Remove device polling option from GUI


  • Banned

    From the GUI explanation:

    Device polling is a technique that lets the system periodically poll network devices for new data instead of relying on interrupts. This prevents your webConfigurator, SSH, etc. from being inaccessible due to interrupt floods when under extreme load. Generally this is not recommended. Not all NICs support polling; see the pfSense homepage for a list of supported cards.

    Well, the general consensus on this forum seems to be that it not only does NOT prevent any such thing, but it rather causes the webConfigurator and  SSH to be inaccessible via network even with no load at all. Pretty much matches my experience. Considering even the developers strongly discourage this, why's the option present there at all?


  • Rebel Alliance Developer Netgate

    It can help on certain low-end equipment.

    Also it's been found to greatly improve performance for bhyve VMs. (Can't find the link at the moment, but it was a tremendous improvement)


  • Banned

    Not sure what counts as low-end. It totally kills Alix (tested with 2D13 and 2D2), even though vr driver should support this. I assume the " list of supported cards" does not really exists, correct?  ;)



  • The suggestion try polling option also made me the subject of public ridicule which is even more worrisome than it breaking nearly anything its activated on :o

    Maybe change the menu to simply say "Only activate if you are using bhyve VMs and a device that supports polling".



  • IMHO it is always better to have a choice than not to. The moment it is removed someone will ask to bring it back.


  • Rebel Alliance Developer Netgate

    ^ that, too.

    Maybe some Scary Warnings™ but it wouldn't get removed.


  • Banned

    Well, warnings would definitely be appreciated… Maybe with some real tested examples of where it actually helps, instead of doing the exact opposite.


  • Rebel Alliance Developer Netgate

    The example there is valid, just not on everyone's hardware.

    We can't write a book next to every option though, at some point the burden must be on the user to know what they're doing. We can write some warnings, maybe link to some docs, but ultimately we can't stop everyone from shooting their own feet.



  • I like scary warnings.  ::)



  • Warning:
    Won't make the sky blue.
    Won't make the grass green.

    Whatever, the presence of the device polling feature doesn't bother me much. Except that it can lead some people (including me) to suggest someone else to try out this setting, resulting in being the subject of public ridicule. Yup, me too ;-)

    However, if one can manage to pry the eyes off the Device Polling checkbox item, one will notice some other options further down, with the somewhat fuzzy "broken in some hardware drivers, and may impact performance with some specific NICs" remark.

    Um. Which ones are the broken drivers? And which specific NICs will make you suffer hard?

    What I'd consider to be totally cool would be a self-test procedure. Which runs totally automatically, rebooting and trying out all possible combinations and everything.


  • Banned

    @Klaws:

    However, if one can manage to pry the eyes off the Device Polling checkbox item, one will notice some other options further down, with the somewhat fuzzy "broken in some hardware drivers, and may impact performance with some specific NICs" remark.
    Um. Which ones are the broken drivers? And which specific NICs will make you suffer hard?

    I suspect naming those that work would be a whole lot easier… have yet to see one. The allegedly "supported" drivers are in man polling(4).



  • @doktornotor:

    The allegedly "supported" drivers are in man polling(4).

    After reading man polling I tried that a few month ago with the em interfaces in my Lanner FW7530 because I though I could take some load off the ATOM CPU. I had to walk to that box afterwards and flip the power switch ;)
    Good thing I used ifconfig to test polling and not the GUI switch.


  • Banned

    @athurdent:

    After reading man polling I tried that a few month ago with the em interfaces in my Lanner FW7530 because I though I could take some load off the ATOM CPU. I had to walk to that box afterwards and flip the power switch ;)
    Good thing I used ifconfig to test polling and not the GUI switch.

    What's seriously disturbing is - how can something so blatantly broken make it into official release kernels.


  • Rebel Alliance Developer Netgate

    …because it's not seriously broken for people that need it... (which, admittedly, is very few people these days)



  • So…move it into the "System Tunables"?


  • Rebel Alliance Developer Netgate

    Not quite that simple. It isn't just a matter of flipping a sysctl bit (which is what that page is for)


Log in to reply