making progress on 6500 ethernet - need advice
jeglin at 4pi.com
Sat Feb 13 16:07:28 EST 1999
I'm not getting much interest on the linuxppc-user list, so I thought
I'd try here. I've had this ethernet problem ever since about
2.1.125, before which I did not try to run ethernet.
My PowerMac 6500, running 8.5.1, with a Farallon 10BT 21041-based
ethernet card installed, stock IDE harddrive with one Mac HFS
partition and the rest partitioned/formatted in the usual way for
Linux, has had ethernet problems (with Linux only) for a long time
now. The symptoms are listed at the end of this post.
Some of you have been kind enough to e-mail suggestions, but nothing
has worked. However, I would like to report a significant result and
hope that those brighter than me can suggest a strategy for closing
this out once and for all.
I did a straight side by side comparison with the Samba
linux-pmac-2.1.1 and the linux.cs.nmt.edu linux-vger-2.2.0 kernels.
I compiled each according to:
make config (used return key to select every default value)
and ran each kernel under identical conditions. Bottom line:
linux-pmac-2.2.1 compiled and ethernet works
linux-vger-2.2.0 compiled and ethernet does not work
I seriously doubt the 2.2.0->2.2.1 changes are the difference,
because I have also compiled the kernel.org 2.2.1 and it failed as
Instead, my main suspicion over time has been the config file, and
with such a clear-cut example of success and failure, I felt
confident about comparing .config files for the first time ever.
I'm afraid I'm very disappointed.
My generated .config file for linux-pmac-2.2.1 and linux-vger-2.2.0
differ in only  minor places:
1) The linux-pmac-2.2.1 .config contains a commented out
"# CONFIG_PC_KEYBOARD is not set" statement while the
linux-vger-2.2.0 does not reference it.
2) The linux-pmac-2.2.1 .config contains a commented out
"# CONFIG_USB is not set" statement while the
linux-vger-2.2.0 does not reference it.
With the config files virtually identical, I have run out of
possibilities as to why the samba kernel is the only one that works.
significantly, the only other kernel that has worked for me w.r.t.
ethernet was the Samba 2.1.130 kernel. My 6500 only likes Samba.
Figuring out the key has become a quest for me. I am asking for
suggestions as to where in the kernel source to begin looking for
clues. Performing a global difference on the entire source is
obviously not efficient. I'm looking for suggestions on paring the
----------------------- t h e p r o b l e m ---------------------------
With *non-samba* kernels, the ethernet fails repeatably in the following way:
1) in a terminal window, start pinging a destination. This
destination can be anything from the resident Farallon card to any IP
on the net. The pings proceed normally.
2) Launch Netscape or vanilla ftp.
3) within a short while (a couple of web pages or ftp directory
changes), the Netscape or ftp client stalls, and the ping
terminal-output stops cold, never to continue.
3a) from time to time, the ping exhibits an odd pattern before
failure: amongst the normal 200-600 ms ping returns, there are
interspersed (every 6 or 7 pings) return times of 6000-7000 ms, very
repeatable when it happens, but it does not always occur before
4) pinging from the other side to the Linux-resident ethernet card
again seems fine until the failure, when suddenly no pings are
returned at all.
5) reboot cures it until the procedure is tried again, which brings
the same overall failure 100% of the time.
5a) *Almost* always there is a crash (freeze) on reboot, right at the
shutdown message about not being able to locate module pf-4. I do not
think not being able to locate the module is relevant; rather, this
point in the shutdown is very close to where the ifdown script is
being run repeatedly to tear down the routing table, IIRC. After I
have an ethernet failure, this script is unable to complete and just
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