Has anyone had any issues with the vr device driver, or the VIA Rhine ethernet adapter? I recently built an Internet gateway box using FreeBSD 4.8-REL. I used a 3Com 3C905C-TX board for the internal interface, and used the internal vr interface for the external interface (to the cable modem). I have noted in the past that sometimes this device has "issues", particularly under load.

When I was using this ITX board as an X terminal, sometimes it would "hang" for a few seconds. Eventually, it would work - but it could be a bit annoying. I wasn't sure if it was a problem with the chip, or just the CPU load. The little CPU's on these boards aren't screamers by any means.

Now, I have noticed that the interface is stable when using SSH alone, but if I try to window X applications through it, it will randomly hang both itself AND the cable modem. I have a COM21 cable modem, and when I come home (after losing connectivity) I find it has locked up, and it seems to believe that there is no LAN cable attached (which there is). That is why I'm posting from a hotmail account. My connection home is dead again...

I suspect the PHY is crapping out under load, leading the cable modem to believe it is disconnected, then coming back up with a load of data in its buffers, blasting the poor cable modem into oblivion. I can't tell if this is just a lousy chip, a defective mainboard, or what. It only occurs when the interface is under a fair outbound load. I've downloaded huge files (ISO images) with no problems, but uploads cause trouble.

I somehow doubt this is a FreeBSD problem, so I'm going to note it as "off-topic", but I'd be curious to hear about other people's experiences with this device. Either way, I've already got a dual PCI riser in this chassis, so I'm going to stuff another 3Com card in to replace the onboard LAN port.

Seth Henry

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