This project is dedicated to the memory of Mausi, the cat I loved more than anybody else.
A few days before Christmas I started my latest project, a new driver for recent Intel onboard LAN controllers. My intention was not to replace hnak's AppleIntelE1000e.kext completely but to deliver best performance and stability on recent hardware. That's why I dropped support for a number of older NICs. Currently the driver supports:
6 and 7 Series
8 and 9 Series
100 Series (since V2.1.0d0)
200 Series (since V2.3.0d0)
300 Series (since V2.4.0d0)
400 Series (since V2.5.1d1)
Key Features of the Driver
Support for multisegment packets relieving the network stack of unnecessary copy operations when assembling packets for transmission.
No-copy receive and transmit. Only small packets are copied on reception because creating a copy is more efficient than allocating a new buffer.
TCP, UDP and IPv4 checksum offload (receive and transmit).
Support for TCP/IPv6 and UDP/IPv6 checksum offload.
Makes use of the chip's TCP Segmentation Offload (TSO) feature with IPv4 and IPv6 in order to reduce CPU load while sending large amounts of data (disabled due to hardware bugs).
Fully optimized for Sierra (64bit architecture) but should work with older 64bit versions of macOS too, provided you build from source with the appropriate SDK for the target OS.
Support for Energy Efficient Ethernet (EEE).
VLAN support is implemented but untested as I have no need for it.
The driver is published under GPLv2.
The driver has been tested successfully with I217V, I218V, I219V and 82579V under 10.9.5 and above.
The attached archive includes source code as well as a prebuilt binary (debug version) for Mavericks and newer versions of macOS.
There seem to be problems while using VMware with version 1.x.x of the driver. In case you are affected use version 2.0.0 or newer.
Could you add support of for...? Well, you are probably asking me to add support for one of the older NICs like the 82571/2/3/4L or 82583 and the answer will be no as I dropped support for these chips intentionally. They are broken and I lost more than 2 weeks trying to make it work on the 82574L without success. I was asked to add support for I210, I211 and I350 but as these chips have a completely different architecture, which isn't supported by the underlying Linux driver, this is impossible, sorry.
Does it work with Snow Leopard or 32 bit kernels? No and I have no plans to make a version for 32 bit kernels or anything older than Lion.
WoL from S5 doesn't work with this driver but under Windows it's working. Is this a driver bug? No it isn't, the driver is working as it should because OS X doesn't support WoL from S5.
Goto /S/L/E and delete AppleIntelE1000e.kext.
Recreate the kernel cache.
Open System Preferences and delete the corresponding network interface, e. g. en0.
Install the new driver and recreate the kernel cache. I recommend to use Kext Wizard or a similar utility for the installation.
Open System Preferences again, select Network and check if the new network interface has been created automatically or create it manually now.
Configure the interface.
Help - I'm getting kernel panics!
Well, before you start complaining about bugs after you upgraded macOS and ask me to publish a driver update, you should first try to resolve the issue on your own by cleaning the system caches.
As the driver uses macOS's private network driver interface, which is supposed to be used by Apple provided drivers only, you might run into problems after an OS update because the linker may fail to recognize that IONetworking.kext has been updated and that the driver needs to be linked against the new version (Apple provided drivers avoid this problem because they are always updated together with IONetworking.kext). As a result, the linking process produces garbage and the driver may call arbitrary code when trying to call functions from IONetworking.kext. This usually results in unpredicted behavior or a kernel panic. In order to recover from such a situation, you should clean the System Caches forcing the linker to recreate it's caches:
Delete all the files in /System/Library/Caches and it's subdirectories but leave the directories and the symbolic links intact. This is very important!
Recreate the kernel cache.
Make sure you have followed the installation instructions especially when you have issues with certain domains while the others are working fine.
Use the debug version to collect log data when trying to track down problems. The kernel log messages can be retrieved with "grep kernel /var/log/system.log" in Terminal. Starting from Sierra use "log show --predicate "processID == 0" --debug" in order to retrieve kernel logs. Include the log data when asking for support or giving feedback. I'm an engineer, not a clairvoyant.
Don't copy and paste large amounts of log data to your post. Create an archive with the log data and attach it to your post. In case you don't want to make your log data publicly accessible, contact me via PM and I will provide you a mail address to send it directly to me.
Check your BIOS settings. You might want to disable Network Boot and the UEFI Network Stack as these can interfere with the driver.
Double check that you have removed any AppleIntelE1000e.kext from your system because it could prevent the driver from working properly.
Delete the following files:
Verify your bootloader configuration, in particular the kernel flags. Avoid using npci=0x2000 or npci=0x3000.
In Terminal run netstat -s in order to display network statistics. Carefully examine the data for any unusual activity like a high number of packets with bad IP header checksums, etc.
In case auto-configuration of the link layer connection doesn't work it might be necessary to select the medium manually in System Preferences under Network for the interface.
Use Wireshark to create a packet dump in order to collect diagnostic information.
Keep in mind that there are many manufacturers of network equipment. Although Ethernet is an IEEE standard, different implementations may show different behavior causing incompatibilities. In case you are having trouble try a different switch or a different cable.
Version 2.5.0 (2019-10-15)
Reworked interrupt throttling code and added new configuration parameters.
Version 2.4.0 (2018-04-14)
Added support for 300 series versions of I219LM and I219V.
Updated underlying Linux source code.
Version 2.3.0 (2017-06-20)
Added support for 200 series versions of I219LM and I219V.
Version 2.2.0 (2016-09-23)
Disabled TSO to work around a hardware bug.
Version 2.1.0 (2016-05-24)
Added support for I219LM and I219V
Version 2.0.0 (2015-04-22)
First official release which is identical to 2.0.0d2 (only the version number has been changed).
Version 2.0.0d2 (2015-04-04)
Changed the tx descriptor write back policy for 82579, I217 and I218 to prevent random tx deadlocks.
Version 2.0.0d1 (2015-03-14)
Uses Apple's private driver interface introduced with 10.8.
Supports packet scheduling with QFQ
Solves the VMware issue.
Version 1.0.0d6 (2015-03-04)
Reworked TSO6 support to avoid problems with VMware.
Wake-on-LAN now working.
Version 1.0.0d5 (2015-02-27)
Reworked TSO4 support to eliminate the bug of 1.0.0d4.
Added some debug code in order to collect information about the VMware related issue.
Version 1.0.0d4 (2015-02-25)
Set total length field of the IP-header to zero for TSO4 operations.
Report EEE activation state in kernel log message when the link has been established.
Version 1.0.0d3 (2015-02-11)
Reworked media selection and EEE support (EEE is now activated when both link partners support it. It can be disabled selecting the medium manually).
Duplex setting for 10/100 MBit connections is now reported correctly.
The number of tx descriptors has been reduced from 2048 to 1024.
The code has been cleaned up and obsolete files have been removed.
Version 1.0.0d2 (2015-01-31)
First development release.
Getting the Driver
The source code can be found on GitHub: https://github.com/Mieze/IntelMausiEthernet
There is also a prebuilt binary for 10.11 and above in the download section: http://www.insanelymac.com/forum/files/file/396-intelmausiethernet/
Build from Source for 10.8
Register as a developer on Apple's developer website. A free membership is sufficient.
Download a copy of Xcode 5.1.1 and install it on your machine.
In the project select 10.8 as the "Base SDK" and the "Deployment Target".
Call "Archive" from the menu "Product" and save the built driver.
Thanks to RehabMan and Yung Raj for running tests and pointing me in the right direction while I was trying to fix TSO.
Special thanks to Yung Raj for motivating me when I was about to give up.