FreeBSD Is Looking To Drop Many Of Its 10/100 Ethernet Drivers
Written by Michael Larabel in BSD on 4 October 2018 at 03:21 PM EDT. 33 Comments
BSD --
FreeBSD is looking to deprecate "most" of their 10/100 Ethernet drivers in FreeBSD 12 so that they can be dropped entirely in FreeBSD 13, but not everyone wants to see these older networking drivers dismissed.

FreeBSD kernel developers want to drop most of their in-kernel 10/100 Ethernet drivers due to the maintenance burden involved and they just being burdensome to keep up as they look to further enhance their networking stack.

The current list of their networking drivers that would be dropped include ae, bfe, bm, cs, dme, ed, ep, ex, fe, pcn, rl, sf, smc, sn, ste, tl, tx, txp, vx, wb, and xe. A few drivers would be kept for popular hardware that is still being used today, well supported still, and is keeping up with current FreeBSD networking interfaces. That initial list includes dc, ffec, fxpl, hme, le, sis, vr, and xl.


This call for deprecating most of their 10/100 Ethernet drivers was made on the FreeBSD mailing list. Of course, not everyone is happy about this and some are objecting to a few of the drivers proposed for removal... Most of the objections are from hardware still being used by individuals/organizations or fundamentally preferring FreeBSD for its long-time hardware support. We'll see what happens for the FreeBSD 12 deprecation period and what ultimately gets dropped for FreeBSD 13.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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