NDIS(4) BSD Kernel Interfaces Manual NDIS(4)NAME
ndis — NDIS miniport driver wrapper
The ndis driver is a wrapper designed to allow binary Windows® NDIS mini‐
port network drivers to be used with FreeBSD. The ndis driver is pro‐
vided 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 infrastruc‐
ture. The Windows® driver is essentially fooled into thinking it is run‐
ning on Windows®. Note that this means the ndis driver is only useful on
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 identi‐
fiers. 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 net‐
work 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 con‐
sistent 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 config‐
ured 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.
SEE ALSOaltq(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 ⟨firstname.lastname@example.org⟩.
BSD March 14, 2010 BSD