Pfsense won't work with switch.


  • I'm new to pfsense.  I just installed it on an old machine I had laying around, and it works great when I plug it directly into a computer.  However, when I plug it into a little Trendnet 8 port gigabit switch, it shows it's connected for about 2 or 3 seconds, then the connection light on the switch turns off.  Any ideas?


  • Bad cable?

    What do the logs say?


  • The cable is good.  It's the same one i used to connect to the single computer.  And which log should I check?


  • System logs.

    Status->System Logs.

    Plug the cable in, watch the light go out, refresh the logs.  That should tell you what the interface is seeing.  Usually when a link light goes it it's a physical issue, but not always.


  • Okay, here is what the log says. I unplugged it from the computer that worked at 15:39, and plugged it into the switch at 15:31. This is the output between those times before I plugged it back into the computer to check the logs.

    Feb 11 15:29:02 kernel: re0: link state changed to DOWN
    Feb 11 15:29:04 php: : Hotplug event detected for lan but ignoring since interface is configured with static IP (10.0.0.1)
    Feb 11 15:31:08 check_reload_status: Linkup starting re0
    Feb 11 15:31:08 kernel: re0: link state changed to UP
    Feb 11 15:31:10 php: : Hotplug event detected for lan but ignoring since interface is configured with static IP (10.0.0.1)
    Feb 11 15:31:10 check_reload_status: rc.newwanip starting re0
    Feb 11 15:31:11 check_reload_status: Linkup starting re0
    Feb 11 15:31:11 kernel: re0: link state changed to DOWN
    Feb 11 15:31:12 php: : rc.newwanip: Informational is starting re0.
    Feb 11 15:31:12 php: : rc.newwanip: on (IP address: 10.0.0.1) (interface: lan) (real interface: re0).
    Feb 11 15:31:12 apinger: Exiting on signal 15.
    Feb 11 15:31:13 php: : Hotplug event detected for lan but ignoring since interface is configured with static IP (10.0.0.1)
    Feb 11 15:31:13 check_reload_status: Reloading filter
    Feb 11 15:31:13 apinger: Starting Alarm Pinger, apinger(38604)


  • Right, so, computer to computer works which means it's a crossover cable?  Which your little Trendnet Gb switch may not like so much.  Many crossover cables will only connect 2 pair out of the 4 pairs, which works fine at 100Mb and many adapters will negotiate correctly, but some may not, that includes switches.

    Really, I would try a different cable.


  • I actually thought that may be the issue as well, but alas… whether it's a regular cable or crossover cable it still doesn't work.  Thanks for the suggestion though!


  • It may not be relevant - but I had a similar issue some time ago. It wasn't with pfS but the symptoms were similar.

    I could not connect a Gb adapter to an older 100Mb switch. In the end I forced the speed down on the adapter and all was fine.

    Other possibility - are you using old cables? (CAT4?)

    Just a thought in case it helps

  • Netgate Administrator

    What Realtek NIC are you using exactly?
    You might try a 2.1 snapshot that will have newer drivers.

    I am typing this on a laptop that has an older Realtek 8139 NIC. It works fine almost all the time but I have an SMC switch that it fails to negotiate a connection with. It is independent of OS. It just won't connect.

    Not all devices are 100% standards compliant and sometimes you'll find a combination of hardware/software/firmware that will never work.

    Probably not the case here but worth baring in mind!  ;)

    Steve


  • Is STP or VTP Mode configured on that switch? It might see your pfsense install as another network bridge and be shutting it down. Not sure if that's even a managed switch or not.

    I had the same issue separately with some Realtek NICs going bad on me… ended up having to swap hardware because the port kept bouncing and dropping packets like crazy.


  • Does the computer link to the switch OK?

    Have you tried forcing the duplex/speed.  If the two can't come to a consensus, then they will shut the link down.