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  1. client/
  2. core/

Fuchsia DHCPv6 Client


Fuchsia's DHCPv6 client implements the client side of the DHCPv6 protocol defined in RFC 8415.

Implementation is split into core and bindings. The purely functional core implements the DHCPv6 client state machine, and the imperative bindings interact with other systems on Fuchsia through their corresponding APIs to fulfill actions necessary for the client to be useful, e.g. send replies through a socket, send updates to watchers, etc.

The DHCPv6 client does not modify any configurations on the host system directly. Instead, when it learns new configurations, it sends updates through watcher APIs.

Parsing and Serialization

packet_formats_dhcp::v6 implements parsing and serialization of DHCPv6 messages. The implementation is based on the packet crate. The packet crate minimizes copying during parsing and serialization. It also allows easy nesting of DHCPv6 messages inside UDP messages, which is especially useful when building test packets.

Core and Bindings

The core and bindings split is inspired by the design of netstack3 on Fuchsia. This design splits the implementation into a purely functional core and an imperative shell (bindings). Because the core is purely functional, it is naturally cross-platform. The bindings, on the other hand, usually rely on platform-specific APIs to carry out imperative tasks. Netstack3 uses this design to implement all protocols it supports. More details about this design can be found in netstack3's “Core and Bindings” doc.

For the DHCPv6 client, the core:

  • Implements a purely functional state machine that emits Actions. This state machine expects someone to fulfill the actions (e.g. send messages, scheduler timers, etc.) and dispatch events (e.g. message received, timer fired, etc.) for it to transition states.

  • Uses packet_formats_dhcp::v6 to parse and serialize DHCPv6 messages.

The imperative shell:

  • Binds to a socket that talks to DHCPv6 servers on the network. It passes all received messages to the core and let it determine what to do. It then fulfills the actions returned by the core, e.g. sends a reply to the server, or replies to a watcher about configuration changes.

  • Runs a FIDL server that implements APIs defined in The APIs include for launching new clients, and for watching updates from running clients.

Watcher APIs

Watcher APIs use the hanging get pattern to allow watchers to pull changes from servers. Pulling is preferred over pushing (i.e. the server pushes data to the client) because pull models have built-in flow control since the client naturally limits the rate at which the server produces data. Hanging get is the recommended pattern widely used to implement pull-based protocols on Fuchsia.

The DHCPv6 client exposes a set of watcher APIs instead of applying the configurations directly (DHCPv6 is acting as the “server” from the hanging get pattern).