Smoothest way to remove a NIC?

  • My pfsense box has two onboard nics bge0, bge1
    And two PCI-x nics em0, em1

    Currently em0 is not configured to do anything with pfsense. No interfaces are assigned or anything. So I thought I could just pull it out and start up pfsense, but when I tried that it just shit the bed and started having me reassign ports, I had to hook a monitor up to my pfsense box just to see it. Just wrecked everything. I tried reassigning the NICs, but it wouldn't work. In the end I got it far enough that I could see the Web GUI so I ended up putting the card back in and restoring my config from a backup.

    Is there a better way? Why is it forcing me to reassign the NICs if I'm pulling one out that isn't even in use? How can I remove this NIC without having to reconfigure everything?

    Edit: Re-reading that it sounds like I'm blaming pfsense, but I'm not. The problem is my inability to re-assign the ports correctly while it's in production, and I have everybody kicked off the internet ;) I was just hoping there was a smoother way of doing this. I actually need this NIC to install in my new pfsense box.

  • Netgate Administrator

    It should be relatively easy to reassign the ports. The reason this happens is that when you remove em0 the NIC currently labeled em1 will then become em0 at the next boot. Simply re-assign whatever interface you had as em1 to em0. The bge NICs will remain unaffected.
    Another way to do this would be to edit the config file directly, changing em1 to em0, and restore that.
    This assumes that there isn't some other problem going on with nic detection.


  • Thanks…In the end I ended up editing my backup config after getting my new server setup.

    Unfortunately the onboard nics were intel too, so here I went in thinking the addon PCI-x card would be em2, but no, the addon card was em0 and the onboards where em1 and em2. Wasted a solid half hour on that before I did the auto-detect.

    Oh well, live and learn.

    Thanks for the advice.

  • Netgate Administrator

    Yes things can get interesting when you have many NICs all using the same driver.  ;) The order they are labeled in is that in which they're detected and if you remove a card things can get unpredictable.


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