3Com NIC (xl driver): no carrier

  • I set up pfSense 1.2.2 on a HP xw6000. I'm using the onboard Broadcom NIC for the LAN interface and I have added four 3Com PCI NICs (don't remember the exact model - I will check on Monday).

    The problem I'm running into is that three out of these four 3Com NICs (using the xl driver) are showing "no carrier":

    # ifconfig
    xl1: flags=8843 <up,broadcast,running,simplex,multicast>metric 0 mtu 1500
    	options=9 <rxcsum,vlan_mtu>ether 00:50:04:10:5e:b8
    	inet netmask 0xfffff000 broadcast
    	inet6 fe80::250:4ff:fe10:5eb8%xl1 prefixlen 64 scopeid 0x3 
    	media: Ethernet autoselect (none)
    	status: no carrier

    What could be causing this? I don't think it's related to the cables or even the NICs because I previously had a different computer running pfSense in a virtual machine attached to the same cables and using the same NICs.

  • What are you connecting them too?  Have you tried a cross over?

  • They're all connected to switches, so crossover cables are not necessary (in fact, these switches even have auto-uplink, so it's double-unnecessary).

  • Sounds like FreeBSD 7.0 is unhappy with your combination of hardware. Might want to try 1.2.3, based on 7.1.

  • I guess I'll need to try some different NICs then - that's probably better than running a beta release on a production machine…
    Is there no way to get the xl driver working again on 7.0?

  • It's using the stable 1_2 code base and most of the developers are running it in production with no ill effects. The only thing that's somewhat unknown is the impact the switch to FreeBSD 7.1 will have. It seems to be only a positive impact thus far, it has fixed hardware incompatibilities such as this.

  • Ok, thank you - I will give it a try as soon as I find a time when I can take down the server for a couple hours.

  • I pulled out the three non-working xl NICs and put one Netgear FA311 (sis0) and it works just fine that way (except that I only have three NICs at the moment instead of five).
    I'll see if I can find some more non-xl NICs, otherwise, I might try upgrading to 1.2.3-PRERELEASE.

  • Had similar issues myself, I recently replaced my old T22 Thinkpad laptop that was running PFSense 1.2, with the new 2.0 Alpha release on a faster T23 laptop.  They have onboard Intel NICs, and on the T23 I tried using a 3COM 656 cardbus…it was working, but sporadic disconnect issues.  I yanked it, slapped in a DLink PCMCIA NIC...reset PFSense to use it..and all is good.

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