NetAddr::IP::Lite - Manages IPv4 and IPv6 addresses and subnets


  use NetAddr::IP::Lite qw(
  my $ip = new NetAddr::IP::Lite '';
  print "The address is ", $ip->addr, " with mask ", $ip->mask, "\n" ;
  if ($ip->within(new NetAddr::IP::Lite "", "")) {
      print "Is a loopback address\n";
                                # This prints
  print "You can also say $ip...\n";
  The following four functions return ipV6 representations of:
  ::                                       = Zeros();
  FFFF:FFFF:FFFF:FFFF:FFFF:FFFF::          = V4mask();
  ::FFFF:FFFF                              = V4net();


Un-tar the distribution in an appropriate directory and type:

        perl Makefile.PL
        make test
        make install

NetAddr::IP::Lite depends on NetAddr::IP::Util which installs by default with its primary functions compiled using Perl's XS extensions to build a 'C' library. If you do not have a 'C' complier available or would like the slower Pure Perl version for some other reason, then type:

        perl Makefile.PL -noxs
        make test
        make install


This module provides an object-oriented abstraction on top of IP addresses or IP subnets, that allows for easy manipulations. Most of the operations of NetAddr::IP are supported. This module will work older versions of Perl and does not use Math::BigInt.

The internal representation of all IP objects is in 128 bit IPv6 notation. IPv4 and IPv6 objects may be freely mixed.

The supported operations are described below:

Overloaded Operators

Assignment (=)

Has been optimized to copy one NetAddr::IP::Lite object to another very quickly.


The assignment (=) operation is only put in to operation when the copied object is further mutated by another overloaded operation. See the overload manpage SPECIAL SYMBOLS FOR ``use overload'' for details.

->copy() actually creates a new object when called.


An object can be used just as a string. For instance, the following code

        my $ip = new NetAddr::IP::Lite '';
        print "$ip\n";

Will print the string

        my $ip = new6 NetAddr::IP::Lite '';
        print "$ip\n";

Will print the string


You can test for equality with either eq or ==. eq allows the comparison with arbitrary strings as well as NetAddr::IP::Lite objects. The following example:

    if (NetAddr::IP::Lite->new('','') eq '') 
       { print "Yes\n"; }

Will print out ``Yes''.

Comparison with == requires both operands to be NetAddr::IP::Lite objects.

In both cases, a true value is returned if the CIDR representation of the operands is equal.

Comparison via >, <, >=, <=, <=> and cmp

Internally, all network objects are represented in 128 bit format. The numeric representation of the network is compared through the corresponding operation. Comparisons are tried first on the address portion of the object and if that is equal then the cidr portion of the masks are compared.

Addition of a constant

Adding a constant to a NetAddr::IP::Lite object changes its address part to point to the one so many hosts above the start address. For instance, this code:

    print NetAddr::IP::Lite->new('') + 5;

will output The address will wrap around at the broadcast back to the network address. This code:

    print NetAddr::IP::Lite->new('') + 255;


Substraction of a constant

The complement of the addition of a constant.


Auto-incrementing a NetAddr::IP::Lite object causes the address part to be adjusted to the next host address within the subnet. It will wrap at the broadcast address and start again from the network address.


Auto-decrementing a NetAddr::IP::Lite object performs exactly the opposite of auto-incrementing it, as you would expect.


->new([$addr, [ $mask|IPv6 ]])
->new6([$addr, [ $mask]])

These methods creates a new address with the supplied address in $addr and an optional netmask $mask, which can be omitted to get a /32 or /128 netmask for IPv4 / IPv6 addresses respectively

->new6 marks the address as being in ipV6 address space even if the format would suggest otherwise.

  i.e.  ->new6('') will result in ::102:304
  addresses submitted to ->new in ipV6 notation will
  remain in that notation permanently. i.e.
        ->new('::') will result in ::102:304
  whereas new('') would print out as

$addr can be almost anything that can be resolved to an IP address in all the notations I have seen over time. It can optionally contain the mask in CIDR notation.

prefix notation is understood, with the limitation that the range speficied by the prefix must match with a valid subnet.

Addresses in the same format returned by inet_aton or gethostbyname can also be understood, although no mask can be specified for them. The default is to not attempt to recognize this format, as it seems to be seldom used.

To accept addresses in that format, invoke the module as in

  use NetAddr::IP::Lite ':aton'

If called with no arguments, 'default' is assumed.

$addr can be any of the following and possibly more...

  n.n.n.n/mm            32 bit cidr notation
  loopback, localhost, broadcast, any, default
  0xABCDEF, 0b111111000101011110, (a bcd number)
  a netaddr as returned by 'inet_aton'

Any RFC1884 notation

  ::n.n.n.n/mmm         128 bit cidr notation
  x:x:x:x:x:x:x:x/m:m:m:m:m:m:m:m any RFC1884 notation
  loopback, localhost, unspecified, any, default
  0xABCDEF, 0b111111000101011110 within the limits
  of perl's number resolution
  123456789012  a 'big' bcd number i.e. Math::BigInt

If called with no arguments, 'default' is assumed.


Returns a new object refering to the broadcast address of a given subnet. The broadcast address has all ones in all the bit positions where the netmask has zero bits. This is normally used to address all the hosts in a given subnet.


Returns a new object refering to the network address of a given subnet. A network address has all zero bits where the bits of the netmask are zero. Normally this is used to refer to a subnet.


Returns a scalar with the address part of the object as an IPv4 or IPv6 text string as appropriate. This is useful for printing or for passing the address part of the NetAddr::IP::Lite object to other components that expect an IP address. If the object is an ipV6 address or was created using ->new6($ip) it will be reported in ipV6 hex format otherwise it will be reported in dot quad format only if it resides in ipV4 address space.


Returns a scalar with the mask as an IPv4 or IPv6 text string as described above.


Returns a scalar the number of one bits in the mask.


Returns the width of the address in bits. Normally 32 for v4 and 128 for v6.


Returns the version of the address or subnet. Currently this can be either 4 or 6.


Returns a scalar with the address and mask in CIDR notation. A NetAddr::IP::Lite object stringifies to the result of this function. (see comments about ->new6() and ->addr() for output formats)


Returns the address part of the NetAddr::IP::Lite object in the same format as the inet_aton() or ipv6_aton function respectively. If the object was created using ->new6($ip), the address returned will always be in ipV6 format, even for addresses in ipV4 address space.


Returns a scalar with the base address and the broadcast address separated by a dash and spaces. This is called range notation.


When called in a scalar context, will return a numeric representation of the address part of the IP address. When called in an array contest, it returns a list of two elements. The first element is as described, the second element is the numeric representation of the netmask.

This method is essential for serializing the representation of a subnet.


Returns true when $me completely contains $other. False is returned otherwise and undef is returned if $me and $other are not both NetAddr::IP::Lite objects.


The complement of ->contains(). Returns true when $me is completely contained within $other, undef if $me and $other are not both NetAddr::IP::Lite objects.


Returns a new object representing the first usable IP address within the subnet (ie, the first host address).


Returns a new object representing the last usable IP address within the subnet (ie, one less than the broadcast address).


Returns a new object representing the n-th usable IP address within the subnet (ie, the n-th host address). If no address is available (for example, when the network is too small for $index hosts), undef is returned.

Version 4.00 of NetAddr::IP and version 1.00 of NetAddr::IP::Lite implements ->nth($index) and ->num() exactly as the documentation states. Previous versions behaved slightly differently and not in a consistent manner.

To use the old behavior for ->nth($index) and ->num():

  use NetAddr::IP::Lite qw(:old_nth);
  old behavior:
  NetAddr::IP->new('10/32')->nth(0) == undef
  NetAddr::IP->new('10/32')->nth(1) == undef
  NetAddr::IP->new('10/31')->nth(0) == undef  
  NetAddr::IP->new('10/31')->nth(1) ==
  NetAddr::IP->new('10/30')->nth(0) == undef  
  NetAddr::IP->new('10/30')->nth(1) ==
  NetAddr::IP->new('10/30')->nth(2) ==
  NetAddr::IP->new('10/30')->nth(3) ==

Note that in each case, the broadcast address is represented in the output set and that the 'zero'th index is alway undef.

  new behavior:
  NetAddr::IP->new('10/32')->nth(0)  ==
  NetAddr::IP->new('10.1/32'->nth(0) ==
  NetAddr::IP->new('10/31')->nth(0)  == undef  
  NetAddr::IP->new('10/31')->nth(1)  == undef
  NetAddr::IP->new('10/30')->nth(0) ==
  NetAddr::IP->new('10/30')->nth(1) ==
  NetAddr::IP->new('10/30')->nth(2) == undef

Note that a /32 net always has 1 usable address while a /31 has none since it has a network and broadcast address, but no host addresses. The first index (0) returns the address immediately following the network address.


Version 4.00 of NetAddr::IP and version 1.00 of NetAddr::IP::Lite Returns the number of usable addresses IP addresses within the subnet, not counting the broadcast or network address. Previous versions returned th number of IP addresses not counting the broadcast address.

To use the old behavior for ->nth($index) and ->num():

  use NetAddr::IP::Lite qw(:old_nth);




Luis E. Muņoz <>, Michael Robinton <>


This software comes with the same warranty as perl itself (ie, none), so by using it you accept any and all the liability.


This software is (c) Luis E. Muņoz, 1999 - 2005, and (c) Michael Robinton, 2006. It can be used under the terms of the perl artistic license provided that proper credit for the work of the author is preserved in the form of this copyright notice and license for this module.


perl(1), NetAddr::IP(3), NetAddr::IP::Util(3)