Network Card

Jerry McAllister jerrymc at
Thu Apr 17 11:53:42 PDT 2003

> i'm looking for some words of wisdom about pci ethernet adapters for my 
> freebsd 
> system.  i'm running freebsd 4.7, an amd 750 duron on a msi k7t turbo 
> mainboard.
> from what i've read so far, it seems like cards with dec 21040 chips are 
> preferred by at least some users, and the realtek (at least cheaper) ones are 
> discouraged.  i've also noticed that prices seem to vary greatly, and i'm 
> trying to stay away from the $20 range of cards in general.
> i'm currently using a hawking card with a realtek rtl8139c chip and i've had 
> some problems which include hanging on the boot process as well as problems 
> with a mac i'm networking via ethernet to this machine.  i haven't fully 
> determined if these problems are specific to the ethernet card, but it seems 
> like that may be the case.
> so, could someone tell me:
> what's the big advantage of the dec 21040 chip?  is it that the driver is 
> particularly well written?  i settled on an smc etherpower 8432t card but 
> then started reading about some problems with other linuxes using this card.
>   then someone in tech support somewhere told me that they use intel cards 
> which seem to work great.
> can someone recommend a card (make and model) that they've had first hand 
> success with using freebsd?

Probably all of them work fine.  We have quite a few using 3COM etherlink
 (xl driver) and Intel Pro 100 (fxp driver) and have no problems.   
We haven't had any experience with realtek.
> are some freebsd drivers more reliable that others?  still easily configured?

Just include the drivers in the kernel and use the standard ifconfig 
commands in your rc.conf.

> john

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