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  1. #1
    Untanglit
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    Default NG really slows down - how to debug?

    I am testing out NG and have installed it on old hardware that I had lying around: Dell Inspiron 537 (2 core, 2 GB) and a USB gigabit Ethernet dongle. Have used this setup to test out pfSense for a few days without any issue. Now I am testing out Untangle NG on this setup. Everything seems fine, but a couple of times in the first day of testing the web interface really slowed down and the box throughput became very slow. The first time this happened I rebooted. The second time I it just got better on its own after a few minutes. Other than these two slow episodes everything is very snappy and the throughput is limited by the built-in 100mbs Ethernet port.

    Is there any way to debug this and find out what is causing these episodes of sluggishness?

  2. #2
    Untangle Ninja sky-knight's Avatar
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    Default

    Step 1... take hold of USB NIC
    Step 2... rip it out
    Step 3... set it on fire
    Step 4... Replace it with a real NIC
    Step 5... Profit!
    Rob Sandling, BS:SWE, MCP
    NexgenAppliances.com
    Phone: 866-794-8879 x201
    Email: support@nexgenappliances.com

  3. #3
    Untanglit
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    Default

    I was afraid of that answer. Have USB NICs caused lost of problems in the past?

    My plan was to test without spending any money. Once I find a firewall that I like then I would get hardware to support it. I know I have some ancient NIC card somewhere in my pile of IT junk in the garage but I just have to do some archeology to find it...

  4. #4
    Untangler jcoffin's Avatar
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    Default

    USB NIC are not supported and have broken with a few of the releases. We highly recommend NOT using them.
    Attention: Support and help on the Untangle Forums is provided by
    volunteers and community members like yourself.
    If you need Untangle support please call or email support@untangle.com

  5. #5
    Untangler
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    Default

    It's true. technically you can use USB NIC, but please don't. story of mine. Have intermittent issue of either slowdown or hanging using a USB nic. Have moved to a laptop and using an expresscard ethernet, all of the issue are gone. Now here's the kicker.

    USB and expresscard ethernet have the same chipset!

  6. #6
    Untanglit
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    Default

    That's a bummer because it basically eliminates the use laptops to run NG due to them only having one built-in NIC at most. Are there any other solutions for laptops?

  7. #7
    Untanglit
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    Default

    I have not seen ExpressCard in years. Can you still get a laptop that with that feature?

  8. #8
    Untangler
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    Default

    Hi Rumboogy,
    It's certainly possible to use a laptop for NG. Mine has 2 Nics. the built-in one and the expresscard NIC. Because it's a laptop, bonus is you have like built in UPS when there is a brownout.

  9. #9
    Untangle Ninja sky-knight's Avatar
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    USB NICs are... well USB!

    If it's a USBv3 NIC AND the drivers are all kosher in Debian, then it might work. BUT most of them simply aren't. Especially if you're using stuff out of the scrap bin you're using a USB 2.0 or older interface. The problem here, is the USB bus itself requires extensive CPU load simply to operate. Then you have the load of the emulated interface itself... and all of that is on top of what Untangle is doing. One of USBv3's upgrades is possible CPU offloading, but the USB device has to support that... so more complexity.

    Essentially, you're setting yourself up to fail under any real load, because you have all these critical components competing over system resources, and while they compete your system simply shows a high load and cries.

    The only fix? Use a better bus... that means getting off USB entirely, and getting at the PCIe lanes directly. How you do that typically means using a PCIe card, if the laptop has a mini-pcie slot you might be able to use that... but not all of those slots are useful beyond specific wireless interfaces, or in some cases storage. You're at the mercy of whatever proprietary mess the laptop's manufacturer foisted on you.

    Again this isn't about the NIC chipset, though that's another load concern in a different area... it's about how that NIC chipset actually gets to the CPU. How many hoops are between your peripherals and your CPU? The more you have, the worse Untangle is going to run. Because this is a router or a bridge, not a little light load of web traffic.

    TLDR, don't use USB NICs, they'll make you cry!
    Last edited by sky-knight; 09-08-2020 at 01:30 PM.
    Rob Sandling, BS:SWE, MCP
    NexgenAppliances.com
    Phone: 866-794-8879 x201
    Email: support@nexgenappliances.com

  10. #10
    Untanglit
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    Default

    Its a Plugable USB 3.0 Gigabit Ethernet Adapter (model USB3-E1000) plugged into a USB 2.0 port on the PC.

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