TLDR: Gmail appears to support IPv6 for SMTP by broadcasting an IPv6 address
for its IMAP and SMTP services. However, whatever behind the IPv6 address
doesn’t accept SMTP connections.
According to Set up Gmail with Outlook, Apple Mail, or other mail clients
you should use
smtp.gmail.com when sending mails, via port 465 or 587.
smtp.gmail.com supports IPv6 (yay!):
$ host smtp.gmail.com smtp.gmail.com is an alias for gmail-smtp-msa.l.google.com. gmail-smtp-msa.l.google.com has address 22.214.171.124 gmail-smtp-msa.l.google.com has address 126.96.36.199 gmail-smtp-msa.l.google.com has IPv6 address 2404:6800:4003:c02::6c
But it doesn’t have the ports we need open:
$ nmap -6 -Pn 2404:6800:4003:c02::6c Starting Nmap 6.40 ( http://nmap.org ) at 2016-03-26 13:49 UTC Nmap scan report for sc-in-x6c.1e100.net (2404:6800:4003:c02::6c) Host is up (0.0024s latency). Not shown: 999 filtered ports PORT STATE SERVICE 993/tcp open imaps Nmap done: 1 IP address (1 host up) scanned in 8.20 seconds
But its IPv4 counterpart does:
$ nmap -Pn 188.8.131.52 Starting Nmap 6.40 ( http://nmap.org ) at 2016-03-26 13:43 UTC Nmap scan report for sc-in-f108.1e100.net (184.108.40.206) Host is up (0.0018s latency). Not shown: 995 filtered ports PORT STATE SERVICE 25/tcp open smtp 465/tcp open smtps 587/tcp open submission 993/tcp open imaps 995/tcp open pop3s Nmap done: 1 IP address (1 host up) scanned in 4.55 seconds
Poor IPv6 :(
This hurts. Normally, if something doesn’t support IPv6, the network stack is
smart enough to fall back to IPv4. A simple way to work around this is to
disable IPv6 support in the network stack, but that hurts IPv6 adoption. Guess
I’ll find a hack to tell my programs not to use IPv6 when talking to
I sent this in a feedback form (click the gear in Gmail, then “Send feedback”). Hopefully that’ll amount to something.
Questions or comments can go to Hacker News.