Does pfSense support StarTech PCIe Gigabit Multimode SC Fiber Card?



  • Purchased a StarTech PCIe Gigabit Multimode SC Fiber Card as well as a Gigabit Media Converter. (PEX1000MMSC2)

    What do I need to do to swap out the existing NIC for the new SC Fiber Card?

    First attempt was a bust. Removed the existing re0 NIC and installed the SC Fiber NIC. Connected the Fiber to the card and to the Media Converter and powered on the machine.

    No activity lights on the Fiber NIC.

    Opened up the pfSense UI and Status/Interfaces showed the MAC address of the new SC Fiber NIC.

    Could not access the internet only the LAN. The pfSense UI was very slow depending on what I was trying to access.

    StarTech came with a CD with Drivers for FreeBSD 7.x and 8.x, Linux kernel 2.4.x (x86,x64) LINUX kernel 3.x, 2.6.x and 2.4.x

    Do I need to install the FreeBSD driver?

    Do I need to reconfigure pfSense WAN interface for the new card?

    Doing my best to not hose the system.

    Regards


  • Netgate Administrator

    You almost certainly don't need to install drivers. If they are not already there they probably don't exist.

    You will probably need to re-assign the interfaces.

    If the old card was re0 what interfaces do you see in Interfaces > Assign now?

    If you had re0 and re1 previously the other card may have been renamed re0 which will break many things!

    But since you still have access to the GUI it probably wasn't. Just re-assign the WAN to the new card which should be showing there. The GUI will be slow with no WAN connected.

    Steve



  • @stephenw10 Steve thank you for such a fast reply.

    pfSense kept everything in order. WAN stayed on re0 and re0 stayed with the swapped NIC cards. Swapping back and forth pfSense kept re0 on the cards that I was swapping and kept WAN on re0.

    Here are the frustrating question(s)

    1. From inside the LAN I can ping the public IP address of the WAN Fiber NIC does that indicate that the Fiber NIC is functioning?

    2. The MAC address of the Fiber NIC shows up in pfSense, once again, does that indicate that the Fiber NIC is functioning?

    3. Does it sound like I have a bad media converter that the Fiber NIC is plugged into?


  • Netgate Administrator

    Could be many things at this point but it sounds like you have some incompatibility between the media converter, the NIC and the actual fibre.

    It sounds like both cards are re(4) based though which helps with the swap here but re cards are not well regarded in general.

    With the fibre all connected up go to the command prompt and run:
    ifconfig -vvm

    Post the results here.

    Steve



  • @stephenw10 thanks again for the reply. Hope your having a good day.

    Below is the requested information hope this will help in assisting me track down the issue. re0 is the Gigabit Multi Mode SC Fiber PCIe NIC (PEX1000MMSC2) The media converter is (A7S2-33-1GX1GT-SC02) Was told that it was multi mode but some places show that part as single mode and have not gotten response from manufacture yet.

    em0: flags=8c02<BROADCAST,OACTIVE,SIMPLEX,MULTICAST> metric 0 mtu 1500
    options=2098<VLAN_MTU,VLAN_HWTAGGING,VLAN_HWCSUM,WOL_MAGIC>
    capabilities=15399b<RXCSUM,TXCSUM,VLAN_MTU,VLAN_HWTAGGING,VLAN_HWCSUM,TSO4,WOL_UCAST,WOL_MCAST,WOL_MAGIC,VLAN_HWFILTER,VLAN_HWTSO,NETMAP>
    ether em0-MAC-ADDRESS
    hwaddr em0-MAC-ADDRESS
    nd6 options=21<PERFORMNUD,AUTO_LINKLOCAL>
    media: Ethernet autoselect
    status: no carrier
    supported media:
    media autoselect
    media 1000baseT
    media 1000baseT mediaopt full-duplex
    media 100baseTX mediaopt full-duplex
    media 100baseTX
    media 10baseT/UTP mediaopt full-duplex
    media 10baseT/UTP
    re0: flags=8843<UP,BROADCAST,RUNNING,SIMPLEX,MULTICAST> metric 0 mtu 1500
    options=82098<VLAN_MTU,VLAN_HWTAGGING,VLAN_HWCSUM,WOL_MAGIC,LINKSTATE>
    capabilities=18399b<RXCSUM,TXCSUM,VLAN_MTU,VLAN_HWTAGGING,VLAN_HWCSUM,TSO4,WOL_UCAST,WOL_MCAST,WOL_MAGIC,LINKSTATE,NETMAP>
    ether re0-MAC-ADDRESS
    hwaddr re0-MAC-ADDRESS
    inet6 ipv6-address prefixlen 64 scopeid 0x2
    inet public-ip-address netmask 0xfffffff8 broadcast public-ip-address
    inet public-ip-address netmask 0xfffffff8 broadcast public-ip-address
    inet public-ip-address netmask 0xfffffff8 broadcast public-ip-address
    inet public-ip-address netmask 0xfffffff8 broadcast public-ip-address
    inet public-ip-address netmask 0xfffffff8 broadcast public-ip-address
    nd6 options=21<PERFORMNUD,AUTO_LINKLOCAL>
    media: Ethernet autoselect (none)
    status: no carrier
    supported media:
    media autoselect mediaopt flowcontrol
    media autoselect
    media 1000baseT mediaopt full-duplex,flowcontrol,master
    media 1000baseT mediaopt full-duplex,flowcontrol
    media 1000baseT mediaopt full-duplex,master
    media 1000baseT mediaopt full-duplex
    media 1000baseT mediaopt master
    media 1000baseT
    media 100baseTX mediaopt full-duplex,flowcontrol
    media 100baseTX mediaopt full-duplex
    media 100baseTX
    media 10baseT/UTP mediaopt full-duplex,flowcontrol
    media 10baseT/UTP mediaopt full-duplex
    media 10baseT/UTP
    media none
    re1: flags=8843<UP,BROADCAST,RUNNING,SIMPLEX,MULTICAST> metric 0 mtu 1500
    options=82098<VLAN_MTU,VLAN_HWTAGGING,VLAN_HWCSUM,WOL_MAGIC,LINKSTATE>
    capabilities=18399b<RXCSUM,TXCSUM,VLAN_MTU,VLAN_HWTAGGING,VLAN_HWCSUM,TSO4,WOL_UCAST,WOL_MCAST,WOL_MAGIC,LINKSTATE,NETMAP>
    ether re1-MAC-ADDRESS
    hwaddr re1-MAC-ADDRESS
    inet6 ipv6-address prefixlen 64 scopeid 0x3
    inet private-ip-address netmask 0xffffff00 broadcast private-ip-address
    nd6 options=21<PERFORMNUD,AUTO_LINKLOCAL>
    media: Ethernet autoselect (1000baseT <full-duplex>)
    status: active
    supported media:
    media autoselect mediaopt flowcontrol
    media autoselect
    media 1000baseT mediaopt full-duplex,flowcontrol,master
    media 1000baseT mediaopt full-duplex,flowcontrol
    media 1000baseT mediaopt full-duplex,master
    media 1000baseT mediaopt full-duplex
    media 1000baseT mediaopt master
    media 1000baseT
    media 100baseTX mediaopt full-duplex,flowcontrol
    media 100baseTX mediaopt full-duplex
    media 100baseTX
    media 10baseT/UTP mediaopt full-duplex,flowcontrol
    media 10baseT/UTP mediaopt full-duplex
    media 10baseT/UTP
    media none


  • Netgate Administrator

    Hmm, that card shows only baseT media types. Seems like it's not actually 'seeing' the fibre PHY which means no way to know what it sees the fibre as.

    If the other end is single mode though it won't work. Are you able to test it against anything else?

    Do you mean A7S2-33-1GX1GT-SC20? That does appear to be a single mode device.

    Steve



  • @stephenw10 Hope your day/evening is going well. Appreciate your time.

    "Seems like it's not actually 'seeing' the fibre" so are we leaning toward a driver issue?

    "Do you mean A7S2-33-1GX1GT-SC20?" welcome to my world of wild goose chases. The box and device are labeled A7S2-33-1GX1GT-SC02 and not SC20. Maybe the 02 was transposed.

    "Are you able to test it against anything else?" The only other media converters I have are 10/100 so I cannot connect the card to them. Tried.

    Regarding the (PEX1000MMSC2 ) From StarTech support: "It is only compatible with Gigabit fiber networks and we would not expect it to work with 10/100 Mbps "

    Have another Gigabit Media Convert on the way from a different manufacture will arrive tomorrow.

    FWIW swapped out one of the 10/100 media converts with the A7S2-33-1GX1GT-SC02 to see if it would connect to the other 10/100 media convert but it did not which got me thinking it was defective or SINGLE MODE.

    If the new media converter does not solve the issue do you have any low cost recommendations on fiber nic / media converter that would?


  • Netgate Administrator

    Unfortunately I have no advice about those devices. I've never tried to use one.

    You could just get another of the same type of converter and go back to the original NIC in pfSense. Presumably two of the same type will connect.

    Steve



  • Success. Hopefully I'm not jinxing it and things will remain stable.

    It appears the PEX1000MMSC2 does work with pfSense.

    The issues was resolved when I swapped out the 10Gtek (A7S2-33-1GX1GT-SC02) media converter for the tp-link MC200CM.

    @stephenw10 thanks again for your feedback have an enjoyable weekend.


  • Netgate Administrator

    Ah, nice so it probably was a multimode/singlemode mismatch. Good result!

    Steve


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