4.5 Networking and serial devices

4.5.1. Which network cards does FreeBSD support?
4.5.2. Does FreeBSD support software modems, such as Winmodems?
4.5.3. Is there a native driver for the Broadcom 43xx cards?
4.5.4. Which multi-port serial cards are supported by FreeBSD?
4.5.5. How do I get the boot: prompt to show on the serial console?

4.5.1. Which network cards does FreeBSD support?

See the Hardware Notes supplied with each release of FreeBSD for a more complete list.

4.5.2. Does FreeBSD support software modems, such as Winmodems?

FreeBSD supports many software modems via add-on software. The comms/ltmdm port adds support for modems based on the very popular Lucent LT chipset. The comms/mwavem port supports the modem in IBM Thinkpad 600 and 700 laptops.

You cannot install FreeBSD via a software modem; this software must be installed after the OS is installed.

4.5.3. Is there a native driver for the Broadcom 43xx cards?

No, and there is not likely to be.

Broadcom refuses to publically release programming information for their wireless chipsets, most likely because they use software controlled radios. In order to get FCC type acceptance for their parts, they have to ensure that users cannot arbitrarily set things like operating frequencies, modulation parameters and power output. But without knowing how to program the chipsets, it is nearly impossible to write a driver.

4.5.4. Which multi-port serial cards are supported by FreeBSD?

There is a list of these in the Miscellaneous devices section of the handbook.

Some unnamed clone cards have also been known to work, especially those that claim to be AST compatible.

Check the sio(4) manual page to get more information on configuring such cards.

4.5.5. How do I get the boot: prompt to show on the serial console?

  • Build a kernel with options COMCONSOLE.

  • Create /boot.config and place -P as the only text in the file.

  • Unplug the keyboard from the system.

  • See /usr/src/sys/i386/boot/biosboot/README.serial for information.

This, and other documents, can be downloaded from ftp://ftp.FreeBSD.org/pub/FreeBSD/doc/.

For questions about FreeBSD, read the documentation before contacting <questions@FreeBSD.org>.
For questions about this documentation, e-mail <doc@FreeBSD.org>.