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NAME

     ndis — NDIS miniport driver wrapper

SYNOPSIS

     options NDISAPI
     device ndis
     device wlan

DESCRIPTION

     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 file.

     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.

DIAGNOSTICS

     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.

SEE ALSO

     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.

HISTORY

     The ndis device driver first appeared in FreeBSD 5.3.

AUTHORS

     The ndis driver was written by Bill Paul <wpaul@windriver.com>.