IBM HS21 blade with Broadcom 5708S NIC

  • Hi

    Has anyone successfully installed pfsense on an IBM HS21 blade and got the on-board Broadcom 5708S NICs working?

    The Broadcom NICs are supposedly supported in FreeBSD with the bce driver but pfsense doesn't appear to be able to detect these NICs with the version of the BCE driver that comes with pfsense 1.2. pfsense installs fine but we can't get past the NIC detection phase as it doesn't detect any NICs. Is it possible to bypass the NIC detection phase to force it to manually load the bce driver?

    Is anyone able to assist with our options here? Is it possible to get a newer version of the bce driver to work with the current version of pfsense?


  • If it should be supported a bios update might help. Before updating the bios i would try the testing image (link below)

    FreeBSD 6.3 probably works better with this NIC. There is a pfSense 1.2 with a FreeBSD 6.3 base available here:

    that several thousand people have downloaded to use with newer hardware and it's proven to work well.

    The 1.2.1 release will be based on 6.3 as well, snapshots will be coming soon.

  • Thanks for the pointer, we'll give this iso a go.


  • it worked wonders for me and got my other broadcomm nic up and running.  No issues at this point and is extreally stable.

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