Consistent network device numbering



  • I wonder, does pfsense offer a way to ensure consistent network device naming? What happens if your router has four Ethernet ports (em0-em3) and the 2nd one dies, wouldn't the subsequent ones get different device names? Is it possible that a network adapter might get renamed based on which was polled first during bootup?

    In Linux, a system administrator can use the Ethernet hardware address (MAC address) of a network device to
    assign a specific network interface name to a network port. Apparently FreeBSD offers something related with /boot/device.hints

    Recently RedHat has introduced "Consistent Network Device Naming" in Fedora 15.

    Related info:
    http://freebsd.1045724.n5.nabble.com/Devices-numbering-Was-Re-Switch-from-legacy-ata-4-to-CAM-based-ATA-td4331412.html
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Consistent_Network_Device_Naming
    http://domsch.com/blog/?p=455

    It would be a nice feature for a future release.


  • Rebel Alliance Developer Netgate

    There isn't currently a way to do that in pfSense, but some ideas have been kicked around before.

    It is possible to rename interfaces in FreeBSD and IIRC they can be matched up by MAC address, but there hasn't been a good usable solution made up that I'm aware of.



  • Not sure what hardware you are using but I just went through this a few weeks ago.

    I found that on my Dell P490 hardware has an order that it scans - and Dell also that my BIOS versions change this order. This helps for DR/Recovery purposes however it does not help if I want to upgrade a single NIC to a Quad NIC that's in the first scanned slot…

    I've found that the backup/restore functionality is a bit difficult because of this - change one thing and you are SOL and its been easier for me to start over... but my firewall rules are generally VERY simple.


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