Network Problems Fixed?

Network Problems Fixed?

As far as I can tell, FreeBSD 8 tickled something in the driver for my ethernet card, and caused it to behave unreliably. Rather than muck around with half-tested kernel patches or ifconfig settings, I slapped a $30 Whatevertheyhadontheshelf-3000 (read: common chipset that’s been debugged by a lot of people), and as far as I can tell, things are now working as they should. If the site stays up for a year, I guess we’ll know.

I also took the opportunity to add some memory. So whoo-hoo all around.

And while I’m at it, I should point out that FreeBSD is like a VW Bug: not the prettiest thing to look at, especially compared to various Apple or Linux offerings, but in a crunch it’s nigh-indestructible. Wanna run with a root partition that’s over 100% full? Sure thing. Boot a 7.2 kernel with a 8.0 /usr? No problem.

One thought on “Network Problems Fixed?

  1. Ethernet card weirdness? That’s pretty unusual. Was it some sort of snazzy card with a TCP offload engine?

    I never really got seriously into FreeBSD. I do embedded Linux for a living, that’s my typical development platform, although I’ve been known to set up OpenBSD servers. I always wanted to take some time to dig around in the FreeBSD kernel to see what it’s made of. I love tinkering with operating systems, but I just haven’t had the time to give FreeBSD the time it deserves.

  2. Was it some sort of snazzy card

    I never thought so. I always thought of it as the NIC that didn’t eat up a PCI slot because it came with the motherboard, and since it just sort of worked out of the box, it didn’t bother me.

    with a TCP offload engine?

    Apparently so. At least, I found that ifconfig allowed me to turn off checksum offloading. Unfortunately, that still left problems like dropping fragments on the floor.

    I just haven’t had the time to give FreeBSD the time it deserves.

    Maybe it’s because I’ve spent more time on FBSD than Linux, but it seems to me to be more the way a Unix ought to behave. That it, it trips me up less often with “who the hell thought that was a good idea?” events. You configure it with shell scripts and text files, as God intended. Third-party apps are built and maintained using a clever set of Makefiles, that sort of thing. Sometimes, when I want to upgrade Perl but don’t want to rebuild all of its dependent modules, I’ve been known to just edit their package definition files to point at the new version.

    Of course, I imagine you can do the same thing with various Linuces, so it’s partly a matter of education.

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