Network Adapter Feature Support in RHEL

Updated -

The following tables list network features that are supported in some of the most commonly used Red Hat Enterprise Linux network drivers. The cells display the version of Red Hat Enterprise Linux where a feature was enabled for a particular driver and the feature's full support or tech preview1 status, or they display an "x" if the feature is not supported by the listed driver. Fully supported items list only the update release of RHEL where the feature was enabled. Tech preview items include "(TP)" in the cell. When a feature transitions from tech preview to fully supported status, the "(TP)" will be removed and the fully supported update release will be listed instead.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7

Vendor Driver Driver Introduced SR-IOV2 Time Stamping Capabilities3 Hardware Offload for Network Overlays4 Busy Poll Sockets5 Byte Queue Limits6
Broadcom tg3 7.0 x 7.0 - HW/SW x x 7.0
Chelsio cxgb3 7.0 x x x x x
cxgb4/cxgb4vf 7.0 7.0 (TP) x x x x
Cisco enic 7.0 7.0 (TP) x x 7.1 x
usnic 7.1 (TP) x x x x x
Emulex be2net 7.0 7.0 x 7.1 7.0 x
ocrdma 7.0 x x x x x
Intel e1000e 7.0 x 7.0 - HW/SW x x 7.0
igb/igbvf 7.0 7.0 7.0 - HW/SW x x 7.0
ixgbe/ixgbevf 7.0 7.0 7.0 - HW/SW x 7.0 7.0
i40e/i40evf 7.0 (TP) 7.0 (TP) 7.0 - HW/SW x x 7.0
Mellanox mlx4_en 7.0 7.0 (TP) 7.0 - HW 7.0 7.0 7.0
mlx4_ib 7.0 7.0 (TP) x x x x
mlx5 7.0 x x x x x
Myricom myri10e 7.0 x x x 7.0 x
Qlogic bna 7.0 x x x x x
bnx2 7.0 x x x x 7.0
bnx2x 7.0 7.0 7.0 - SW 7.0 7.0 7.0
qlge 7.0 x x x x x
qlcnic 7.0 7.0 (TP) x x x x
Solarflare sfc 7.0 x 7.0 - HW x x 7.0

Legend
7.x = The update release of RHEL 7 where the feature was introduced
TP = Feature is in tech preview (not for use in production environments)
x = feature not present

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6

Vendor Driver Driver Introduced SR-IOV7 Time Stamping Capabilities8 Busy Poll Sockets5
Broadcom tg3 6.0 x 6.5 - HW/SW x
Chelsio cxgb3 6.0 x x x
cxgb4/cxgb4vf 6.0 6.4 (TP) x x
Cisco enic 6.0 6.3 (TP) x x
usnic 6.6 x x x
Emulex be2net 6.0 6.4 x 6.6
ocrdma 6.5 x x x
Intel e1000e 6.0 x 6.5 - HW/SW x
igb/igbvf 6.0 6.0 6.5 - HW/SW x
ixgbe/ixgbevf 6.0 6.0 6.4 - HW/SW 6.6
i40e/i40evf 6.6 (TP) 6.6 (TP) 6.6 - HW/SW x
Mellanox mlx4_en 6.0 6.5 (TP) 6.5 - HW 6.6
mlx4_ib 6.0 6.5 (TP) x x
mlx5 6.6 x x x
Myricom myri10e 6.0 x x x
Qlogic bna 6.1 x x x
bnx2 6.0 x x x
bnx2x 6.0 6.5 6.5 - SW 6.6
qlge 6.0 x x x
qlcnic 6.1 6.5 (TP) x x
Solarflare sfc 6.0 x 6.5 - HW x

Legend
6.x = The update release of RHEL 6 where the feature was introduced
TP = Feature is in tech preview (not for use in production environments)
x = feature not present


  1. Tech preview items may not work entirely as expected and should not be used in production environments. For more information on Red Hat technology previews, see https://access.redhat.com/support/offerings/techpreview/

  2. See the SR-IOV section of the RHEL 7 Virtualization Deployment and Administration Guide for more information. 

  3. See the PTP section of the RHEL 7 System Administrators Guide for more information. 

  4. An overlay network is simply a computer network which is built on top of another network. Overlay networking technologies, such as virtual extensible LAN (VXLAN) and network virtualization using generic routing (NVGRE), allow dynamic provisioning of network segments for elastic computing environments. The added flexibility comes at a cost, due to the additional processing overhead for encapsulation and de-encapsulation of packets. This consumes both CPU resources and degrades network performance, especially for high speed connections. By introducing hardware offloading capabilities that can be found in some of today’s modern NICs, the added overhead for packet processing can be offloaded to the NIC hardware, resulting in improved CPU utilization and higher throughput. 

  5. Busy poll sockets (a.k.a. low-latency sockets) are a software implementation that reduces networking latency and jitter within the kernel. This implementation makes it easy for applications to poll for new packets directly in the network driver which speeds up packets moving into the network stack. Applications that are sensitive to unpredictable latency benefit from the top-down, busy-wait polling method that replaces interrupts for incoming packets. 

  6. Byte queue limits provide a configurable limit to how much packet data can accumulate in the transmission queue of a network device. The purpose of the limit is to reduce latency caused by excessive queuing in hardware (buffer bloat) without lowering overall throughput. 

  7. See the SR-IOV section of the RHEL 6 Virtualization Administration Guide for more information. 

  8. See the PTP section of the RHEL 6 Deployment Guide for more information. 

1 Comments

I would need an updated version for current and next release (7.3). Then how do I now which driver supports which card?