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VX(4) Device Drivers Manual (i386) VX(4)


vx3Com EtherLink III / Fast EtherLink III (3c59x) Ethernet driver


To compile this driver into the kernel, place the following line in your kernel configuration file:

device vx

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



The vx driver is not present in FreeBSD 13.0 and later. See for more information.


The vx driver provides support for the 3Com “Vortex” chipset.

The medium selection can be influenced by the following link flags to the ifconfig(8) command:

Use the AUI port.
Use the BNC port.
Use the UTP port.


The vx driver supports the following cards:

  • 3Com 3c590 EtherLink III PCI
  • 3Com 3c595 Fast EtherLink III PCI in 10 Mbps mode


All other diagnostics indicate either a hardware problem or a bug in the driver.


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


The vx device driver first appeared in FreeBSD 2.1. It was derived from the ep driver, from which it inherits most of its limitations.


The vx device driver and this manual page were written by Fred Gray <>, based on the work of Herb Peyerl and with the assistance of numerous others.


Some early-revision 3c590 cards are defective and suffer from many receive overruns, which cause lost packets. The author has attempted to implement a test for it based on the information supplied by 3Com, but the test resulted mostly in spurious warnings.

The performance of this driver is somewhat limited by the fact that it uses only polled-mode I/O and does not make use of the bus-mastering capability of the cards.


The vx driver is known not to reset the adapter correctly following a warm boot on some systems.

The vx driver has not been exhaustively tested with all the models of cards that it claims to support.

October 24, 2018 Debian