The IETF Zero Configuration Networking (zeroconf) Working Group completed its work on Dynamic Configuration of IPv4 Link-Local Addresses and wrapped up in July 2003. This snapshot of the charter page is maintained for historical interest.

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Zero Configuration Networking (zeroconf)

In addition to this official charter maintained by the IETF Secretariat, there is additional information about this working group on the Web at:

       Additional ZEROCONF Web Page


Erik Guttman <>
Stuart Cheshire <>

Internet Area Director(s):

Thomas Narten <>
Erik Nordmark <>

Internet Area Advisor:

Thomas Narten <>

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Description of Working Group:

The goal of the Zero Configuration Networking (ZEROCONF) Working Group is to enable networking in the absence of configuration and administration. Zero configuration networking is required for environments where administration is impractical or impossible, such as in the home or small office, embedded systems 'plugged together' as in an automobile, or to allow impromptu networks as between the devices of strangers on a train.

ZEROCONF requirements will make networking as easy as possible, but no easier. In some cases other considerations may dominate ease of use. For example, network security requires some configuration which may not be as easy as the unacceptable alternative of 'no security.'

Networks where ZEROCONF protocols apply can include (but are not limited to) environments where no DHCP, MADCAP or DNS servers are present.

This working group will address both IPv4 and IPv6.

Many functions which are not of fundamental importance to host and application configuration are outside the scope of the working group. This is not because there are no other problems to solve for networking in an environment without preexisting configuration. This working group will focus on an achievable subset of these problems. The ZEROCONF WG will precisely define the requirements for each of the following functions:

* Interface Configuration (IP address, network prefix, gateway router)

* Name-to-Address Translation

* Service Discovery

* Automatic allocation of Multicast Addresses

* Sufficient security features to prevent networks from being any less secure than networks which do not use ZEROCONF protocols

The working group will define the requirements to provide these functions on two distinct network topologies:

1. A single network segment, where all hosts are reachable by link-layer broadcast or multicast messages.

2. A set of network segments, (on different IP subnetworks) interconnected by a single router.

Automatic configuration of an arbitrary topology of routers and subnets is out of the scope of the ZEROCONF WG charter.

The working group will also define how such a network may automatically transition from 'configured' to 'unconfigured' behavior, as well as from 'unconfigured' to 'configured'. That is, the same hosts must be able to function on networks with no configuration as well as be capable of direct IP connectivity to the global Internet, including DNS entries supplied through standard DNS services. It is also possible that both modes (ZEROCONF and administered) may coexist on the same network; the modes may not be exclusive of each other.

When ZEROCONF networks or hosts which are configured using ZEROCONF protocols are connected to the big 'I' internet, they should not automatically become vulnerable to new security threats.

This WG will produce two documents. The first describes the requirements for the configuration (and security) services, defaults, and mechanisms a node needs to fully participate on ZEROCONF networks and/or configured networks. The second, which follows the first, will detail a 'profile' specifying which standards specifically satisfy ZEROCONF requirements.

The WG will also produce two protocol specifications. First, the WG will develop a document describing automatic generation and assignment of link-local IPv4 addresses in environments lacking host configuration (static or using DHCP). The document will describe existing practice as well as define recommendations for future implementations. Second, the WG will develop a profile of the Address Allocation Protocol (AAP) to provide Zero Configuration Multicast Address Allocation support for IPv4 and IPv6.

Goals and Milestones:

Done  Submit internet-draft to be considered as an Informational RFC on Requirements for Zero Configuration Networking.
Done  Submit Automatic Address Configuration for IPv4 to be considered as a Standards Track RFC.
Aug 01  Submit Multicast Address Allocation Protocol for Zeroconf Networks to be considered as a Standards Track RFC.
Aug 01  Submit internet-draft to be considered as an Informational RFC on Host Profile for Zero Configuration Networking.


Requirements for Automatic Configuration of IP Hosts (46128 bytes)
Dynamic Configuration of IPv4 Link-Local addresses (74691 bytes)

No Request For Comments

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