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I have a CentOS 5.6 linux host running two Windows Server 2008 R2 VMs in Xen. The problem I'm having is the NIC card in any VM shows up as 100Mbps and not 1000Mbps. I would like to be able to give the VM a gigabit nic card. One of the VMs is a Windows file server and requires at least a gigabit connection to perform well.

tl;dr how do i create a gigabit NIC interface for a xen vm?

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1 Answer 1

up vote 1 down vote accepted

Step 1.

Use a better NIC model.

A recommended one is:

vif = [ '<your current options>.., model=e1000']

Step 2. If step 1 doesn't give you enough performance, install the GPLPV drivers.

Remove the model line and make sure that you don't have an ioemu option

vif = [ '<your current options without ioemu option>']

Signed GPLPV drivers are available here:

For more information on the GPL PV drivers see:

Step 3.

For a detailed guide of improving network throughput see:

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