Bge NIC causes crash - fix known, but how to implement?

  • Hi pfSense team,

    I've installed pfsense as our corporate firewall, and so far am very impressed with it.  Huge range of features, very configurable via the web interface, and still easy to fine-tune via shell if you don't mind gettting your hands dirty.  Great package - good work.

    Now - the not so good bit…  :-)

    I have installed it on an HP dl-320 - which has 2 built in NICs based on the broadcom chipset (bge0 and bge1).  If i connect it to the network while it's running, the box crashes, if it's plugged in at boot, it gets as far as 'starting firewall', and then crashes.

    Fortunately, i have installed an additional dual port NIC in it, so i am using those two ports right now - however i really need to get all 4 ports working, as i have a second internet feed coming live in about a week, and i will be implementing a DMZ in the short future.

    I have found the following thread, which seems to be the same problem i am experiencing:
    The issue seems to be fixed in 6.1-CURRENT.

    My question is - what is the best way to get this fix integrated into my installation?

    Of course, any other advice or pearls of wisdom welcome!

    Thanks for you help on this,


  • If it's truly fixed in RELENG_6_1, then we should pick it up in our next point release (which will likely be in the next week).  Else, in the meantime, you can try using the dev ISO (and all the joy that comes with it) and build your own kernel.


  • I just sync'd the driver from RELENG_6, it will appear in 1.0.1.

  • Brilliant, thanks guys.  I'll let you know how it goes!

  • Strange. I have two Proliant's DL585 with onboard BCM5704, works fine, without any problems (pfsense rel 1.0).

  • I'm not sure exactly which chipset revision i'm using, that may be the issue.  Also, I'm running 1.0-RC3 (installed about a week ago - d'oh!) - so maybe it's already fixed as part of the 1.0.0 release.

    At any rate, I'll wait a week for 1.0.1, and try with that.

  • Gareth , how does it run now ?????

    I'm having same problems with HP DL320g4 with pfSense 1.0.
    But with pfSense 1.0.1 I can use the NIC2 (bge1) without problems if (and only if) I disable NIC1 and set NIC2 to use IRQ15….
    If both are enabled firewall hangs at "Statring firewall" or crashes if I plug it while it is running. Monday I will try a solution given to me by Hoba and Scott, using the HP smartstart CD to set the system in "Linux mode". I don't know yet if this mode is present on 320 series but be sure I will give feedback monday.

  • I have been able to get to server room before monday because of a powerfail so I did some testing.

    It appears that smartstart CD doesn't offers the choice to configure the system for linux…I didn't see the option...perhaps I'm blind.

    The good thing ( yes !! there is one !) is that after disabling iLO (press F8 at boot and then settings->disable) the two broadcom NICs are working (at least it seems to...) without crashing the system! I have been able to use bge0 and bge1 and to pass traffic between the two interfaces !!!! marvellous !!! I tried the plug/unplug event that used to make the system hang and it didn't !!!! supermarvellous!!!!

    I never thought I would be so happy to see two NICs working as they should....

    I will give some feedback about the stability of the system, I've not been able to stress it under heavy load so I can't affirm that all is allright....stay tuned

  • Had a chance over the weekend to install 1.0.1, so I'm in a position to report back now.

    My upgrade didn't start off too well - i couldn't get the the firmware upgrade process to work…  I would get about 7-8mb through the upload, and the connection would fail.  Tried from 3 1/2 different browsers and two different operating systems, all with the same results.  However, i just did a fresh install from CD, so it wasn't too much of an issue.  The users quickly pointed out what NAT rules i had forgotten.  :-)

    I tested and confirmed the bug before starting: plugged in and enabled the bge interfaces, and watched as the box crashed.  After reinstalling, I set up bge1 as WAN2, and managed to pump all my traffic through it without any problems.  I'm still in the throws of configuring it, but i currently have 3 interfaces up and running, and i pumped 100mb through bge1 at ~6mb/s during testing, so I'm fairly confident that it works OK now.

    I haven't really tested bge0 - as the consensus on forums seems to be that better luck is had with the 2nd interface - however i did plug it in and get a link without the box going down, so it looks promising.  No biggie for now, as we don't have a DMZ yet.  I will let you know if it works when it comes time to implement it though.  :-)

    I didn't have to play with IRQs, or disabling iLO (which is good, as i use it) - though those points are worth remembering come DMZ time.

    I, too, will give some more feedback once I've been able to heavily work the interface.  I can't yet say for certain that it's functioning in a fast and reliable fashion, but as my magic 8-ball would say, 'All signs point to yes'!!

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