Supported Hardware

Kevin Kinsey kdk at
Sun Jun 26 04:11:08 GMT 2005

Juan Palacios wrote:

>     Anyone know what modems free bsd supports? Is pc
>bsd and free bsd from the same company? guy? Which is
>I know its in beat mode thou, pc bsd that's. So
>where's the modem compatibility list? Does it support
>intel 537 pci modem? thanks ...list please :>(

Hello, Juan!

The FreeBSD Project (it's a 'loosely-knit' but
rather large and highly-skilled group of
professionals who work "for" the Project
in their spare time) maintains a hardware
compatability list on the project's web site.
For the latest release (5.4) on all architectures, see:

If you use the "i386" architecture (most
people do; these are the IBM-PC compatible
machines and 'clones', if you will), then your
reading should probably start at:

I've not heard of pcbsd.  It's likely that pcbsd is using
FreeBSD code (or OpenBSD or NetBSD code) in their
product.  FreeBSD is "free", and they could legally
do that (AAMOF, I'd consider it pretty smart)....

As for the specific modem you mention, I can't say
for sure.  Conventional wisdom has always been
"no internal (Win)modems", but I'm sure I'm way behind
on my knowledge in this area.  For one thing, not all
internal modems are Winmodems; some have an
onboard processing unit, but these are increasingly
less prevalent today.  I'm not sure if I've ever seen
one that wasn't an old 14.4Kbps unit....

Secondly, and on a better note:  if the modem
has a Lucent chipset, a third-party "port" exists
to assist the system in using the card.

Finally, there have recently been efforts to
create a sort of "Windows emulation layer"
for network cards*; I don't know if a similar
effort for modems is underway or not, or if
it is even possible.

Good luck with FreeBSD!

Kevin Kinsey

*For the rest of the world reading this:  Yes,
I'm referring to ndis(4); yes, it's technically
a "wrapper", and no, I don't have any idea whether
something like that could be going on for modems....

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