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Tue, 30 May 2006
As distributed, FreeBSD for the AMD64 platform comes with a rather dodgy driver for the on-board nVidia nForce MCP NIC that appears on many motherboards for this CPU. In my case, the symptoms were trillions of device timeouts and weird unresponsiveness under Gnome and bizarre keyboard malfunctions—lost keystrokes and occasional cases of keys repeating hundreds or thousands of times.
Some research quickly established that these issues were well-known and that there was a revised version of if_nve.c that was supposed to address these concerns. Unfortunately, simply replacing that file with the updated version resulted in a kernel build failure, as other stuff was required. Since that other stuff was supposed to live in a directory that doesn’t even exist on my machine, I decided to try plan B.
Shigeaki Tagahira has developed a FreeBSD native driver, based on the OpenBSD driver. Today, I built that and patched my kernel with his ciphy patch for the Cicada PHY and am pleased to say that the odd behaviour I was seeing now seems to have been cured. This is great news.
And yes, this is a bit boring, but I wanted to record the essential data in case I blow away my installation and forget how to rescue it. Aren’t blogs wonderful?