Kea  2.1.2-git
The Hooks API for the DHCPv6 Server

Introduction

Kea features an API (the "Hooks" API) that allows user-written code to be integrated into Kea and called at specific points in its processing. An overview of the API and a tutorial for writing such code can be found in the Hooks Developer's Guide. It also includes information how hooks framework can be used to implement additional control commands for the DHCPv6 server. Information for Kea maintainers can be found in the Guide to Hooks for the Kea Component Developer.

This manual is more specialized and is aimed at developers of hook code for the DHCPv6 server. It describes each hook point, what the callouts attached to the hook are able to do, and the arguments passed to the callouts. Each entry in this manual has the following information:

  • Name of the hook point.
  • Arguments for the callout. As well as the argument name and data type, the information includes the direction, which can be one of:
    • in - the server passes values to the callout but ignored any data returned.
    • out - the callout is expected to set this value.
    • in/out - the server passes a value to the callout and uses whatever value the callout sends back. Note that the callout may choose not to do any modification, in which case the server will use whatever value it sent to the callout.
  • Description of the hook. This explains where in the processing the hook is located, the possible actions a callout attached to this hook could take, and a description of the data passed to the callouts.
  • Next step status: the action taken by the server when a callout chooses to set status to specified value. Actions not listed explicitly are not supported. If a callout sets status to unsupported value, this specific value will be ignored and treated as if the status was CONTINUE.

Hooks in the DHCPv6 Server

The following list is roughly ordered by appearance of specific hook points during packet processing, but the exact order depends on the actual processing. Hook points that are not specific to packet processing (e.g. lease expiration) will be added to the end of this list.

dhcp6_srv_configured

  • Arguments:
  • Description: this callout is executed when the server has completed its (re)configuration. The server provides received and parsed configuration structures to the hook library. It also provides a pointer to the IOService object which is used by the server to run asynchronous operations. The hooks libraries can use this IOService object to schedule asynchronous tasks which are triggered by the DHCP server's main loop. The hook library should hold the provided pointer until the library is unloaded. The NetworkState object provides access to the DHCP service state of the server and allows for enabling and disabling the DHCP service from the hooks libraries.
  • Next step status: Status codes returned by the callouts installed on this hook point are ignored.

cb6_updated

  • Arguments:
  • Description: this callout is executed when the server has completed a configuration update using the Config Backend. The server provides the audit entries as a never null pointer to a not empty collection copied from the update apply method argument.
  • Next step status: Status codes returned by the callouts installed on this hook point are ignored.

buffer6_receive

  • Arguments:
  • Description: This callout is executed when an incoming DHCPv6 packet is received and the data stored in a buffer. The sole argument "query6" contains a pointer to an isc::dhcp::Pkt6 object that contains the received information stored in the data_ field. Basic information like protocol, source/destination addresses and ports are set, but the contents of the buffer have not yet been parsed. That means that the options_ field (that will eventually contain a list of objects representing the received options) is empty, so none of the methods that operate on it (e.g., getOption()) will work. The primary purpose of this early call is to offer the ability to modify incoming packets in their raw form. Unless you need to access to the raw data, it is usually better to install your callout on the "pkt6_receive" hook point.
  • Next step status: If any callout sets the status to DROP, the server will drop the packet and start processing the next one. If any callout sets the status to SKIP, the server will assume that the callout parsed the buffer and added the necessary option objects to the options_ field; the server will not do any parsing. If the callout sets the skip flag but does not parse the buffer, the server will most probably drop the packet due to the absence of mandatory options. If you want to drop the packet, see the description of the skip flag in the "pkt6_receive" hook point.

pkt6_receive

  • Arguments:
  • Description: This callout is executed when an incoming DHCPv6 packet is received and its content is parsed. The sole argument "query6" contains a pointer to an isc::dhcp::Pkt6 object that contains all information regarding incoming packet, including its source and destination addresses, the interface over which it was received, a list of all options present within and relay information. All fields of the "query6" object can be modified at this time, except data_. (data_ contains the incoming packet as raw buffer. By the time this hook is reached, that information has already been parsed and is available though other fields in the Pkt6 object. For this reason, modification of the data_ field would have no effect.)
  • Next step status: If any callout sets the status to SKIP or DROP, the server will drop the packet and start processing the next one. The reason for the drop will be logged if logging is set to the appropriate debug level.

subnet6_select

  • Arguments:
  • Description: This callout is executed when a subnet is being selected for the incoming packet. All parameters, addresses and prefixes will be assigned from that subnet. A callout can select a different subnet if it wishes so, the list of all subnets currently configured being provided as "subnet6collection". The list itself must not be modified.
  • Next step status: If any callout installed on "subnet6_select" sets the status to DROP, the server will drop the packet and start processing the next one. If any callout installed on "subnet6_select" sets the status to SKIP, the server will not select any subnet. Packet processing will continue, but will be severely limited.

host6_identifier

  • Arguments:
  • Description: this callout is executed only if flexible identifiers are enabled, i.e. host-reservation-identifiers contain 'flex-id' value. This callout enables external library to provide values for flexible identifiers. To be able to use this feature, flex_id hook library is needed.
  • Next step status: If a callout installed on the "host6_identifier" hook point sets the next step status to value other than NEXT_STEP_CONTINUE, the identifier will not be used.

lease6_select

  • Arguments:
  • Description: This callout is executed after the server engine has selected a lease for client's request but before the lease has been inserted into the database. Any modifications made to the "lease6" object will affect the lease's record in the database. The callout should make sure that any modifications are sanity checked as the server will use that data as is, with no further checking.

    The server processes lease requests for SOLICIT and REQUEST in a very similar way. The major difference is that for SOLICIT the lease is only selected; it is not inserted into the database. The callouts can distinguish between the SOLICIT and REQUEST by checking the value of the "fake_allocation" flag: a value of true means that the lease won't be inserted into the database (SOLICIT case), a value of false means that it will (REQUEST).
  • Next step status: If any callout installed on "lease6_select" sets the status to SKIP, the server will not assign that particular lease. Packet processing will continue and the client may get other addresses or prefixes if it requested more than one address and/or prefix.

lease6_renew

  • Arguments:
  • Description: This callout is executed when the server engine is about to renew an existing lease. The client's request is provided as the "query6" argument and the existing lease with the appropriate fields already modified is given in the "lease6" argument. The remaining two arguments, "ia_na" and "ia_pd", are mutually exclusive and they provide pointers to the IA_NA or IA_PD option which will be sent back to the client. Callouts installed on the "lease6_renew" may modify the content of the "lease6" object. Care should be taken however, as that modified information will be written to the database without any further checking.

    Although the envisaged usage assumes modification of T1, T2, preferred and valid lifetimes only, other parameters associated with the lease may be modified as well. The only exception is the addr_ field, which must not be modified as it is used by the database to select the existing lease to be updated. Care should also be taken to modify the "ia_na" and "ia_pd" arguments to match any changes in the "lease6" argument. If a client sends more than one IA (IA_NA/IA_PD) option, callouts will be called separately for each IA instance. The callout will be called only when the update is valid, i.e. conditions such as an invalid addresses or invalid iaid renewal attempts will not trigger this hook point.
  • Next step status: If any callout installed on "lease6_renew" sets the status to SKIP, the server will not renew the lease. Under these circumstances, the callout should modify the "ia_na" or "ia_pd" argument to reflect this fact; otherwise the client will think the lease was renewed and continue to operate under this assumption.

lease6_rebind

  • Arguments:
  • Description: This callout is executed when the server engine is about to rebind an existing lease. The client's request is provided as the "query6" argument and the existing lease with the appropriate fields already modified is given in the "lease6" argument. The remaining two arguments, "ia_na" and "ia_pd", are mutually exclusive and they provide pointers to the IA_NA or IA_PD option which will be sent back to the client. Callouts installed on the "lease6_renew" may modify the content of the "lease6" object. Care should be taken however, as that modified information will be written to the database without any further checking.

    Although the envisaged usage assumes modification of T1, T2, preferred and valid lifetimes only, other parameters associated with the lease may be modified as well. The only exception is the addr_ field, which must not be modified as it is used by the database to select the existing lease to be updated. Care should also be taken to modify the "ia_na" and "ia_pd" arguments to match any changes in the "lease6" argument. If a client sends more than one IA (IA_NA/IA_PD) option, callouts will be called separately for each IA instance. The callout will be called only when the update is valid, i.e. conditions such as an invalid addresses or invalid iaid renewal attempts will not trigger this hook point.
  • Next step status: If any callout installed on "lease6_rebind" sets the status to SKIP, the server will not rebind the lease. Under these circumstances, the callout should modify the "ia_na" or "ia_pd" argument to reflect this fact; otherwise the client will think the lease was rebound and continue to operate under this assumption.

lease6_decline

  • Arguments:
  • Description: This callout is executed when the server engine is about to decline an existing lease. The client's DECLINE is provided as the "query6" argument and the existing lease with the appropriate fields already modified is given in the "lease6" argument. The lease contains the lease before it is being declined.
  • Next step status: If any callout installed on "lease6_decline" sets the status to SKIP, the server will not decline the lease, but will continue processing the packet as if it did. It will send the response that the lease was declined, but the actual database will not be updated. If any callout installed sets the status to DROP, the packet processing will be aborted, the lease will not be declined and the server will not send a response.

lease6_release

  • Arguments:
  • Description: This callout is executed when the server engine is about to release an existing lease. The client's request is provided as the "query6" argument and the existing lease is given in the "lease6" argument. Although the "lease6" structure may be modified, it doesn't make sense to do so as it will be destroyed immediately the callouts finish execution.
  • Next step status: If any callout installed on "lease6_release" sets the status to SKIP or DROP, the server will not delete the lease, which will remain in the database until it expires. However, the server will send out the response back to the client as if it did.

leases6_committed

  • Arguments:
    • name: query6, type: isc::dhcp::Pkt6Ptr, direction: in
    • name: leases6, type: isc::dhcp::Leases6CollectionPtr, direction: in
    • name: deleted_leases6, type: isc::dhcp::Leases6CollectionPtr, direction: in
  • Description: this callout is executed when the server has applied all lease changes as a result of DHCP message processing. This includes writing new lease into the database, releasing an old lease for this client or declining a lease. This callout is executed only for the DHCP client messages which may cause lease changes, i.e. SOLICIT with Rapid Commit option included and when Rapid Commit is enabled, REQUEST, RENEW, REBIND, RELEASE and DECLINE. This callout is not executed for SOLICIT without Rapid Commit, CONFIRM and INFORMATION REQUEST. If the callouts are executed as a result of REQUEST or RENEW message, it is possible that both leases collections hold leases to be handled. This is the case when the new lease allocation replaces an existing lease for the client. The "deleted_leases6" object will hold a previous lease instance and the "leases6" object will hold the new lease for this client. The callouts should be prepared to handle such situation. When the callout is executed as a result RELEASE or DECLINE, the callout will typically receive one or more leases in the "deleted_leases6" object. Both leases collections are always provided to the callouts, even though they may sometimes be empty.
  • Next step status: If any callout installed on the "leases6_committed" sets the next step action to DROP the server will drop the processed query. If it sets the next step action to PARK, the server will park the processed packet (hold packet processing) until the hook libraries explicitly unpark the packet after they are done performing asynchronous operations.

pkt6_send

  • Arguments:
  • Description: This callout is executed when server's response is about to be send back to the client. The sole argument "response6" contains a pointer to an isc::dhcp::Pkt6 object that contains the packet, with set source and destination addresses, interface over which it will be send, list of all options and relay information. All fields of the "response6" object can be modified at this time. It should be noted that unless the callout sets the skip flag (see below), anything placed in the buffer_out_ field will be overwritten when the callout returns. (buffer_out_ is scratch space used for constructing the packet.)
  • Next step status: If any callout sets the status to SKIP, the server will assume that the callout did pack the "transaction-id", "message type" and option objects into the buffer_out_ field and will skip packing part. Note that if the callout sets skip flag, but did not prepare the output buffer, the server will send a zero sized message that will be ignored by the client. If any callout sets the status to DROP, the server will drop the prepared response.

buffer6_send

  • Arguments:
  • Description: This callout is executed when server's response is assembled into binary form and is about to be send back to the client. The sole argument "response6" contains a pointer to an isc::dhcp::Pkt6 object that contains the packet, with set source and destination addresses, interface over which it will be sent, list of all options and relay information. All options are already encoded in buffer_out_ field. It doesn't make sense to modify anything but the contents of buffer_out_ at this time (although if it is a requirement to modify that data, it will probably be found easier to modify the option objects in a callout attached to the "pkt6_send" hook).
  • Next step status: If any callout sets the status to SKIP or DROP, the server will drop this response packet. However, the original request packet from a client has been processed, so server's state has most likely changed (e.g. lease was allocated). Setting this flag merely stops the change being communicated to the client.

lease6_expire

  • Arguments:
    • name: lease6, type: isc::dhcp::Lease6Ptr, direction: in/out
    • name: remove_lease, type: bool, direction: in
  • Description: this callout is executed for each expired lease when the server performs reclamation of the expired leases. During this process the server executes "lease6_expire" callout, removes the DNS records associated with this lease and finally removes the lease from the database or updates its status to "expired-reclaimed". The "lease6" argument contains the pointer to the lease being reclaimed. The second argument "remove_lease" indicates if the reclaimed leases should be removed from the lease database (if true), or their state should be set to "expired-reclaimed" in the lease database. This argument is only used by the callout if it takes responsibility for the lease reclamation, i.e. it sets the "skip" flag to "true". The "remove_lease" argument is set to "true" if the "flush-reclaimed-timer-wait-time" is set to 0 in the server configuration file.
  • Next step status: if the callout sets the status to SKIP, the server will assume that the callout has fully reclaimed the lease, i.e. performed the DNS update and updated the lease in the database. The server will not perform any further actions on the lease for which the skip flag has been set. It is important to note that if the callout sets this flag but fails to reclaim the lease in the database, the reclamation routine will repeatedly process this lease in subsequent runs. Therefore, the implementors of this callout must make sure that skip flag is only set when the lease has been actually reclaimed in the database by the callout.

lease6_recover

  • Arguments:
  • Description: this callout is executed for each declined lease that has expired (was put aside for the duration of decline-probation-period) and is being recovered. The lease has already been stripped from any client identifying information when it was put into declined state. In principle the callouts can modify the lease in this hook, but it makes little sense. There's no useful data in the lease, except the IPv6 address (which must not be modified).
  • Next step status: if the callout sets the next step action to SKIP, the server will skip the lease recovery. In other words, it will keep the lease as is. This is not recommended in general, as the declined expired leases will remain in the database and their recovery will be attempted during the next reclaim cycle.

command_processed

  • Arguments:
  • Description: this callout is executed after the DHCPv6 server receives and processes a control command over the command channel (typically unix domain socket). The "name" argument is the name of the command processed. The "arguments" argument is a pointer to the parsed JSON structure containing the command's input arguments. The "response" argument is the parsed JSON structure containing the response generated by the command processing.
  • Next step status: Not applicable, its value will be ignored.

Accessing DHCPv6 Options within a Packet

When the server constructs a response message to a client it includes DHCP options configured for this client in a response message. Apart from the dynamically created options, such as IA_NA or ClientFQDN, it typically includes many options specified in the server configuration and held within the configuration structures by CfgMgr. Option instances are created once, during server configuration, and the CfgMgr holds pointers to those instances until the next server reconfiguration.

When the server includes an option in a response message it copies a pointer to the instance of this option, rather than entire option. This ensures the good performance of response message creation. However, it also implies that any modification to the option carried in the DHCP response will affect an instance of this option in the server configuration structures. This is obviously not desired as it would affect all subsequent DHCP transactions involving this option. The DHCP server code avoids modifying the options included in the messages so it is possible to ensure good performance without a risk of accidentally modifying server configuration. The situation is different with hooks libraries which purpose is, in many cases, to modify values of options inserted by the server.

Thus, Pkt class provides a mechanism to return a copy of an option to a caller (e.g. a callout), rather than an instance shared with the CfgMgr. This mechanism is enabled for all instances of Pkt6 passed to the callouts, i.e. "query6" and "response6" arguments. It is also automatically disabled when the callout returns the control back to the server.

At every hook point, where the server passes an instance of a packet to the callouts, the server calls isc::dhcp::Pkt6::setCopyRetrievedOptions (true) to force copying options retrieved by isc::dhcp::Pkt6::getOption, isc::dhcp::Pkt6::getOptions, isc::dhcp::Pkt6::getRelayOption and isc::dhcp::Pkt6::getAnyRelayOption within callouts. The copied option replaces an original option within the packet and any modification to the option content by the callout would only affect the option instance associated with the packet.

On the other hand, copying each retrieved option may be expensive. If performance of a hook library is a concern, it is possible for the hook library to disable copying retrieved options by calling isc::dhcp::Pkt6::setCopyRetrievedOptions (false) within a callout. In this case however, the hook library implementer must be aware that any modification of the option instance would affect the server configuration and may disrupt server's operation. Thus, disabling copying of retrieved options is not recommended unless the hook library is not intended to modify configured options carried within a packet.