VirtualBox + FreeBSD 9-STABLE == Frozen Ethernet

Zaphod Beeblebrox zbeeble at
Mon May 6 19:43:25 UTC 2013

Heh.  VirtualBox has (in my experience) been buggy as heck.  Beyond buggy
as heck.

I have 3 virtualization platforms at my disposal (and the host here is win
7).  VirtualBox, VMWare and Windows Virtual PC.  I can report that under
VirtualBox, every major type of guest caused stability problems with the
host (Windows 7, Windows XP, FreeBSD, Linux).  Stability problems would
include crashing of the guest, crashing of the host, network bogons (from
interfaces resetting to interfaces hanging --- like yours).  I switched
various guests to VMWare (the free "player" version) and everything was
smooth.  Really smooth.  No problems running guests for _days_.  No
problems running multiple guests.

I don't use virtual PC much --- it runs XP mode ... just because that's
included with Windows 7... but it never causes problems either FWIW.

It seemed to me that every update after Sun passed to Oracle brought more
bugs.  My advice: run away from VirtualBox.

On Mon, May 6, 2013 at 3:12 PM, Marc G. Fournier <scrappy at> wrote:

> I'm having an odd issue with FreeBSD that I'm not sure how to trace /
> where to look …
> I have 6 servers, all identical RAM / CPU / Ethernet / etc … 4 of them are
> running VirtualBox, 2 are running Jails … one of the 4 I just switched from
> Jail -> Virtualbox …
> When running jail(s), the servers are rock solid … as soon as I switch to
> VirtualBox (the one I just switched is running one Vbox with a FreeBSD
> Guest) … nothing else is running on the server … but I will get sporadic
> freezes of the Ethernet.  One ran 46 days before it froze, then after a
> reboot, it happened a few hours later, now its been running several hours
> again without any issues …
> The machine itself is not frozen … I can connect via remote console,
> login, do ps, etc … so its as if the Ethernet (bce device) just went
> offline.
> I was pointed to a wiki about VirtualBox, and my current loader.conf looks
> like:
> ===
> aio_load="YES"
> kern.ipc.shm_use_phys=1
> accf_http_load="YES"
> if_bridge_load="YES"
> if_tap_load="YES"
> hw.pci.enable_msix=0
> vboxdrv_load="YES"
> net.graph.maxdata=65536
> ===
> I'm running the latest version of 9-STABLE as well as the latest version
> of vBox available in ports … the bce device is an older version of
> Broadcom, so not dealing a new one with new features:
> bce0: <Broadcom NetXtreme II BCM5708 1000Base-T (B2)>
> And as I say, these work great with jail'd environments ALIASed onto them …
> The vBox environments are all configured for network using:
> --nic1 bridged --bridgeadapter1 bce1
> Maybe I'm setting up the network wrong?  But, it does work for awhile …
> I'm not seeing any errors on the console when the ethernet stops working …
> nothing to indicate an buffer overflowing or something like that … but,
> again, I can login and run commands, so if there is something I can run to
> get more useful details … ?
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