kern/110140: ipw fails under load

Jem Matzan jem at
Fri Mar 9 18:20:10 UTC 2007

>Number:         110140
>Category:       kern
>Synopsis:       ipw fails under load
>Confidential:   no
>Severity:       serious
>Priority:       low
>Responsible:    freebsd-bugs
>State:          open
>Class:          sw-bug
>Submitter-Id:   current-users
>Arrival-Date:   Fri Mar 09 18:20:09 GMT 2007
>Originator:     Jem Matzan
>Release:        6.2-RELEASE
JEM Electronic Media
FreeBSD thinkpad 6.2-RELEASE FreeBSD 6.2-RELEASE #0: Fri Jan 12 11:05:30 UTC 2007     root at  i386
The Intel Centrino IPW2100 driver stops working when under moderate-to-heavy loads, such as retrieving packages or copying files using scp. The only error message printed to the console is:

ipw0: fatal error

Neither dmesg nor /var/log/messages offer anything further than this message. If there is other information that I can provide, I'll be happy to add it upon request.

This has been previously discussed on the -STABLE mailing list, but no resolution was ever reached:

I don't know if this means anything to you, but the same problem exists on OpenBSD 3.9 and 4.0.

General network performance with the IPW2100 device also seems to be slower than it should be, but I'm not really sure how I can objectively test this to prove it.
Use the pkg_add command to retrieve a large package over the Internet, or install some programs from Ports, or download a file more than a few megabytes in size.
Re-initializing the interface will get it going again:

ifconfig ipw0 up && dhclient ipw0

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