Posts Tagged ‘Broadcom’

Broadcom (tg3) and quirks in Linux

Saturday, June 2nd, 2007

Most modern servers use Broadcom network cards. The module is called tg3 and is known to have issues.

You can find in my blog several posts about weird problems with tg3. This post is about another one I’ve encountered only recently.

The server: Dell PowerEdge (PE) 830. Linux version: RedHat Advanced Server 4 (RHEL4) Update 4. Kernel version 2.6.9-42.ELsmp. Version of the tg3 module: 3.52-rh.

Problem: When the card is being activated (brought up), it looses link for about 5 seconds. Later the link reappears and everything is fine. Implication: You cannot run DHCP client (dhclient) with this card, as it looses the link, and the DHCP client will fail with "link not ready" error message.

Fixed IP address works well, although the cards still looses the link when its being activated.

Update – Netboot on RHEL x86 (32bit) with Broadcom (tg3) – no network

Sunday, August 27th, 2006

In my post just below, I have defined a set of tests to verify the possible cause of the tg3 problem. It had nothing to do with autoneg, and was fixed in RHEL 4 Update 4. That 32bit installer works correctly.

One last thing to test – rebuild the installer initrd, and replace tg3 module by one built from source (for example, HP’s tg3 drivers from the Proliant Support Pack) for this kernel. I wonder if it will work.

Netboot on RHEL x86 (32bit) with Broadcom (tg3) – no network

Thursday, August 24th, 2006

I have a PXE installation server setup, and it usually works quite well. I have tried to install a Tyan based system using this setup, but this time – RHEL4 U3 X86 and not the usual X86_64 system.

RH installer starts by asking few questions (language, keyboard, method of installation) and fails to obtain DHCP IP. Even setting manual IP results with no communication.

I got an idea from a friend and would try it today – since the 1Gb/s Broadcom is connected to 100Mb/s switch, I should try and disable the auto-negotiation, and set a predefined speed for the card. We’ll see how/if it works, and if it allows for the 32bit installer to work. The 64bit installer works fine, by the way.