Gigabit Ethernet with FreeBSD

This page contains information on using FreeBSD with the Packet Engines "Yellowfin" G-NIC Gigabit ethernet adapter. The master copy resides on this SCL WWW server.

A Linux driver, written by Donald Becker at CESDIS is also available for this device. Donald's Linux driver page served as the template for this page.

Driver Availability

The driver and support file for the Packet Engines "Yellowfin" G-NIC adapter is available from this web page. It is designed for version 2.2.2 of FreeBSD.

This version currently has a problem where it will hang under some circumstances involving streaming operations and require that the interface be restarted. The problem is being investigated, and we hope to have a fixed version in the near future.

This driver was written by Chris Csanady to support the Pentium Pro Cluster Project at the SCL.


Installing the driver is a fairly trivial task.

First, you will need to copy the driver and support file to /sys/pci. You will also have to add the following line to /sys/conf/files:

	"pci/if_yfg.c optional yfg device-driver"

Once you have the files in place, you need to configure a new kernel with the following device line included:

	"device yfg0"


This is an initial release of the driver, with functionality rather than ultimate performance being the goal. Despite that disclaimer, performance is always an issue. The current measured performance as of July 7, 1997 using pre-production boards is 19.662 MB/sec (157 Mbps). The development and test machines were:



Thanks to Kim Stearns for providing the initial pair of Yellowfin cards and facilitating the NDA (Non-Disclosure Agreement) that allowed disclosing the device driver.

Contact: Steve Elbert +1-515-294-1307
The URL for this document is