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ndis — NDIS miniport driver wrapper
The ndis driver is a wrapper designed to allow binary Windows® NDIS
miniport network drivers to be used with FreeBSD. The ndis driver is
provided in source code form and must be combined with the Windows®
driver supplied with your network adapter. The ndis driver uses the
ndisapi kernel subsystem to relocate and link the Windows® binary so that
it can be used in conjunction with native code. The ndisapi subsystem
provides an interface between the NDIS API and the FreeBSD networking
infrastructure. The Windows® driver is essentially fooled into thinking
it is running on Windows®. Note that this means the ndis driver is only
useful on x86 machines.
To build a functional driver, the user must have a copy of the driver
distribution media for his or her card. From this distribution, the user
must extract two files: the .SYS file containing the driver binary code,
and its companion .INF file, which contains the definitions for driver-
specific registry keys and other installation data such as device
identifiers. These two files can be converted into a kernel module file
using the ndisgen(8) utility. This file contains a binary image of the
driver plus registry key data. When the ndis driver loads, it will
create sysctl(3) nodes for each registry key extracted from the .INF
The ndis driver is designed to support mainly Ethernet and wireless
network devices with PCI, PCMCIA and USB bus attachments. (Cardbus
devices are also supported as a subset of PCI.) It can support many
different media types and speeds. One limitation however, is that there
is no consistent way to learn if an Ethernet device is operating in full
or half duplex mode. The NDIS API allows for a generic means for
determining link state and speed, but not the duplex setting. There may
be driver-specific registry keys to control the media setting which can
be configured via the sysctl(8) command.
ndis%d: watchdog timeout A packet was queued for transmission and a
transmit command was issued, however the device failed to acknowledge the
transmission before a timeout expired.
altq(4), arp(4), netintro(4), ng_ether(4), ifconfig(8), ndis_events(8),
ndiscvt(8), ndisgen(8), wpa_supplicant(8)
NDIS 5.1 specification, http://www.microsoft.com.
The ndis device driver first appeared in FreeBSD 5.3.
The ndis driver was written by Bill Paul ⟨email@example.com⟩.