Regular Expression for IPv6 addresses

Jeroen Massar jeroen at
Fri Feb 5 01:16:53 UTC 2010

Mark Andrews wrote:
> And now for the trick question.  Is ::ffff: a legal
> mapped address and if it, does it match

::ffff:0:0:0:0/96 should never ever be shown to a user, as it is
confusing (is it IPv6 or IPv4?) and does not make sense at all.
As such whatever one thinks of it, it is "illegal" in that context.

Internally inside a program though using a 128bit sequence of memory is
of course a great way to store both IPv6 and IPv4 addresses in one
structure and that is where the ::ffff:0:0:0:0::/96 format is very
useful and intended for. Of course still the representation to the user
of addresses stored that way would be (and thus an IPv4
address and not IPv6) even though internally it is written as an IPv6

As that usage is internal, you don't need any validation of the format
as the input will be either an IPv6 or IPv4 address without any of the
compatibility stuff, thus one does not need to handle it anyway.

Of course, there should be only limited places where a user can enter or
see IP addresses in the first place. There is this great thing called
DNS which is what most people should be using.


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