HEADS UP: E1000 networking changes in STABLE/7.1 RELEASE

Jack Vogel jfvogel at gmail.com
Wed Aug 13 22:02:40 UTC 2008

There is a change that has been in the STABLE tree for a few months,
but many might have missed it,
its an important change to note and possibly for some prepare for with
the 7.1 RELEASE.

There is a new E1000 network driver, igb, which supports two family of
adapters so far: the
82575 and the new 82576.  In FreeBSD 7 the support for 82575 was in
the em driver, however
due to support issues across all the OS's we do drivers for, the
decision was made to split the
newer drivers off from those before. There are big differences in the
register set, and in things
like the descriptor format that made this expedient.

I made the support for the 82575 available very early in FreeBSD,
earlier even than Linux so
that certain vendors could have a working driver early. At first I
thought to avoid splitting the
driver, but support issues are going to make that impractical. So
there is a split, its been in
HEAD since Febuary, and now 7.1 will release with this change.

What this means is that if you have 82575 adapters in a system they
are going to change
from being 'emX' to being 'igbX', in the RELEASE the install kernel
will have both drivers
in it, but on an upgrade path, or using a set of scripts that get
postinstalled you need to
be ready to make this change.

How can you tell if you have such a device: Simple, use pciconf, there
are only 3 ID's
that are effected:  0x10A7, 0x10A9, and 0x10D6.

If you have questions feel free to email me.


Jack Vogel
Intel Lan Access Division

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