SCION Extension Header Specification

This document contains the specification of the SCION extension headers. There are two extension headers defined, the Hop-by-Hop (HBH) Options Header and the End-to-End (E2E) Options Header. A SCION packet can have at most one of each. If both headers are present, the HBH options MUST come before the E2E options. The option header support a variable number of type-length-value (TLV) encoded options.

Hop-by-Hop Options Header

The Hop-by-Hop Options header is used to carry optional information that may be examined and processed by every node along a packet’s delivery path. The Hop-by-Hop Options header is identified by a Next Header value of 200 in the SCION common header and has the following format:

 0                   1                   2                   3
 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1
+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+
|    NextHdr    |     ExtLen    |            Options            |
+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+                               +
|                                                               |
+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+
NextHdr
Unsigned 8-bit integer. Identifies the type of header immediately following the Hop-by-Hop Options header. Values of this field respect the Assigned SCION Protocol Numbers.
ExtLen
Unsigned 8-bit integer. The value of this field is computed as the length of the complete Hop-by-Hop Options header in multiples of 4-bytes minus 1.
Options
Variable-length field, of length such that the complete Hop-by-Hop Options header is an integer multiple of 4 bytes long. Contains one or more TLV-encoded options, as described below.

The Hop-by-Hop Options header is aligned to 4 bytes.

Assigned Option Types

The following option types are assigned for Hop-by-Hop options:

Decimal Option
0 Pad1 Option
1 PadN Option
253 use for experimentation and testing
254 use for experimentation and testing
255 reserved

End-to-End Options Header

The End-to-End Options header is used to carry optional information that may be examined and processed by sender and/or receiver of the packet. The End-to-End Options header is identified by a Next Header value of 201 in the SCION common header and has the following format:

 0                   1                   2                   3
 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1
+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+
|    NextHdr    |     ExtLen    |            Options            |
+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+                               +
|                                                               |
+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+
NextHdr
Unsigned 8-bit integer. Identifies the type of header immediately following the End-to-End Options header. Values of this field respect the Assigned SCION Protocol Numbers.
ExtLen
Unsigned 8-bit integer. The value of this field is computed as the length of the complete End-to-End Options header in multiples of 4-bytes minus 1.
Options
Variable-length field, of length such that the complete End-to-End Options header is an integer multiple of 4 bytes long. Contains one or more TLV-encoded options, as described below.

The End-to-End Options header is aligned to 4 bytes.

Assigned Option Types

The following option types are assigned for End-to-End options:

Decimal Option
0 Pad1 Option
1 PadN Option
2 SCION Packet Authenticator Option
253 use for experimentation and testing
254 use for experimentation and testing
255 reserved

TLV-encoded Options

The hbh and e2e options headers carry a variable number of options that are type-length-value (TLV) encoded in the following format:

 0                   1                   2                   3
 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1
+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+
|    OptType    |  OptDataLen   |            OptData            |
+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+                               +
|                              ...                              |
+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+
OptType
8-bit identifier of the type of option.
OptDataLen
Unsigned 8-bit integer denoting the length of the OptData field of this option in bytes.
OptData
Variable-length field. Option-Type specific data.

The sequence of options within a header must be processed strictly in the order they appear in the header; a receiver must not, for example, scan through the header looking for a particular kind of option and process that option prior to processing all preceding ones.

Individual options may have specific alignment requirements, to ensure that multi-byte values within OptData fields fall on natural boundaries. The alignment requirement of an option is specified using the notation xn+y, meaning the OptType must appear at an integer multiple of x bytes from the start of the header, plus y bytes. For example:

2n     means any 2-bytes offset from the start of the header.
4n+2   means any 4-bytes offset from the start of the header, plus 2
       bytes.

There are two padding options that are used when necessary to align subsequent options and to pad out the containing header to a multiple of 4 bytes in length. These padding options must be recognized by all SCION implementations:

Pad1 Option

Alignment requirement: none:

 0                   1                   2                   3
 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1
+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+
|       0       |
+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+

Note

The format of the Pad1 option is a special case – it does not have length and value fields.

The Pad1 option is used to insert 1 byte of padding into the Options area of a header. If more than one byte of padding is required, the PadN option, described next, should be used, rather than multiple Pad1 options.

PadN Option

Alignment requirement: none:

 0                   1                   2                   3
 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1
+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+
|       1       |  OptDataLen   |            OptData            |
+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+                               +
|                              ...                              |
+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+

The PadN option is used to insert two or more bytes of padding into the Options area of a header. For N bytes of padding, the OptDataLen field contains the value N-2, and the OptData consists of N-2 zero-valued bytes.