Do you use a value other than AUTO for network_interfaces?

Erik Osterholm freebsd-lists-erik at
Wed Jun 3 20:37:37 UTC 2009

On Wed, Jun 03, 2009 at 09:13:21AM -0500, Brooks Davis wrote:
> On Tue, Jun 02, 2009 at 06:06:48PM -0500, Erik Osterholm wrote:
> > On Tue, Jun 02, 2009 at 12:20:34PM -0700, Doug Barton wrote:
> > > Up till Sunday in 8-current, and for a long time in general
> > > network.subr (part of the rc.d system) has emitted a warning
> > > that values of network_interfaces other than AUTO are
> > > deprecated. I removed that warning in HEAD Sunday, and there is
> > > no a discussion about whether or not it should be put back, and
> > > whether or not there is any need for the user to specify the
> > > list of network interfaces at all.
> > > 
> > > If you use a value of network_interfaces other than AUTO please
> > > speak up so that we can make an intelligent decision about this
> > > issue.
> > > 
> > > Thanks,
> > > 
> > > Doug
> > 
> > I'll have to preface this by disclosing that I have not been
> > running -current, nor following any changes to the RC system.
> > 
> > In 7.1, if you compile a custom kernel and comment out an
> > interface (such that it is compiled as a module), one way to
> > ensure that the module is loaded is to explicitly list it in
> > network_interfaces.  If -current works the same way, then users
> > will be required to modify /boot/loader.conf in order to load the
> > module.  Could there could be possible side-effects to this
> > change, since the loading of the module happens at a different
> > time?
> Do you actually do this?

We do use modules for a number of machines instead of leaving the NIC
driver compiled into the kernel.  I think that the impetus for doing
this involved a driver bug back in 6.1 which crashed the machine if
it passed too much traffic.  The thinking was that for future bugs, it
would be easier and faster to ship off the kernel module, unload the
old one, load the new one, and reconfigure the interface than to ship
over a whole new kernel and reboot.

We also used to have a couple of machines for which the vendor
supplied NIC kernel modules, but I don't think that they're in use

And yes, the machines use network_interfaces to load the modules,
though I'm not arrogant enough to assume that this is the best way.
Maybe it is worth considering changing ifconfig_$DRIVER to load the


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