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Linux Base Driver for 10 Gigabit PCI Express Intel(R) Network Connection
March 10, 2009
- In This Release
- Identifying Your Adapter
- Building and Installation
- Additional Configurations
- Support
In This Release
This file describes the ixgbe Linux Base Driver for the 10 Gigabit PCI
Express Intel(R) Network Connection. This driver includes support for
Itanium(R)2-based systems.
For questions related to hardware requirements, refer to the documentation
supplied with your 10 Gigabit adapter. All hardware requirements listed apply
to use with Linux.
The following features are available in this kernel:
- Native VLANs
- Channel Bonding (teaming)
- Generic Receive Offload
- Data Center Bridging
Channel Bonding documentation can be found in the Linux kernel source:
Ethtool, lspci, and ifconfig can be used to display device and driver
specific information.
Identifying Your Adapter
This driver supports devices based on the 82598 controller and the 82599
For specific information on identifying which adapter you have, please visit:
Building and Installation
select m for "Intel(R) 10GbE PCI Express adapters support" located at:
-> Device Drivers
-> Network device support (NETDEVICES [=y])
-> Ethernet (10000 Mbit) (NETDEV_10000 [=y])
1. make modules & make modules_install
2. Load the module:
# modprobe ixgbe
The insmod command can be used if the full
path to the driver module is specified. For example:
insmod /lib/modules/<KERNEL VERSION>/kernel/drivers/net/ixgbe/ixgbe.ko
With 2.6 based kernels also make sure that older ixgbe drivers are
removed from the kernel, before loading the new module:
rmmod ixgbe; modprobe ixgbe
3. Assign an IP address to the interface by entering the following, where
x is the interface number:
ifconfig ethx <IP_address>
4. Verify that the interface works. Enter the following, where <IP_address>
is the IP address for another machine on the same subnet as the interface
that is being tested:
ping <IP_address>
Additional Configurations
Viewing Link Messages
Link messages will not be displayed to the console if the distribution is
restricting system messages. In order to see network driver link messages on
your console, set dmesg to eight by entering the following:
dmesg -n 8
NOTE: This setting is not saved across reboots.
Jumbo Frames
The driver supports Jumbo Frames for all adapters. Jumbo Frames support is
enabled by changing the MTU to a value larger than the default of 1500.
The maximum value for the MTU is 16110. Use the ifconfig command to
increase the MTU size. For example:
ifconfig ethx mtu 9000 up
The maximum MTU setting for Jumbo Frames is 16110. This value coincides
with the maximum Jumbo Frames size of 16128.
Generic Receive Offload, aka GRO
The driver supports the in-kernel software implementation of GRO. GRO has
shown that by coalescing Rx traffic into larger chunks of data, CPU
utilization can be significantly reduced when under large Rx load. GRO is an
evolution of the previously-used LRO interface. GRO is able to coalesce
other protocols besides TCP. It's also safe to use with configurations that
are problematic for LRO, namely bridging and iSCSI.
GRO is enabled by default in the driver. Future versions of ethtool will
support disabling and re-enabling GRO on the fly.
Data Center Bridging, aka DCB
DCB is a configuration Quality of Service implementation in hardware.
It uses the VLAN priority tag (802.1p) to filter traffic. That means
that there are 8 different priorities that traffic can be filtered into.
It also enables priority flow control which can limit or eliminate the
number of dropped packets during network stress. Bandwidth can be
allocated to each of these priorities, which is enforced at the hardware
To enable DCB support in ixgbe, you must enable the DCB netlink layer to
allow the userspace tools (see below) to communicate with the driver.
This can be found in the kernel configuration here:
-> Networking support
-> Networking options
-> Data Center Bridging support
Once this is selected, DCB support must be selected for ixgbe. This can
be found here:
-> Device Drivers
-> Network device support (NETDEVICES [=y])
-> Ethernet (10000 Mbit) (NETDEV_10000 [=y])
-> Intel(R) 10GbE PCI Express adapters support
-> Data Center Bridging (DCB) Support
After these options are selected, you must rebuild your kernel and your
In order to use DCB, userspace tools must be downloaded and installed.
The dcbd tools can be found at:
The driver utilizes the ethtool interface for driver configuration and
diagnostics, as well as displaying statistical information. Ethtool
version 3.0 or later is required for this functionality.
The latest release of ethtool can be found from
NAPI (Rx polling mode) is supported in the ixgbe driver. NAPI is enabled
by default in the driver.
See for more information on NAPI.
For general information, go to the Intel support website at:
or the Intel Wired Networking project hosted by Sourceforge at:
If an issue is identified with the released source code on the supported
kernel with a supported adapter, email the specific information related
to the issue to