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[Xen-users] forcing HVM to specific network model with PV-aware FreeBSD DomU


For quite a while, I've been running several pfSense firewall DomUs up
to version 2.15 on Xen. Since the FreeBSD kernel 8.3 of pfSense wasn't
xen-aware the model e1000 was used, and I had all networking features as
expected though performance was degraded.

When the new pfSense 2.2 was introduced, the kernel changed to FreeBSD
10.1 which now (finally!) includes a xen netfront driver, promising a
vastly improved performance. Unfortunately, its implementation is quite
- offloading issues, which can be worked around by disabling tx
offloading using a custom vif-script
- VLANs are not supported. Can be achieved with multiple bridges in
Dom0, if 8 are enough. If you need more, you're out of luck.
- ALTQ not supported. No known workaround, preventing any traffic shaping.

On the FreeBSD side, it is said that the xn xen netfront driver can't be
disabled at boot time, unless a custom kernel is built (certainly not
desirable regarding security updates), so:

How can I disable xen-netback drivers for a specific HVM? It should
respect the "model=e1000" setting (or maybe virtio?). I'm running Xen
4.4 on Debian.


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