It’s a pretty common issue. Realtek devices are inexpensive an prolific but they’re flaky and not recommended by most. Coupled with pfsense, one can have a pretty solid lab if you can get them working reliably. I went down the path of building out a new lab with a gigabyte box as a pfsense one-arm-router. I paired it with a managed PoE switch running a few Ubiquiti APs so I could power and pull networks from some IoT devices I was researching.
Every time my nic was under load, my WAN interface would go down. Reloading the interface was a quick fix but it was one needing a more permanent fix.
This was the solution: https://forum.netgate.com/topic/135850/official-realtek-driver-binary-1-95-for-2-4-4-release/19
Unzip & Place “if_re.ko” file in the “/boot/kernel” folder
Ensure ownership and permissions on the if_re.ko file are:
- chown root:wheel if_re.ko
- chmod 0555 if_re.ko
Add this line to “/boot/loader.conf“:
Once you reboot, you can run kldstat to verify the driver is loaded. Most folks were having issues with “smart quotes” on their copy-pastes.
This solved all the stability issues I was experiencing in my lab.
I bought a silver ACEPC T11 for doing some lab work for $127 (link). It sports an Intel Cherry Trail Atom Z8350, quad-core CPU, 4GB of RAM, and 64GB emmc, and a dual-band 2.4ghz and 5ghz wireless card. I tried booting off the pfsense media and it kept hanging at
ppc0: cannot reserve I/O port range. After poking around, I ran across this article: https://forum.netgate.com/topic/109447/zotac-ci323-installation-controller-failures/16
I rebooted and selected
3. [Esc]ape to loader prompt on the boot menu. At the
OK prompt, I entered:
It booted right up and pfsense installed without any issues.
Next, I’ll be ripping it open and installing external wireless adapters and an SSD for storing pcaps.
Ubuntu 18.10 and Greenbone Security Assistant 7.0.3