We have a significant number of pfsense 2.0 firewalls (with freebsd
8.1-RELEASE-p6 under the hood) all running in HVM mode on xen 4.1, with
which we've been experiencing performance issues recently. In essence, the
(virtual) firewall load goes through the roof as we reach a certain
throughput level. The xen host server's CPU only runs at 20-30% when this

A first improvement was noticed by switching from the default realtek 8139
drivers (re$x) to the e1000 drivers (em$x).

As the results were still not acceptable, we've attempted to build a xen
PV-aware freebsd 8.3-RELEASE-p4 kernel with pfsense 2.1-BETA0 patches, in
which we've eventually succeeded. The performance gain was massive.
Firewalls that were previously becoming unresponsive at a throughput of
20mbit, would now do 200mbit with a load of max 4.

The issue we're facing with the 2.1-BETA running in PV mode however, is
that it randomly crashes and reboots. This does not appear to be load
related at all. Happens roughly once a day.

The output on the console when it crashes can be found here:

The headline of this crash is:

panic: HYPERVISOR_update_va_mapping(((unsigned
long)(sysmaps->CADDR2)), (0x001 | 0x002 |
xpmap_ptom(((dst)->phys_addr)) | 0x020 | 0x040), UVMF_INVLPG|
UVMF_ALL) < 0: /usr/pfSensesrc/src/sys/i386/xen/pmap.c:342

Has anyone else been successful in running pfsense in PV mode?

Any experiences to share? Or any pointers towards what the issue could be
with our PV kernel?

Thanks in advance

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