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I am using CentOS7 7.5.1804. I have a Intel 82599 based 10gig SFP+ card. When I try my SFP's I get:

failed to load because an unsupported SFP+ or QSFP module type was detected.

I tried everything I found online[1] including adding to the kernel options:

ixgbe.allow_unsupported_sfp=1

I also tried

modprobe ixgbe allow_unsupported_sfp=1

In fact when afterwards if I did modinfo -p ixgbe I got back:

[root@codd-b01 ~]# modprobe ixgbe 
[root@codd-b01 ~]# modinfo -p ixgbe
max_vfs:Maximum number of virtual functions to allocate per physical function - default is zero and maximum value is 63 (uint)
allow_unsupported_sfp:Allow unsupported and untested SFP+ modules on 82599-based adapters (uint)
debug:Debug level (0=none,...,16=all) (int)
[root@codd-b01 ~]#

Below you can see all the steps including showing that Linux wont allow the SFP AFTER I unloaded and reloaded the module.

[root@codd-b01 ~]# dmesg | grep SFP
[    8.981009] ixgbe 0000:5f:00.0: failed to load because an unsupported SFP+ or QSFP module type was detected.
[    8.994928] ixgbe 0000:5f:00.1: failed to load because an unsupported SFP+ or QSFP module type was detected.
[root@codd-b01 ~]# modprobe -r ixgbe 
[root@codd-b01 ~]# modprobe ixgbe 
[root@codd-b01 ~]# modinfo -p ixgbe
max_vfs:Maximum number of virtual functions to allocate per physical function - default is zero and maximum value is 63 (uint)
allow_unsupported_sfp:Allow unsupported and untested SFP+ modules on 82599-based adapters (uint)
debug:Debug level (0=none,...,16=all) (int)

[root@codd-b01 ~]# dmesg | grep SFP
[    8.981009] ixgbe 0000:5f:00.0: failed to load because an unsupported SFP+ or QSFP module type was detected.
[    8.994928] ixgbe 0000:5f:00.1: failed to load because an unsupported SFP+ or QSFP module type was detected.
[ 6324.524966] ixgbe 0000:5f:00.0: failed to load because an unsupported SFP+ or QSFP module type was detected.
[ 6324.538955] ixgbe 0000:5f:00.1: failed to load because an unsupported SFP+ or QSFP module type was detected.
[root@codd-b01 ~]#

The best I found was [2] but I don't have a RHEL subscription.

[1] For instance https://ahelpme.com/linux/kernel/missing-network-interface-10g-intel-x520-with-error-failed-to-load-because-of-unsupported-sfp/

[2] https://access.redhat.com/solutions/275333

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It turns out there was some weird issue with the firmware on one side of the optics (I was using a DAC) cable. If it was switched around it would work.

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What brand is your SFP+ module? Intel NIC is supposed to recognize Intel's transceiver. If you use third party's module that programmed Intel's code in EEPROM, that should be fine.

Have you ever thought about DAC cables? It is a direct attache cable with SFP+ connectors at both ends. If you use DAC cable in Intel' NIC, it will not read EEPROM not like transceiver.

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