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@jovimon
Last active April 26, 2024 17:59
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compile realtek network driver for pfsense 2.4.x

How to compile and install latest realtek network driver in pfSense 2.4.x (FreeBSD 11.1)

  1. Download FreeBSD 11.1 VMDK and create a VM with it as HDD.

  2. Get FreeBSD source tree for your exact FreeBSD version and uncompress it to /usr/src:

    fetch -o /tmp ftp://ftp.freebsd.org/pub/`uname -s`/releases/`uname -m`/`uname -r | cut -d'-' -f1,2`/src.txz
    tar -C / -xvf /tmp/src.txz
    
  3. Download latest Realtek network driver (you need to input an email address).

  4. Uncompress driver:

    tar xvzf 0007-rtl_bsd_drv_v194.01.tgz
    
  5. Make driver:

    cd rtl_bsd_drv_v194.01
    make
    
    1. If the last command fails, change the following line in file if_re.c

      From: #include <dev/re/if_rereg.h>

      To: #include "if_rereg.h"

  6. Copy the file if_re.ko to the /boot/kernel folder in pfSense device.

    scp if_re.ko root@<pfSense device IP>:/boot/kernel

  7. Change file permissions in if_re.ko file accessing through SSH to pfSense.

    chmod 555 /boot/kernel/if_re.ko

  8. Modify /boot/loader.conf.local file and add the following line at the end of the file: if_re_load="YES"

    • Through console: vi /boot/loader.conf.local
    • Through web: Diagnostics > Edit File and click Load. When finished editing click Save.
  9. Reboot pfSense.

  10. After restart, verify if module is installed through ssh with kldstat. Example execution:

    [2.4.2-RELEASE][root@pfSense.local]/root: kldstat
        Id Refs Address            Size     Name
         1    7 0xffffffff80200000 2c3ea98  kernel
         2    1 0xffffffff82e3f000 80900    if_re.ko
         3    1 0xffffffff83021000 46c6     cryptodev.ko
    

Based on:

@jddonovan
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Just as a FYI, the driver is available as a pfsense package. Look for realtek-re-kmod. Might be behind Realtek source or freebsd-freshports though. Current pfsense package version is realtek-re-kmod-v196.04_2, freshports version is _3.

@jovimon
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jovimon commented Sep 6, 2021

Hello @jddonovan, thank you very much for your find!
I have not tested it, but for everyone else, you have to enter the shell (through SSH or Diagnostics > Command Prompt) and issue this command: pgk search realtek-re-kmod.
Then, issue this command pkg install realtek-re-kmod-<version> with the version number returned in the previous command.

@chris-topher
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getting a sysdir.mk error that I have no clue about

chris@freebsd:~/scrap/rtl_bsd_drv_v198.00 $ make
make: "/usr/share/mk/bsd.sysdir.mk" line 17: Unable to locate the kernel source tree. Set SYSDIR to override.

make: stopped in /home/chris/scrap/rtl_bsd_drv_v198.00

any thoughts?

@ygaeon
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ygaeon commented Jun 3, 2023

@chris-topher .. the /usr/src existed on my image so can't help you there.
Perhaps try a search? :-)

@Hoto-Cocoa
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For future users:
You can just search package using this command: pkg search realtek-re-kmod, and this output will like to this:

realtek-re-kmod-198.00_3       Kernel driver for Realtek PCIe Ethernet Controllers

Then you can install using following command: pkg install realtek-re-kmod-198.00_3

And follow package's message.

In my case, Realtek provided source is broken to build in FreeBSD 14.

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