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In the results for netstat what does the [::] mean?

example

[::]:ssh [::]:* LISTEN

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3 Answers

up vote 6 down vote accepted

Well, more specificially, it's equivalent to the IPv4 "0.0.0.0", which, when LISTEN is specified, means "any IP address." You might also see "::1" which is the IPv6 loopback address.

In IPv6, a colon separates every 16 bits, or 4 hex digits. However, consecutive zeroes in the address can be "collapsed" or omitted one time in any IPv6 address. Even if the address is all zeroes. So, for example, 2001:0000:0000:0000:0000:0000:0000:0001 can be shortened down to just 2001::1.

So, evidently you have ssh listening and accepting connections from all IPv6 addresses.

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On Linux, :: will often listen for both IPv6 and IPv4 connections on the same socket. –  grawity Sep 7 '10 at 15:17
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That it listens on an ipv6 interface.

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It means the service is listening to ipv6 connections. You do have tcp6 in the beginning of that line, too, right?

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