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Network Drivers

BlueField Windows support from the host-side is facilitated by the WinOF-2 driver. For more information on WinOF-2 (including installation), please refer to the WinOF-2 Documentation.

RShim Drivers

RShim drivers provide functionalities like resetting the Arm cores, pushing a bootstream image, as well as some networking and console functionalities.

Verifying RShim Drivers Installation

  1. Open the Device Manager when no drivers are installed to make sure a new PCIe device is available as below. 
  2. Run the installer to install all 3 drivers (MlxRshimBus.sys, MlxRshimCom.sys and MlxRshimEth.sys).
  3. Make sure the Bus driver created 2 child devices after the installation (Com port and the Ethernet adapter). 

At this time, PuTTY application or any other network utility can be used to communicate with DPU via Virtual Com Port or Virtual Ethernet Adapter (ssh). The Com Port can be used using the 9600 baud-rate and default settings. 

RShim drivers can be connect via PCIe (the drivers we are providing) or via USB (external connection) but not both at the same time. So when the bus driver detects that an external USB is already attached, it will not create the child virtual devices for data access. Access via PCIe is available once the USB connection is removed.

Accessing BlueField DPU From Host

The BlueField DPU can be accessed via PuTTY or any other network utility application to communicate via virtual COM or virtual Ethernet adapter. To use COM:

  1. Open Putty.
  2. Change connection type to Serial.
  3. Run the following command in order to know what to set the "Serial line" field to:

    C:\Users\username\Desktop> reg query HKLM\HARDWARE\DEVICEMAP\SERIALCOMM | findstr MlxRshim
    	\MlxRshim\COM3		REG-SZ		COM3

    In this case use COM3. This name can also be found via Device Manager under "Ports (Com & LPT)".

  4. Press Open and hit Enter. 

To access via BlueField management network adapter, configure an IP address as shown in the example below and run a ping test to confirm configuration.

RShim Ethernet Driver

The device does not support any type of stateful or stateless offloads. This is indicated to the Operating System accordingly when the driver loads. The MAC address is a pre-defined MAC address (CA-FE-01-CA-FE-02).  The following registry keys can be used to change basic settings such as MAC address.

Registry NameDescriptionValid Values


The size, in bytes, of the largest supported Jumbo Packet (an Ethernet frame that is greater than 1514 bytes) that the hardware can support.

1514 (default) - 2048


The network address of the device. The format for a MAC address is: XX-XX-XX-XX-XX-XX.

CA-FE-01-CA-FE-02 (default)


The number of receive descriptors used by the miniport adapter.

16 – 64 (Default)

Update the MAC address manually using registry key if there are more than one BlueField DPU in the system.

For instructions on how to find interface index in the registry (nn), please refer to section "Finding the Index Value of the Network Interface" in the WinOF-2 User Manual under Features Overview and Configuration > Configuring the Driver Registry Keys.

mlnxhpcRShim Bus Driver

This driver does all the read/write work to the hardware registers. User space application can send down IOCTL’s to restart the system on chip or to push a new BlueField boot stream image.

mlnxhpcRshimCmd Tool

mlnxhpcRshimCmd is a command line tool that enables the user to:

  • Restart the DPU.
  • Push a boot stream file (.bfb). A BFB file is a generated BlueField boot stream file that contains Linux operating system image that runs on the DPU. BFB files can be downloaded from the NVIDIA DOCA SDK webpage.


mlnxhpcRshimCmd -RestartSmartNic <Option> -BusNum <BusNum>


mlnxhpcRshimCmd -EnumDevices
mlnxhpcRshimCmd -PushImage c:\bin\MlnxBootImage.bfb -BusNum 11
mlnxhpcRshimCmd -RestartSmartNic 1 -BusNum 11

Detailed Usage

mlnxhpcRshimCmd -h

The BFB image can be either CentOS or Ubuntu. Ubuntu credentials are: ubuntu/ubuntu and for Centos credentials are: root/centos, IP address of RShim Ethernet component (called tmfifo_net0) on the BlueField side is by default. Please set IP address on the Windows side accordingly to be able to communicate via SSH.

BlueField UEFI System Boot Customizations during Installation

Bluefield's UEFI system boot options and more can be customized during the BFB Installation through the use of configuration parameters in the bf.cfg file. For further information on the bf.cfg file, refer to the BlueField Documentation.

To include the bf.cfg file into the BFB installation, append the file to BFB file as described below:

  1. Copy the BFB file to a local folder. For example: 

    Copy <path>\DOCA_1.4.0_BSP_3.9.2_Ubuntu_20.04-5.20220707.bfb c:\bf\MlnxBootImage.bfb
  2. Append the bf.cfg file into the BFB file.

    Cd c:\bf
    Copy /b MlnxBootImage.bfb + bf.cfg MlnxBootImage_with_bf_cfg.bfb
  3. Download the BFB image. 

    RshimCmd -PushImage c:\bf\MlnxBootImage_with_bf_cfg.bfb -BusNum 11

As the bf.cfg is intended for Linux OSes, it should be created according to Linux rules. For example, the lines of this text file should end in LF and not in CR/LF as accepted in Windows.

All the syntax should be as the accepted by the OS expects. For example, there should be no spaces in the middle of "set" statements: NET_RSHIM_MAC=00:1a:ca:ff:ff:05.

EventLogs and Driver Logging

All driver logging is part of the Mellanox-WinOF2-Kernel trace session that comes with the network drivers installation. The default location to the trace is at %SystemRoot%\system32\LogFiles\Mlnx\Mellanox-WinOF2-System.etl.

The following are the Event logs RShim drivers generate:

mlnxhpcRShim Bus Driver

Event IDSeverityMessage



RShim Bus driver loaded successfully.



Device successfully stopped.



The SmartNic adapter card seems to be stuck as the boot fifo data is not being drained.



Driver startup failed due to failure in creation of the child device.



Smartnic is in a bad state. Please restart smartnic and reload bus drivers. Please refer to user manual on how to restart smartnic.



Smartnic is in LiveFish mode.



Failed creating child virtual devices as a backend USB device is attached and accessing RShim FIFO. Please refer to user manual for more details.

mlnxhpcRShim Serial Driver

Event IDSeverityMessage



RShim Serial driver loaded successfully.



device successfully stopped.

mlnxhpcRShim Ethernet Driver

Event IDSeverityMessage



MAC Address read from registry is not supported. Please set valid unicast address.



device is successfully stopped.



value read from registry is invalid. Therefore use the default value.



SmartNic seems stuck as transmit packets are not being drained.



RShim Ethernet driver loaded successfully.

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