead will keep the IPv6 stack functional but will not assign IPv6 addresses to any of your network devices.


To disable IPv6 via sysctl, place the following into your /etc/sysctl.conf file:

net.ipv6.conf.all.disable_ipv6 = 1

Don't forget to comment out any IPv6 hosts in your /etc/hosts file:

#::1        localhost.localdomain   localhost


a reboot may be required for the sysctl method, and a reboot is definitely required for the kernel line approach.


To temporarily disable ipv6:

sysctl -w net.ipv6.conf.all.disable_ipv6=1

To temporarily enable it:

sysctl -w net.ipv6.conf.all.disable_ipv6=0

So if you need to disable ipv6 on a given condition, then write a bash script somewhere along these lines:

ipv6_disabled="$(sysctl net.ipv6.conf.all.disable_ipv6 | awk '{print $NF}')"
if (connected_to_vpn &> /dev/null); then
  (($ipv6_disabled)) || sysctl -w net.ipv6.conf.all.disable_ipv6=1
  (($ipv6_disabled)) && sysctl -w net.ipv6.conf.all.disable_ipv6=0


You might need to disable any ipv6 hosts in your /etc/hosts file for this method too, just as I recommended in the previous method.

  • 5
    Yeah, OK. But I want to disable IPv6 when connecting to the VPN using Network Manager, not kill it entirely on my system. Maybe I should have made it clearer. – Damn Terminal Mar 31 '14 at 21:29
  • @DamnTerminal, so you only want to disable it when you're connected to your VPN, as in disabling it system-wide is fine, as long as it only happens while you're connected to your VPN? – Alexej Magura Apr 7 '14 at 0:43
  • @DamnTerminal I updated my answer to include an example of how to disable ipv6 using a bash script that would check a condition. You probably could use NetworkManager's command-line interface: nmcli to check if your connected to your VPN; if that doesn't work then I'm sure there's a command-line net utility out there that will give access to that info. – Alexej Magura Apr 7 '14 at 1:16
  • Why the downvote? – Alexej Magura Jun 9 '17 at 15:38
  • Unfortunately this solution (sysctl) does not re-enable IPv6 for WiFi properly. You need to reconnect to access point to enable it. – Igor Mikushkin Oct 25 '18 at 14:26

You can disable ipv6 at the client level for a specific Network Manager connection by setting the IPv6 option ipv6.method to "ignore"

// SOP: Recreate my LAN connection using FIXED IP to Ethernet. ````

nmcli connection delete lan-ethernet
nmcli connection add con-name lan-ethernet \
    ifname enp0s31f6 \
    type ethernet \
    ip4  gw4

nmcli connection modify lan-ethernet  ipv6.method "ignore"
nmcli connection modify lan-ethernet  ipv4.dns ""
nmcli connection up lan-ethernet
sleep 1
nmcli device status
nmcli connection show
ifconfig enp0s31f6


  • Unfortunately it has no effect for VPN connections. – Igor Mikushkin Oct 25 '18 at 14:24

I'm on Ubuntu 16.04.03 LTS, connecting to a Pi-Hole server through PiVPN.

This is what I did to switch IPv6 automatically on and off when connecting to a VPN through the Network Manager:

  1. Create a script in /etc/NetworkManager/dispatcher.d:

    $ sudo vi /etc/NetworkManager/dispatcher.d/99vpn-ipv6-switch
  2. Add the following content into the file (modify the contents for your requirements):

    # Network Manager Dispatcher Hook:
    # enables/disables ipv6 on vpn-down/vpn-up respectively
    # Copyright (c) 2017 ooknosi
    # Apache License 2.0
    # Args
    case $ACTION in
        # vpn connected; disable ipv6
        sysctl -w net.ipv6.conf.all.disable_ipv6=1
        ## add pi-hole nameserver
        #echo -n "nameserver" | /sbin/resolvconf -a "tun0.openvpn"
        # vpn disconnected; enable ipv6
        sysctl -w net.ipv6.conf.all.disable_ipv6=0
        ## remove pi-hole nameserver
        #/sbin/resolvconf -d "tun0.openvpn"
    exit 0
  3. Make the script executable:

    $ sudo chmod 755 /etc/NetworkManager/dispatcher.d/99vpn-ipv6-switch

That's it. I had to manually add my Pi-Hole DNS because of a dnsmasq bug that prevents resolv.conf from being updated correctly, so modify the lines indicated if you find your DNS leaking.

  • Unfortunately this solution does not re-enable IPv6 for WiFi properly. You need to reconnect to access point to enable it. – Igor Mikushkin Oct 25 '18 at 14:13

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