PSA -- Realtek Network Drivers (RTL8111) in BSD/Pfsense are Problematic

  • Hello,

    Just wanted to post about instability that was induced somewhere along the line. I've had PFsense deployed on a dedicated Zotac Ci323 (Two GigE ports via Realtek RTL8111 are built in) for a few years without any issues. Within the past several months, have had a lot of issues at the network level where the LAN interface would stop working and require a reboot to "fix", then after some time would recur.

    The symptoms are that very frequently the system logs show the interface going up/down, and after some time (probably after period of high utilization) the interface will go down and not come back up.

    After following some good guides to build the Realtek driver (current version is 1.95) from source in a FreeBDS VM, then deploy to the pfsense box, all seems well after several days and testing. I've spend several hours using iperf to push 1gbps to/from that interface without any up/down events in the logs or the interface stopping working.

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