Adding a 5th VMXNET 3 interface makes my appliance stop working

  • My pfSense 2.4.4-RELEASE-p3 installed on a ESXi 6.5 host seems to stop working when I add a 5th VMXNET 3 interface.

    Even when I roll out a new instance from scratch with 5 VMXNET 3 interfaces connected from the start it's non responsive on my LAN interface. When 4 VMXNET 3 interfaces have been added, adding a 5th E1000 network adapter works fine.

    The networks assigned to these nic's are each in a different port group on the same vSwitch with a unique vlan assigned to the port group in vmware.

    Can anyone confirm this?

  • Looks like ESXi PCI probing/mapping error,
    Read this discussion:

    No such problems with KVM for example

  • Netgate Administrator

    Yup this is a known issue with the way ESXi presents the NICs when there are more than 4.


    So when you start with 5 your LAN interface is probably NIC 5.


  • This isn't anything specific to FreeBSD, but rather how VMWare maps the NICs into the guest OS. The same issue occurs with Linux.
    While it isn't always possible to add all the interfaces you think you might need in advance, if you get stuck with this issue, you will need to go match up the MAC addresses VMWare has assigned to the NICs to the MAC addresses seen by pfSense, and reconfigure the interfaces appropriately if they have changed.

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