Subject: Re: Including NDIS in NetBSD
To: Frank van der Linden <>
From: Alan Ritter <>
List: tech-kern
Date: 12/29/2005 20:37:53
On Thursday 29 December 2005 02:03 am, Frank van der Linden wrote:

>> It'll be great to see this supported, thanks for doing the work!

Thanks!  Hopefully it will end up being usefull to people.

>> Some laptops feature builtin wireless that is only supported by Windows
>> (like the Broadcome one), so sometimes the ndis wrapper is the only way
>> to go.

Yes it would be nice if every card could be supported directly, but
unfortunately this isn't the case.

>> When you talk about 64bit systems, do you mean 64bit windows x64 drivers
>> on amd64, or 32bit windows drivers on amd64 systems? I've heard that
>> 64bit windows drivers use SSE instructions, which we don't support
>> in the kernel.

Ok, that's good to know.  I don't have any experience at all with 64 bit
processors, and I am by no means an expert in x86 architecture, but I think
that FreeBSD has support for 64bit windows x64 drivers.  Perhaps they allow
kernel-level code to execute SSE instructions?  Would the use of these
instructions cause too much overhead to be used in the kernel (saving off
processor context, then restoring)?

There may also need to be a few changes to get 32 bit drivers
working on amd64 systems, as I've noticed there are a few places in the
FreeBSD code where they do this sort of thing:
#ifdef __amd64__

Also, I'm thinking that right now my highest priority should probably be to
get PCMCIA/Cardbus working as there seem to be a lot of these cards for whi=
open source device drivers can't be written.  64 bit support does seem
important also.