WLAN and throughput issues with 1.2.3



  • I have been running monowall since 2004 from compact-flash on a pc platform. It has been working great, but since I really appreciate the ssh feature of pfsense I switched recently to pfsense 1.2.3-RC2 and then to RC3.
    I have two problems now, which has made me (hopefully just temporarily) switch back to monowall.

    1. WLAN
    My pc has a pcmcia to pci adapter with a cardbus 3com xjack a/b/g atheros based wifi card (ath0). This works great in monowall in ap-mode. In pfsense it only works great on the first boot-up after installation. After the next reboot I get 'ath0: unable to reset Hardware: hal status 12' and wifi is borked. I've tried several snapshots of 1.2.3 but no-go. 1.2.2 halts when detecting the cardbus bridge.

    2. Throughput
    A fresh bare pfsense install gives me 65/18mbit/s throughput from a 100/20 (down/up) line. Plugging in a monowall card, using the same hardware, gives me 96/18. The pc is a 666mhz celeron P3 with 256MB RAM. One intel pro 100 (fxp0) and one 3com 905 (xl0) nic are used.

    I would really appreciate some pointers on how to resolve these problem.



  • @undecided:

    2. Throughput
    A fresh bare pfsense install gives me 65/18mbit/s throughput from a 100/20 (down/up) line. Plugging in a monowall card, using the same hardware, gives me 96/18. The pc is a 666mhz celeron P3 with 256MB RAM. One intel pro 100 (fxp0) and one 3com 905 (xl0) nic are used.

    M0n0wall and pfsense are not using the same statefull firewall engine. m0n0 uses IPfilter and pfsense uses packet filter (pf). pf has more features than IPfilter. it has QoS, OS based filtering, advanced packet handling features, auth.

    OpenBSD had to remove IPfilter from the software, because of license issues. now pf is the main filter used in most actual BSD based Unix systems.



  • Sounds like hardware-specific FreeBSD regressions between versions. That's definitely the case with the wireless. With general throughput, it's hard to say. Generally regardless of the differences between the two, m0n0wall and pfsense perform basically identically where identical FreeBSD versions are used, currently pfSense is a bit faster since it's on FreeBSD 7.x which is a better performer than 6.x.

    Try the usual things when hardware-specific problems are apparently the cause. Upgrade the BIOS, make sure PNP OS is disabled, remove or disable any unnecessary hardware, reset BIOS to default settings.



  • Note none of those things will fix the wireless problem. Best you can do there is hope it's fixed in FreeBSD 8 so it'll work in the future.


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