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RL (4) | Special files and drivers | Unix Manual Pages | :man


rl - "RealTek 8129/8139 Fast Ethernet device driver"


See Also


To compile support for the rl driver into your kernel, place the following lines in your kernel configuration file:

.Cd "device miibus"

.Cd "device rl"

Alternatively, to load the rl driver at boot time, place the following line in loader.conf(5):


The rl driver provides support for PCI Ethernet adapters and embedded controllers based on the RealTek 8129 and 8139 Fast Ethernet controller chips.

The RealTek 8129/8139 series controllers use bus master DMA but do not use a descriptor-based data transfer mechanism. The receiver uses a single fixed size ring buffer from which packets must be copied into mbufs. For transmission, there are only four outbound packet address registers which require all outgoing packets to be stored as contiguous buffers. Furthermore, outbound packet buffers must be longword aligned or else transmission will fail.

The 8129 differs from the 8139 in that the 8139 has an internal PHY which is controlled through special direct access registers whereas the 8129 uses an external PHY via an MII bus. The 8139 supports both 10 and 100Mbps speeds in either full or half duplex. The 8129 can support the same speeds and modes given an appropriate PHY chip.

Note: support for the 8139C+ chip is provided by the re(4) driver.

The rl driver supports the following media types:

autoselect Enable autoselection of the media type and options. This is only supported if the PHY chip attached to the RealTek controller supports NWAY autonegotiation. The user can manually override the autoselected mode by adding media options to the /etc/rc.conf file.
10baseT/UTP Set 10Mbps operation. The mediaopt option can also be used to select either full-duplex or half-duplex modes.
100baseTX Set 100Mbps (Fast Ethernet) operation. The mediaopt option can also be used to select either full-duplex or half-duplex modes.

The rl driver supports the following media options:

full-duplex Force full duplex operation
half-duplex Force half duplex operation.

Note that the 100baseTX media type is only available if supported by the adapter. For more information on configuring this device, see ifconfig(8).


Adapters supported by the rl driver include:

  • Accton "Cheetah" EN1207D (MPX 5030/5038; RealTek 8139 clone)
  • Allied Telesyn AT2550
  • Allied Telesyn AT2500TX
  • Belkin F5D5000
  • BUFFALO (Melco INC.) LPC-CB-CLX (CardBus)
  • Compaq HNE-300
  • CompUSA no-name 10/100 PCI Ethernet NIC
  • Corega FEther CB-TXD
  • Corega FEtherII CB-TXD
  • D-Link DFE-528TX
  • D-Link DFE-530TX+
  • D-Link DFE-538TX
  • D-Link DFE-690TXD
  • Edimax EP-4103DL CardBus
  • Encore ENL832-TX 10/100 M PCI
  • Farallon NetLINE 10/100 PCI
  • Genius GF100TXR
  • GigaFast Ethernet EE100-AXP
  • KTX-9130TX 10/100 Fast Ethernet
  • LevelOne FPC-0106TX
  • Longshine LCS-8038TX-R
  • NDC Communications NE100TX-E
  • Netronix Inc. EA-1210 NetEther 10/100
  • Nortel Networks 10/100BaseTX
  • OvisLink LEF-8129TX
  • OvisLink LEF-8139TX
  • Peppercon AG ROL-F
  • Planex FNW-3800-TX
  • SMC EZ Card 10/100 PCI 1211-TX


"rl%d: couldn’t map memory" A fatal initialization error has occurred.
"rl%d: couldn’t map interrupt" A fatal initialization error has occurred.
"rl%d: watchdog timeout" The device has stopped responding to the network, or there is a problem with the network connection (cable).
"rl%d: no memory for rx list" The driver failed to allocate an mbuf for the receiver ring.
"rl%d: no memory for tx list" The driver failed to allocate an mbuf for the transmitter ring when allocating a pad buffer or collapsing an mbuf chain into a cluster.
"rl%d: chip is in D3 power state -- setting to D0" This message applies only to adapters which support power management. Some operating systems place the controller in low power mode when shutting down, and some PCI BIOSes fail to bring the chip out of this state before configuring it. The controller loses all of its PCI configuration in the D3 state, so if the BIOS does not set it back to full power mode in time, it will not be able to configure it correctly. The driver tries to detect this condition and bring the adapter back to the D0 (full power) state, but this may not be enough to return the driver to a fully operational condition. If you see this message at boot time and the driver fails to attach the device as a network interface, you will have to perform second warm boot to have the device properly configured.

Note that this condition only occurs when warm booting from another operating system. If you power down your system prior to booting
.Fx , the card should be configured correctly.


arp(4), miibus(4), netintro(4), ng_ether(4), polling(4), ifconfig(8)




Created by Blin Media, 2008-2013