Dropbear vs SSH woes between Ubuntu LTSes

Imagine you’re using dropbear-initrd to log in to a server during boot for unlocking the hard disk encryption and you’re greeted with the following error after a reboot:

root@server: Permission denied (publickey).

🤨😓😖 You start to sweat … this looks like extra work you didn’t need right now. You try to remember: were there any updates lately that could have messed up the initrd? … deep breath, lets take it slowly.

First try to get SSH to spit out more details:

$ ssh -vvv server-boot
debug1: Next authentication method: publickey
debug1: Offering public key: /home/user/.ssh/... RSA SHA256:... explicit
debug1: send_pubkey_test: no mutual signature algorithm

That doesn’t seem right … this worked before. The server is running Ubuntu 20.04 LTS and I’ve just upgraded my work machine to Ubuntu 22.04 LTS. I know that Dropbear doesn’t support ed25519 keys (at least not on the version on the server), that’s why I still use RSA keys for that. 🤔

Time to ask the Internet, but all the posts with a “no mutual signature algorithm” error message are years old … but most of them were circling around the SSH client having deprecated old key types (namely DSA keys). 😯

Can it be that RSA keys have also been deprecated? 😱 … I’ve recently upgraded my client machine 😶 … no way! … well, yes! That was exactly the problem.

Allowing RSA keys in the connection settings for that server allowed me to log in again 😎:

PubkeyAcceptedKeyTypes +ssh-rsa

But this whole detour unnecessarily wasted an hour of my life. 😓

Finding out what rules to add to /etc/gai.conf

I had a weird problem. I was using network prefix translation (NPT) for routing IPv6 packets to the Internet through a VPN. But while all devices could connect to the IPv6 Internet without problems, they never did so on their own. They always preferred IPv4 connections when they had the choice. 🤨

Problem Background

I knew that modern network stacks are configured to prefer IPv6 over IPv4 generally, but was baffled why it wouldn’t use IPv6 since it was clear that connections to the Internet work. A little bit of tinkering revealed that IPv4 connections to the Internet are preferred only when my device had no global IPv6 addresses. Because I was relying on NPT my devices only had ULAs.

It turns out that the wise people making standards decided that when a device has only private IPv4 addresses and ULAs IPv4 connections are preferred for the Internet under the assumption that private IPv4 addresses are definitely NATed while IPv6’s ULA probably (definitely?) won’t. 😯

Finding a Solution

A quick search for anything related to IPv4 vs. IPv6 priority leads exclusively to questions and posts where the authors want to always have IPv4 prioritized over IPv6. Although my case was the opposite one thing became clear: it had to do with modifying /etc/gai.conf. It’s a file for configuring RFC 6724 (i.e. Default Address Selection for Internet Protocol Version 6 (IPv6)).

This allowed me to influence the selection algorithm which seemed to be needed for solving my problem. If you open this file it even has commented-out lines for solving the “always prefer IPv4 over IPv6” problem. The inverse case was not so simple, because among the precedence rules there was no address range for ULAs and adding one for my specific ULA didn’t solve the problem either:

# precedence  <mask>   <value>
#    Add another rule to the RFC 3484 precedence table.  See section 2.1
#    and 10.3 in RFC 3484.  The default is:
precedence  ::1/128       50
precedence  ::/0          40
precedence  2002::/16     30
precedence ::/96          20
precedence ::ffff:0:0/96  10
precedence fd:11:22::/48  45  # <-- added my ULA, but didn't help
#    For sites which prefer IPv4 connections change the last line to
#precedence ::ffff:0:0/96  100

Manual Algorithm

I tried to take a step back and find out if a precedence setting was even the right change. I bit the bullet and tried to evaluated the “Source Address Selection” algorithm from RFC 6725 (Section 5) by hand.

Candidate Addresses

My candidate addresses for the destination (this server) were:

2a01:4f8:c2c:8101::1   # native IPv6
::ffff:  # native IPv4 (mapped to IPv6 for this algorithm)

My candidate source addresses (from my WLAN connection) looked like:

fd00:11:22::aa  # global dynamic noprefixroute
fd00:11:22::bb  # global temporary dynamic
fd00:11:22::cc  # global mngtmpaddr noprefixroute
::ffff:  # private IPv4 (mapped to IPv6 for this algorithm)

The Rules

Rule 1: Prefer same address.

skip, source and destination are not the same.

Rule 2: Prefer appropriate scope.

skip, connection is unicast, so no multicast.

Rule 3: Avoid deprecated addresses.

skip, no deprecated source addresses used.

Rule 4: Prefer home addresses.

skip? I was not sure what a “home address” is supposed to be, but it seems related to mobile networks. I just assumed all source addresses were “home” addresses.

Rule 5: Prefer outgoing interface.

skip, I was already only considering the outgoing interface here.

Rule 5.5: Prefer addresses in a prefix advertised by the next-hop.

skip? all next-hops were fe00::<router's EUI64>.

Rule 6: Prefer matching label.

We get the default labels from /etc/gai.conf (mine from Ubuntu 21.10):

#label ::1/128       0  # loopback address
#label ::/0          1  # IPv6, unless matched by other rules
#label 2002::/16     2  # 6to4 tunnels
#label ::/96         3  # IPv4-compatible addresses (deprecated)
#label ::ffff:0:0/96 4  # IPv4-mapped addresses
#label fec0::/10     5  # site-local addresses (deprecated)
#label fc00::/7      6  # ULAs
#label 2001:0::/32   7  # Teredo tunnels

Then the destination addresses would get labeled like this:

2a01:4f8:c2c:8101::1   # label 1
::ffff:  # label 4

And the source addresses would get labeled like this:

fd00:11:22::aa  # label 6
fd00:11:22::bb  # label 6
fd00:11:22::cc  # label 6
::ffff:  # label 4

Here we see why IPv4 addresses are selected: their destination and source addresses have the same label while the IPv6 address don’t. 😔

So I could add a new label for our ULA that has the same label as the ::/0 addresses (i.e. 1 here). I didn’t change the label on the fc00::/7 line in order not to change the behavior for all ULAs, but I wanted a special rule for my specific network. So I uncommented the default label lines and added the following line:

label fd00:11:22::/48 1  # my ULA prefix and the same label as ::/0

Reboot (may no be strictly necessary) … and lo and behold it worked! 😎


While this worked I really felt uneasy messing with the address priorization especially if you take into account that I’d have to do this on every device. This is on top of the already esoteric setup for using NPT. 🙈

I later found out that when the VPN goes down (i.e. there’s no IPv6 Internet connectivity) it won’t (actually can’t) fall back to IPv4 for the Internet connection. 😓

Routing My Way Out With IPv6: NPT6

This article is part of a series of how I built a WireGuard tunnel for getting IPv6 connectivity. Where the last step was to figure out how to route packets from devices in my private network through the WireGuard tunnel to the Internet.

I’ve explored three different methods for solving this:

I’ll try to show how to set each of them up and try to convey their pros and cons.


You should always consider IPv6-PD first!

Consider any other option only if:

  • you have a “weird” setup or want to support an esoteric use case (like I do e.g. with too many local subnets for too long a public prefix)
  • you’re willing to set up, debug and maintain a somewhat experimental configuration
  • you more or less understand the tradeoffs
  • all of the above!

Starting Point

I’ll assume the following has been set up:

  • default OpenWRT networks named “LAN”, “WAN”, “WAN6”
  • default OpenWRT firewall rules
  • an ULA prefix of fd00:11:22::/48
  • an IPv6 WireGuard tunnel with the endpoint on our OpenWRT router being 2000:30:40:50::2
  • the remote WireGurad tunnel end point forwards the whole 2000:30:40:50::/64 to our OpenWRT router

NPTv6 (Network Prefix Translation)

This is probably the least publicly documented method of all. Discussions and tutorials are scarce. Its use cases are esoteric and probably better solved in other ways. But it’s the most interesting method, because it’s conceptually even simpler than NAT6, but only viable with IPv6 addresses.

NPT basically means that you swap the prefix part of an IPv6 address with another same-sized prefix. It exploits two facts about IPv6 addresses. The first one is that prefixes can be at most 64 bits long (i.e. for a /64) leaving the interface identifier (i.e. the second half of the IPv6 address) untouched. The second one is that interface identifiers are basically random (i.e. because they’re either derived from (globally) unique MAC addresses or they’re randomly generated temporary addresses) and hence won’t clash. This allows for stateless, NAT-like behavior (i.e.without the “expensive” tracking of NATed connections).

You can configure NPT to be bidirectional which maps prefixes in both directions basically creating a 1:1 mapping. If you’re doing this you’re probably better off just announcing multiple prefixes to your devices or creating custom routes to bridge two networks.

An even more esoteric use case is when you create one or more unidirectional mappings allowing you to multiplex multiple networks onto one. This works great, because the interface identifiers are basically random and can be left as they are. In my tests having one-way mappings still managed to route the responses correctly although strictly speaking it shouldn’t. 🤨 I suspect that this worked accidentally, because of the standard firewall “conntrack” (i.e. connection tracking) rules. 🤔


On the “Network > Interfaces” page edit the “WAN6” interface and set “Protocol” to “unmanaged”. And make sure the “WAN6_WG” addresses say 2000:30:40:50::2/64 (note the /64 at the end).

Similar to the NAT6 case we need a custom firewall script. You have to install the iptables-mod-nat-extra package. I’ve created a Gist for the script. Save it to /etc/firewall.npt6 and instruct the firewall to run it when being reloaded by adding the following section to /etc/config/firewall:

config include 'npt6'
        option path '/etc/firewall.npt6'
        option reload '1'

After restarting the firewall with /etc/init.d/firewall restart you should be good to go.

As described at the top of the firewall script you can configure mappings by adding npt6 config sections to /etc/config/firewall (sorry, there’s no UI for this 😅).

config npt6
        option src_interface 'lan'
        option dest_interface 'wan6_wg'
        option output '1'

This is the minimal setup. Just add more sections for more source and destination network pairs. Run /etc/init.d/firewall reload to apply new configurations.

In my tests all devices could connect to IPv6 services on the internet without problems. But devices always preferred IPv4 connections over IPv6 ones. This was tricky to solve, but it comes down to this:

When a domain has both public/global IPv4 and IPv6 addresses your devices tries to determine how to connect to it. It’ll generally prefer IPv6 over IPv4, but actually its more complicated than that. All IPv4 addresses are treated as global during address selection while IPv6 addresses are classified differently depending on the prefix. It just so happens that from the outside it looks something like this: global IPv6 address > IPv4 addresses > IPv6 ULAs. It’s a little more complicated

Since we don’t have a global IPv6 address, IPv4 is preferred assuming that private IPv4 addresses will generally be NATed to the Internet while ULA prefixes won’t. 😞

This was tricky to solve. All related questions on the Internet revolved around how to prefer IPv4 over IPv6, but the solution was not invertible. It boils down to changing /etc/gai.conf to classify your ULA prefix the same as a global ones. You can accomplish this by adding a label line for your ULA (i.e. fd00:11:22::/48 here) and giving it the same label (i.e. the last number on the line) as the line with ::/0 (i.e. 1 here for me). Finding this out took me a week of trial and error until I resigned to doing the address selection algorithm by hand. 😅

I had to uncomment all the label configuration lines and then add my custom line, because once you add a custom rule all the default ones will be reset. So to add a rule on top of the default ones I ended up with the following (note that I only added the last line, all others were part of Ubuntu’s default configuration):

label ::1/128       0
label ::/0          1
label 2002::/16     2
label ::/96         3
label ::ffff:0:0/96 4
label fec0::/10     5
label fc00::/7      6
label 2001:0::/32   7
label fd00:11:22::/48 1

I only added my network’s ULA to preserve the default behavior as much as possible and only make an exception for my network specifically. so this will change the behavior only when the device has addresses from this specific ULA.

You have to restart applications for them to pick up changes to /etc/gai.conf.


  • multiple internal networks can be multiplexed onto one upstream network (even when the upstream prefix is too long (e.g. for IPv6-PD))
  • internal devices are not directly reachable from the Internet (with unidirectional mapping) (this is not a replacement for a firewall!)


  • very little documentation and online resources
  • for your devices to use IPv6 by default you have to muck with address selection preferences on each and every one of them
  • it doesn’t fall back to IPv4 when the IPv6 tunnel goes down

Routing My Way Out With IPv6: NAT6

This article is part of a series of how I built a WireGuard tunnel for getting IPv6 connectivity. Where the last step was to figure out how to route packets from devices in my private network through the WireGuard tunnel to the Internet.

I’ve explored three different methods for solving this:

I’ll try to show how to set each of them up and try to convey their pros and cons.


You should always consider IPv6-PD first!

Consider any other option only if:

  • you have a “weird” setup or want to support an esoteric use case (like I do e.g. with too many local subnets for too long a public prefix)
  • you’re willing to set up, debug and maintain a somewhat experimental configuration
  • you more or less understand the tradeoffs
  • all of the above!

Starting Point

I’ll assume the following has been set up:

  • default OpenWRT networks named “LAN”, “WAN”, “WAN6”
  • default OpenWRT firewall rules
  • an IPv6 WireGuard tunnel with the endpoint on our OpenWRT router being 2000:30:40:50::2
  • the remote WireGuard tunnel end point forwards the whole 2000:30:40:50::/64 to our OpenWRT router

NAT6 a.k.a. Masquerading

NAT6 is basically a rehash of the “the old way” of using NAT for the IPv4 Internet. The router/gateway replaces the internal source (i.e. sender) address of a packet going out with its own public address. The router makes note of original sender and recipient to be able to reverse the process when an answer comes back. When the router receives a packet it forwards it to the actual recipient by replacing the destination address with the internal address of original sender.


On the “Network > Interfaces” page edit the “WAN6” interface and set “Protocol” to “unmanaged”. Then follow the OpenWRT NAT6 and IPv6 Masquerading documentation.

In my tests the masq6_privacy setting had no impact. All outgoing packages always had an address of 2000:30:40:50::2 (i.e. the router’s WireGuard interface address). 😕 It seems using WireGuard interferes with OpenWRT’s ability to generate temporary addresses for the interface. No amount of fiddling (e.g. setting addresses with /64, suffixes to “random”, setting prefix filters, setting a delegatable prefix, but disabling delegation, … I really got desperate) on the “WAN6_WG” interfaces’ settings or creating a “WAN6” alias and doing the same to it made the temporary addresses work. 😵 You could manually add addresses with random suffixes to the WireGuard interface … maybe even write a script that changes them periodically … 😅😐😞


  • multiple internal networks can be multiplexed onto one upstream network (even when the upstream prefix is too long (e.g. for IPv6-PD))
  • internal devices are not directly reachable from the Internet (this is not a replacement for a firewall!)


  • connections can only be started from internal devices
  • router needs to keep state for every connection
  • router needs to touch/manipulate every packet
  • you only have one static external address, because it seems temporary addresses (i.e. IPv6 privacy extensions) don’t work with WireGuard connections

Routing My Way Out With IPv6: IPv6-PD

Since I wrote my blog post about using a WireGuard tunnel for getting IPv6 connectivity there was one thing that was bugging me immensely: having to use NAT for IPv6. 😓

My initial howto used a private network for the WireGuard VPN which led to having two translation steps: one when entering the WireGuard VPN and one when exiting. I later realized I could use the global /64 assigned to the cloud VPN endpoint for the WireGuard VPN itself and just forward all traffic to and from it on the cloud VPN endpoint. This was easy, because the address mapping was 1:1 (cloud server’s /64 ⇔ WireGuard VPNs /64). This eliminated one translation.

The second translation (i.e. the one on the OpenWRT router) is more difficult to remove. The crux of the matter is that I only have a /64 for the tunnel which means I either have to select which internal network gets to be connected or I have to “multiplex” multiple internal /64s onto one upstream /64.

I’ve explored three different methods for solving this:

I’ll try to show how to set each of them up and try to convey their pros and cons.


You should always consider IPv6-PD first!

Consider any other option only if:

  • you have a “weird” setup or want to support an esoteric use case (like I do e.g. with too many local subnets for too long a public prefix)
  • you’re willing to set up, debug and maintain a somewhat experimental configuration
  • you more or less understand the tradeoffs
  • all of the above!

Starting Point

I’ll assume the following has been set up:

  • default OpenWRT networks named “LAN”, “WAN”, “WAN6”
  • default OpenWRT firewall rules
  • an IPv6 WireGuard tunnel with the endpoint on our OpenWRT router being 2000:30:40:50::2
  • the remote WireGurad tunnel end point forwards the whole 2000:30:40:50::/64 to our OpenWRT router

IPv6-PD (Prefix Delegation)

IPv6-PD (i.e. prefix delegation) is basically the built-in mechanism of sharing global IPv6 addresses with internal networks. As the word “delegation” implies you give away (a portion/sub-prefixes) to “downstream” networks. This also implies that if you get a long global prefix you may not be able to partition it for delegating it to (all) your internal networks. Normally you’ll get something like a /56 from your ISP, but I only have a /64, because I “hijacked” a cloud server’s addresses.


On the “Network > Interfaces” page edit the “WAN6” interface:

OpenWRT – WAN6 Interface: General Settings (for IPv6-PD)
OpenWRT – WAN6 Interface: General Settings (for IPv6-PD)
  • Set “Protocol” to “static”.
  • Set “Device” to “Alias interface: @wan6_wg”.
  • Set “IPv6 routed prefix” to the WireGuard public prefix (i.e. 2000:30:40:50::/64 in our case).
  • Make sure that in the “Advanced Settings” tab “Delegate IPv6 prefixes” is enabled.

After saving and applying those settings the “Network > Interfaces” page should look like the following screenshot.

OpenWRT – Resulting WAN6 Interfaces in Overview (for IPv6-PD)

Make sure that your WireGuard interface has its address set to 2000:30:40:50::2/128. If you have something like 2000:30:40:50::2/64 (note the /64) set as described in an earlier version of the previous how-to you’ll get the same /64 route for both the “WAN6” and the “WAN6_WG” interfaces. In my case packets from the “LAN” network would reach the Internet correctly, but the responses would arrive at the OpenWRT router’s WireGuard interface but never turn up in the “LAN” network. The following screenshot shows a working configuration on the “Status > Routes” page.

OpenWRT – Active IPv6 Routes (for IPv6-PD)


  • simple, built-in
  • devices can “directly” connect to the Internet (“no NAT, no nothin”; see below)
  • middleware boxes don’t need to keep state (it’s all just routing)
  • few things can break


  • your global prefix needs a short enough to be useful (i.e. shorter than /64)
  • internal devices have a routable address reachable from the Internet (i.e. your firewall should deny incoming connections from the Internet by default)

My First Container-based Postgres Upgrade

Yesterday I did my first container-based PostgreSQL version upgrade. In my case the upgrade was from version 13 to 14. In hindsight I was quite naïve. 😅

I was always wondering why distros kept separate data directories for different versions … now I know: you can’t do in-place upgrades with PostgreSQL. You need to have separate data directories as well as both version’s binaries. 😵 Distros have their mechanisms for it, but in the container world you’re kind of on your own.

Well not really … it’s just different. I found there’s a project that specializes in exactly the tooling part of the upgrade. After a little trial an error (see below) it went quite smoothly.


In the end it came down to the following steps:

  1. Stop the old postgres container.
  2. Backup the old data directory (yay ZFS snapshots).
  3. Create the new postgres container (with a new data directory; in my case via Ansible)
  4. Stop the new postgres container.
  5. Run the upgrade. (see command below)
  6. Start the new postgres container.
  7. Run vacuumdb as suggested at the end of the upgrade. (see command below)

The Upgrade Command

I used the tianon/postgres-upgrade container for the upgrade. Since my directory layout didn’t follow the “default” structure I had to mount each version’s data directory separately.

docker run --rm \
-e POSTGRES_INITDB_ARGS="--no-locale --encoding=UTF8" \
-v /tmp/pg_upgrade:/var/lib/postgresql \
-v /tank/containers/postgres-13:/var/lib/postgresql/13/data \
-v /tank/containers/postgres-14:/var/lib/postgresql/14/data \

I set the POSTGRES_INITDB_ARGS to what I used when creating the new Postgres container’s data directory. This shouldn’t be necessary because we let the new Postgres container initialize the data directory. (see below) I left it in just to be safe. 🤷

I explicitly mounted something to the container’s /var/lib/postgresql directory in order to have access to the upgrade logs which are mentioned in error messages. (see below)

The Vacuumdb Command

Upgrading finishes with a suggestion like:

Upgrade Complete
Optimizer statistics are not transferred by pg_upgrade.
Once you start the new server, consider running:
/usr/lib/postgresql/14/bin/vacuumdb –all –analyze-in-stages

We can run the command in the new Postgres container:

docker exec postgres vacuumdb -U postgres --all --analyze-in-stages

We use the postgres user, because we didn’t specify a POSTGRES_USER when creating the database container.


When you’re not using the default directory structure there’re some pitfalls. Mounting the two versions’ data directories separately is easy enough … it says so in the README. It’s what it doesn’t say that makes it more difficult than necessary. 😞

Errors When Initializing the New Data Directory

The first error I encountered was that the new data directory would get initialized with the default initdb options. where I used an optimized cargo-culted incantation which was incompatible (in my case --no-locale --encoding=UTF8). The upgrade failed with the following error:

lc_collate values for database “postgres” do not match: old “C”, new “en_US.utf8”

So I made sure I created the new database container (with the correct initdb args) before the migration fixed this.

Extra Mounts for the Upgrade

What tripped me really up was that when something failed it said to look into a specific log file which I couldn’t find. 🤨 I had to also mount something to the /var/lib/postgres directory which then had all the upgrade log files. 😔

This also solved another of my problems where the upgrade tool wanted to start an instance of the Postgres database, but failed because it couldn’t find a specific socket … which also happens to be located in the directory mentioned above.

Authentication Errors After Upgrade

After the upgrade I had a lot of authentication errors although non of the passwords should have changed.

FATAL: password authentication failed for user “nextcloud”

After digging through the internet and comparing both the old and new data directories it looked like the password hashing method changed. It changed from md5 to scram-sha-256 (in pg_ hda.conf the line saying host all all all scram-sha-256). 😑Just re-setting (i.e. setting the same passwords again) via ALTER ROLE foo SET PASSWORD '...'; on all users fixed the issue.🤐

Using Posteo With Custom Domains

I tried to find out if you can use Posteo with a custom domain. And the short answer is: no.

Andy Schwartzmeyer found out the long answer. 👏😀 I implemented it for my blog and so far I’m happy. Interestingly enough it’s the receiving side that needs an external service. I currently use Forward Email‘s free tier, because I already have publicly known email addresses that I automatically collect emails from.

I always had the impression that sending mails is made more difficult in order to combat spammers, but what do I know. 🤷 Sending only needs to include Posteo in the SPF rules and adding a sender identity (usable after a one week cool down 🙈).

Howto Restore ZFS Encryption Hierarchies

Backing up encrypted ZFS datasets you’ll see that ZFS breaks up the encryption hierarchy. The backed up datasets will look like they’ve all been encrypted separately. You can still use the (same) original key to unlock all the datasets, but you’ll have to unlock them separately. 😐

This howto should help you bring them back together when you have to restore from a backup.

Assuming we’ve created a new and encrypted pool to restore the previous backup to (I’ll call it new_rpool). We send our data from the backup pool to new_rpool.

sudo zfs send -w -v backup/laptop/rpool/ROOT@zrepl_20210131_223653_000 | sudo zfs receive -v new_rpool/ROOT
sudo zfs send -w -v backup/laptop/rpool/ROOT/ubuntu@zrepl_20210402_113057_000 | sudo zfs receive -v new_rpool/ROOT/ubuntu

Note that we’re using zfs send -w which sends the encrypted blocks “as is” from the backup pool to new_pool. This means that these datasets can only be decrypted with the key they were originally encrypted with.

Also note that you cannot restore an encrypted root/pool dataset with another encrypted one: i.e. we can’t restore the contents/snapshots of rpool to new_rpool (at least not without decrypting them first on the sender, sending them unencrypted and reencrypting them upon receive). Luckily for me that dataset is empty. 😎

Anyway … our new pool should look something like this now:

$ zfs list -o name,encryption,keystatus,keyformat,keylocation,encryptionroot -t filesystem,volume -r new_rpool
new_rpool              aes-256-gcm  available    passphrase  prompt       new_rpool
new_rpool/ROOT         aes-256-gcm  unavailable  raw         prompt       new_rpool/ROOT
new_rpool/ROOT/ubuntu  aes-256-gcm  unavailable  raw         prompt       new_rpool/ROOT/ubuntu

Note that each dataset is treated as it is encrypted by itself (visible in the encryptionroot property). To restore our ability to unlock all datasets with a single key we’ll have to to some work.

First we have to unlock each of these datasets. We can do this with the zfs load-key command (my data was encrypted using a raw key in a file, hence the -L file:///...):

sudo zfs load-key -L file:///tmp/backup.key new_rpool/ROOT
sudo zfs load-key -L file:///tmp/backup.key new_rpool/ROOT/ubuntu

Although zfs load-key is supposed to have a -r option that works when keylocation=prompt it fails for me with the following error message 🤨:

sudo zfs load-key -r -L file:///tmp/backup.key new_rpool/ROOT

alternate keylocation may only be 'prompt' with -r or -a
        load-key [-rn] [-L <keylocation>] <-a | filesystem|volume>

For the property list, run: zfs set|get

For the delegated permission list, run: zfs allow|unallow

The keystatus should have changed to available now:

$ zfs list -o name,encryption,keystatus,keyformat,keylocation,encryptionroot -t filesystem,volume -r new_rpool
new_rpool              aes-256-gcm  available    passphrase  prompt       new_rpool
new_rpool/ROOT         aes-256-gcm  available    raw         prompt       new_rpool/ROOT
new_rpool/ROOT/ubuntu  aes-256-gcm  available    raw         prompt       new_rpool/ROOT/ubuntu

We can now change the encryption keys and hierarchy by inheriting them (similar to regular dataset properties):

sudo zfs change-key -l -i new_rpool/ROOT
sudo zfs change-key -l -i new_rpool/ROOT/ubuntu

When we list our encryption properties now we can see that all the datasets have the same encryptionroot. This means that unlocking it unlocks all the other datasets as well. 🎉

$ zfs list -o name,encryption,keystatus,keyformat,keylocation,encryptionroot -t filesystem,volume -r new_rpool
new_rpool              aes-256-gcm  available    passphrase  prompt       new_rpool
new_rpool/ROOT         aes-256-gcm  available    passphrase  none         new_rpool
new_rpool/ROOT/ubuntu  aes-256-gcm  available    passphrase  none         new_rpool

Restoring Dataset Properties

This howto doesn’t touch restoring dataset properties, because I’ve not been able to reliably backup dataset properties using the -p and -b options of zfs send. Therefore I make sure that I have a (manual) backup of the dataset properties with something like `zfs get all -s local > zfs_all_local_properties_$(date -Iminutes).txt`

Using WireGuard to Connect my IPv4 Network to the IPv6 Internet

Update 2022-04-04: I’ve updated the article to eliminate NAT on the cloud server side of the VPN. For the router I’ve investigated and tried several solutions.

For a long time I’ve wanted to have a proper IPv6 network at home. Although not always straight forward (because it’s disabled by default or having less capable UI for configuration) I also wanted to be connected to the Internet via IPv6. Although all pieces of my network are IPv6-capable I’m stuck with an ISP that won’t enable it for DSL customers (not even as an “yes, I really want this and I’m willing to deal with the fallout” opt-in). I’ve skimmed NAT64 tutorials for OpenWRT over the years, but most of them were recommending software not updated since 2011. 😨 … and Internet hearsay says: NAT64 is lame! … literally! Implementations seem to prefer IPv4 in the presence of NAT64, because NAT64 is additional complexity on top of IPv4, hence assuming pure IPv4 will be faster).

So a proper IPv6 tunnel it is! It seems all but one 4to6 tunnel brokers have given up … and besides why give someone else your data? I figured a small (~3€/month) server and a little elbow grease would do the job as well. 🤠

The Home Situation

My home network consists of 3 UniFi Access Points, 2 UniFi Switches and a UniFi 3-Port Gateway. As a testament to Ubiquiti’s–at best mediocre–controller UI and basically non-scriptable configuration I’ve always hesitated to embrace it fully. I’ve kept my old–but still supported–OpenWRT router as my DNS server, because in the Unifi world DNS is not configurable beyond a “create DNS entries for DHCP hostnames” switch. Anyway … the Ubiquiti Gateway is connected to the DSL modem, so all IPv4 traffic goes that way.


I’ll pretend my current IPv4 network is and use the fd00:0011:0012::/48 ULA prefix for the IPv6 configuration. You should generate a random global ID and use it in your configuration. This is meant to prevent clashes when different (i.e. separately maintained) networks are merged at some point. The subnet ID (i.e. the 4th segment) still gives us enough leeway to segment our network and still have full /64s for each of them 😎. We’ll use the 13 segment for the home network (named “LAN”). We’ll assume the WireGuard VPN cloud endpoint has an address and prefix of 2000:30:40:50::1/64.

By convention I’ll use .1 or ::1 to signify the UniFi gateway and .2 or ::2 to signify the OpenWRT router in the home network.

Configuration: UniFi Gear

The Ubiquiti gear needs to at least be aware of the networks that are going to be routed through it. This also means that we have to tell it we want to have an IPv6 network also. But in order to have more control over what comes next I made the OpenWRT router the DHCP server of the network.

UnifI Controller: network configuration

Notice that I turned off UniFi’s DHCP server and not activated any of the IPv6 DHCP or RA features here. A word of warning: whatever you put in the Gateway/Subnet fields UniFi will configure it’s gateway to have that IP address! … why would anyone ever use anything else as a gateway. 😒 Also we won’t need port forwarding, because we’ll have the OpenWRT router connect out.

Configuration: Cloud Server

I chose Hetzner Cloud for my VPN endpoint, as their servers have native IPv6 connections and every server gets a /64. Their smallest server costs around ~3€/month. I chose a Ubuntu 20.04 image and configured an SSH key. We then can log in and install WireGuard and something like UFW:

apt update
apt install linux-image-generic-hwe-20.04
apt full-upgrade
apt install wireguard ufw
# make sure we can still connect via SSH
ufw allow 22/tcp
# start firewall
ufw enable

Now we can configure the WireGuard VPN endpoint. Note that we’ll only configure it for IPv6 connectivity!

# generate keys
wg genkey > wg.key
wg pubkey < wg.key > wg.pub
wg genpsk > wg.psk
# TODO: delete these files when configuration is done!

Create a file /etc/wireguard/wg0.conf with the following content:

# Hetzner Cloud VPN endpoint
Address = 2000:30:40:50::3/64
PrivateKey = <contents of wg.key>
ListenPort = 48158

PreUp = echo 1 > /proc/sys/net/ipv6/conf/all/forwarding
# see https://docs.hetzner.com/robot/dedicated-server/ip/additional-ip-adresses/#subnets
# make sure ...:1 routes to the host device
PreUp = ip route add 2000:30:40:50::1/128 dev eth0
# stop routing the whole prefix to the host interface (will clash with the rule below)
PreUp = ip route del 2000:30:40:50::/64 dev eth0
# route allowed IPs (see below) to the WireGuard interface (will be added automatically)
#PreUp = ip route add 2000:30:40:50::/64 dev %i

# forward incoming or outgoing traffic from/to the WireGuard interface (%i) by default
PostUp = ip6tables -A FORWARD -i %i -j ACCEPT
PostUp = ip6tables -A FORWARD -o %i -j ACCEPT
PostUp = ufw allow 48158/udp

# revert firewall rules
PostDown = ip6tables -D FORWARD -o %i -j ACCEPT
PostDown = ip6tables -D FORWARD -i %i -j ACCEPT
# restore routing for host interface
PostDown = ip route add 2000:30:40:50::/64 dev eth0
PostDown = ip route del 2000:30:40:50::1/128 dev eth0

# OpenWRT router
PublicKey = <get this from the "Configuration" section on the WireGuard Status page of the OpenWRT router>
PresharedKey = <contents of wg.psk>
AllowedIPs = 2000:30:40:50::/64

The ListenPort is arbitrary. We’ll use it across all peers in this WireGuard VPN for consistency. The PreUp lines make sure the kernel allows forwarding network packages in general and changes the routing that only a single address (i.e. 2000:30:40:50::1) is routed to the host and the rest of the /64 is routed to the WireGuard interface. The PostUp lines allow packets from our VPN to reach the Internet as well as allowing the WireGuard connection through the firewall. %i will be replaced with the name of the WireGuard interface (wg0 in our case). You should replace eth0 with the name of the network interface of the host that is connected to the Internet.

Now we can start the WireGuard VPN endpoint and make sure it’s started on boot with the following commands. You can comment out the [Peer] section and start it now or wait until we’re done configuring the OpenWRT router also.

systemctl start wg-quick@wg0.service
systemctl enable wg-quick@wg0.service

Configuration: OpenWRT Router

Connecting to the IPv6 Internet

First we have to install the necessary packages by following the WireGuard Basics guide on the OpenWRT Wiki.

On the “Network > Interfaces” page we add a new interface which I named “wan_wg” using the “WireGuard VPN” protocol. Generate a new private key with the wg genkey command and paste it into the “Private Key” field. Use the same “Listen Port” as for the Cloud VPN endpoint and add 2000:30:40:50::2/64 to the “IP Addresses“.

OpenWRT Router – WireGuard Interface: General Settings

In the “Advanced Settings” tab make sure “Use builtin IPv6-management” is activated.

In the “Firewall Settings” tab assign this interface to the “wan” zone.

In the “Peers” tab add a new peer and fill in the “Public Key” and “Preshared Key” fields with the contents of the wg.pub and wg.psk files of the Cloud VPN endpoint. The “Allowed IPs” should read ::/0. This may be the single most important configuration. This tells the router that if it doesn’t know where to send a specific IPv6 packet (i.e. because it’s not meant for a device on our home network) it should be sent here. Don’t add anything else otherwise the “Route Allowed IPs” option won’t add a route for ::/0 (ask me how I know 😑)! The “Endpoint Host” should contain a stable public IPv4 address or a hostname to reach the Cloud VPN server. In this case Hetzner Cloud servers are assigned a stable IPv4 address on creation. You can also use a dynamic DNS provider in case you don’t have a stable IP.

OpenWRT Router – WireGuard Interface: Peers

If we have done all the above steps and everything went fine … at this point we should be able to connect from the OpenWRT router out to the Internet via IPv6. We can try this out on the “Network > Diagnostics” page or on the command line.

We can successively test connecting to hosts and interfaces (via ping6 or traceroute6) “further” away:

  • ping6 2000:30:40:50::2 # the OpenWRT router’s WireGuard address; this side of the tunnel is up
  • ping6 2000:30:40:50::3 # the Cloud VPN endpoint’s WireGuard address; we can reach the other end of the tunnel
  • ping6 2000:30:40:50::1 # we can get “out” of the tunnel
  • ping6 2a00:1450:4001:830::200e # we can connect to the IPv6 Internet (e.g. ipv6.google.com)
  • ping6 ipv6.google.com # even IPv6 name resolution works

Making our home network IPv6

Now that we can connect out (at least from the OpenWRT router) we still need to make the rest of our home network IPv6 aware. This is the reason I didn’t want the UniFi gear to be the DHCP server in the network any more. With OpenWRT we have much more control over what happens.

To achieve this we have to first tell OpenWRT our “IPv6 ULA-Prefix“. We do this on the “Network > Interfaces” page on the “Global network options” tab. As described above we use fd00:11:12::/48 here. Make sure the first 3 segments are the same on all the IPv6 addresses you configure with this tutorial!

After this we go back to the “Interfaces” tab and edit the “LAN” network. On the “General Settings” tab we set the “Protocol” to “Static address“, the “IPv6 assignment length” to 64, the “IPv6 assignment hint” to 13 (this will become the 4 segment in our IPv6 addresses) and “IPv6 suffix” to ::2.

OpenWRT – LAN Interface: General Settings

On the “Advanced Settings” tab we make sure to have “Use builtin IPv6-management” enabled.

Now we go to the “DHCP Server” tab. On its “General Setup” tab we make sure “Ignore interface” is disabled. On the “IPv6 Settings” tab set “Router Advertisement-Service” and “DHCPv6-Service” to “server mode“, “NDP-Proxy” to “disabled” and “DHCPv6-Mode” to “stateless + stateful“. The most important setting is enabling “Always announce default router“. This makes sure that the OpenWRT router announces to the home network that it is the default router (for IPv6). This is necessary because we use local addresses (i.e. starting with fd...) instead of handing down the public prefix our Cloud VPN endpoint was assigned. (Update: we can delegate the VPN’s public prefix, but since we only have a /64 prefix it will be assigned to only one of our networks basically at random. All others won’t be able to use it. I had the wrong impression that I could use any prefix and segment it for my networks, but it seems /64 prefix is the maximum possible when you want to use common/standard tools. The only “non-standard” way I currently know is Docker which is able to utilize prefixes as long as /80 for its networks and containers.)

OpenWRT – LAN Interface: DHCP IPv6 Settings

This should do the trick. Now other devices on the network should be getting IPv6 addresses from the fd00:11:12:13::/64 address range (check e.g. with ip -6 a). You may need to disconnect and then connect to the network again for the changes to be picked up.

Now you can do the same pinging/tracerouting procedure we did on the OpenWRT router.

Some NAT

During my testing I was not able to ping the Cloud VPN endpoint’s WireGuard interface from my laptop. No amount of config jiggling on the OpenWRT router was helping getting the packages further than its WireGuard interface (i.e. 2000:30:40:50::2). Although I thought we could get by without using NAT 😓.

So I (begrudgingly) did what the NAT6 and IPv6 masquerading page on the OpenWRT Wiki said and lo and behold it worked. 😂

Update 2022-04-04: I’ve investigated this further and came up with several solutions.


I’m mostly unhappy about the NAT. I’d like to get rid of it completely hopefully when I find a good way to buy/configure/hand down a larger public prefix assigned to the Cloud VPN endpoint. I’m still figuring out how to properly propagate through WireGuard and the home network (preferably) using the built-in prefix delegation mechanism. Help or ideas would be appreciated on this topic. 😅

My second point of grief is that all external traffic is routed through the <public prefix>::2 address although we have a whole /64 subnet. Somehow routing through the WireGuard network maps all address to ::2 negating the benefit of the masq6_privacy option on the “wan” firewall interface. 😞

Update 2022-02-21: NieX0 in a comment below has instructions for using prefix translation instead of masquerading which I consider a step into the right direction. 😀

Update 2022-04-04: I’ve investigated this further and came up with several solutions.


Here are some tips to troubleshoot issues with this setup.

EUI64 addresses

You should put the last two segments of the LAN interface’s MAC address (looking like aa:bb:cc:dd:ee:ff) to memory as IPv6 devices use addresses derived from the MAC address (e.g something like fd00:11:12:13:a8bb:ccff:fedd:eeff or fe80::a8bb:ccff:fedd:eeff). Even if we’ve assigned specific addresses to specific devices or interfaces these addresses will still come up in routing or debugging output. There’re tools that help with converting MAC address + IPv6 network prefix into the final IPv6 addresses.

Checking IPv6 addresses

We can use ip -6 a to check what IPv6 address are assigned to interfaces on specific devices. Beware these can be quite a few. Check if the network prefixes (i.e. the first 4 segments of the IPv6 address) match what we have configured for our networks (and also the fe80:... addresses). Then we look at the host part (i.e. the last 4 segments of the IPv6 address) for the ones we’ve assigned manually or for the EUI64 addresses mentioned above. These will help us identify if our devices got any the IPv6 configuration right.

Checking IPv6 routes

We can use ip -6 r to check if our devices have the right routes configured. The most important one to look out for is the one starting with default via ... . It should point to one if the addresses of the OpenWRT router. We can also use traceroute6 to see what devices the packages go through.

More advanced debugging

Sometimes it helps watching what traffic goes through a specific interface. There’s an awesome blog post describing how to live-capture packages from remote devices (using only tcpdump and ssh) and analyzing them in Wireshark. Our interface names would be wan_wg on the OpenWRT router or wg0 on the Cloud VPN endpoint.

Moving Passwords From Firefox (Lockwise) to KeePassXC

Update 2021-03-27: Good news, it seems KeepassXC 2.7.0 learned to import Firefox timestamps. 😀

Go to about:logins in Firefox.

Click on the three dots in the top right corner, select “Export Logins…” and save your passwords info a CSV file (e.g. exported_firefox_logins.csv).

There’s one complication: Firefox will save dates as Unix timestamps (with millisecond resolution) which KeePassXC doesn’t understand, so we’ll have to help it out.

Save the following script into a file (e.g. firefox_csv_date_fix.py).

#!/usr/bin/env python3
# Author: Riyad Preukschas <riyad@informatik.uni-bremen.de>
# License: Mozilla Public License 2.0
# SPDX-License-Identifier: MPL-2.0

import csv
import sys

from datetime import datetime

def main():
    if len(sys.argv) != 2:
        print("Usage: {} <exported_firefox_logins.csv>".format(sys.argv[0]), file=sys.stderr)

    csv_file_name = sys.argv[1]

    with open(csv_file_name, 'rt') as f:
        # field names will be determined from first row
        csv_reader = csv.DictReader(f)
        # read all rows in one go
        rows = list(csv_reader)

    # add new columns with Iso-formatted dates
    for row in rows:
        row['timeCreatedIso'] = datetime.fromtimestamp(int(row['timeCreated'])/1000).isoformat()
        row['timeLastUsedIso'] = datetime.fromtimestamp(int(row['timeLastUsed'])/1000).isoformat()
        row['timePasswordChangedIso'] = datetime.fromtimestamp(int(row['timePasswordChanged'])/1000).isoformat()

    # write out the updated rows
    csv_writer = csv.DictWriter(sys.stdout, fieldnames=rows[0].keys())

if __name__ == '__main__':

Call it giving it the path of the exported_firefox_logins.csv file and redirect the output into a new file:

python3 ./firefox_csv_date_fix.py ./exported_firefox_logins.csv > ./fixed_firefox_logins.csv

It will add new columns (named: old column name + “Iso”) with the dates converted to the ISO 8601 format KeePassXC wants.

We can now use the fixed_firefox_logins.csv file to import the logins into KeePassXC.

Select Database -> Import -> CSV File... from the menu.

It will ask you to create a new database. Just do it you can get the data into your default database later (e.g. call it firefox_logins.kdbx for now).

In the import form select “First line has field names” and match up KeePassXC’s fields with the columns from the CSV:

KeePassXC FieldFirefox CSV ColumnNotes
GroupNot Present
TitleurlFirefox doesn’t have a title field so we use the URL for it.
NoteshttpRealmI’m not sure how KeePassXC deals with HTTP authentication. There’s no special field for it, so I decided to keep it in the Notes field.
TOTPNot Present
IconNot Present
Last ModifiedtimePasswordChangedIsothe “Iso” part is important!
CreatedtimeCreatedIsothe “Iso” part is important!

Have a look at the preview at the bottom. Does the data look sane? 🤨

Sadly KeePassXC doesn’t let us import Firefox’s timeLastUsedIso field into its Accessed field. 😑

All your imported Logins will be inside the “Root” group. I’d suggest creating a new group (e.g. “Firefox Import”) and moving all imported Logins into it.

You can now open your default database and use the Database -> Merge From Database ... menu item, select the firefox_logins.kdbx file to include it’s contents into the current database. You’ll see a new “Firefox Imports” group show up.

You can now move the single entries into the appropriate groups if you want (e.g. “KeePassXC-Browser Passwords” if you use the browser extension).