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NLPOS9: Network instabilty on IBM SurePOS 4800-722

This document (7006721) is provided subject to the disclaimer at the end of this document.

Environment

Novell Linux Point of Service 9 SSP3

Situation

It has been reported that on SurePOS 4800-722 the NLPOS kernel prefers the e100 driver for the built-in network chipset.
Under some conditions this can lead to a loss of network connection from time to time.

Hardware information:

linux:~ # hwinfo --netcard
20: PCI 108.0: 0200 Ethernet controller
  [Created at pci.274]
  Unique ID: 75Hn.OC0yee2uLn6
  Parent ID: 6NW+.ccU5FZC1tz2
  SysFS ID: /devices/pci0000:00/0000:00:1e.0/0000:01:08.0
  SysFS BusID: 0000:01:08.0
  Hardware Class: network
  Model: "Intel 82801BD PRO/100 VE (LOM) Ethernet Controller"
  Vendor: pci 0x8086 "Intel Corporation"
  Device: pci 0x1039 "82801BD PRO/100 VE (LOM) Ethernet Controller"
  SubVendor: pci 0x8086 "Intel Corporation"
  SubDevice: pci 0x27dc
  Revision: 0x82
  Driver: "e100"
  Memory Range: 0xed062000-0xed062fff (rw,non-prefetchable)
  I/O Ports: 0x9000-0x903f (rw)
  IRQ: 11 (1249603171 events)
  HW Address: 00:09:6b:XX:XX:XX
  Driver Info #0:
    Driver Status: e100 is active
    Driver Activation Cmd: "modprobe e100"
  Driver Info #1:
    Driver Status: eepro100 is not active
    Driver Activation Cmd: "modprobe eepro100"
  Config Status: cfg=new, avail=yes, need=no, active=unknown
  Attached to: #15 (PCI bridge)

Indication in /var/log/messages:
May  5 14:32:05 linux kernel: e100: eth0: e100_watchdog: link down
May  5 14:32:13 linux kernel: e100: eth0: e100_watchdog: link up, 100Mbps, full-duplex


Resolution

A known workaround is to use the eepro100 driver instead:

create a file in /etc/modprobe.d/ , name is not important, e.g. prefer_eepro, with the following content:

install e100  /sbin/modprobe eepro100

then issue:

rcnetwork stop
modprobe -r e100
depmod -a
modprobe eepro100

or reboot the machine.
From now on the eepro100 driver is loaded instead of the e100.
To explicitly load the e100 driver run:

modprobe --ignore-install e100

Additional Information

While the above is true for a plain SLES machine, on NLPOS cash register images we need a slightly modified approach.
On certain images the driver is loaded through the initrd and the above approach comes too late and the e100 driver is already loaded.

Now there are two ways out of this situation:

a) unload and reload the driver via /etc/init.d/boot.local

create the file in /etc/modprobe.d as initially described.
place a line in /etc/init.d/boot.local like:

modprobe -r e100; modprobe eepro100

which would unload e100 and instead load eepro100. This is a kind of brute force way but works fine. Nothing wrong with that, but there is also a elegant way to solve this, which requires rebuilding the image. See below:


b) Edit the existing image (following the workflow in TID 7000674 ). Here's an example:
 
    cd INSERT_PATH_TO_YOUR_IMAGE_DIRECTORY/files-user/etc/

mkdir modprobe.d

create a file in the modprobe.d directory now , name is not important, e.g. prefer_eepro, with the following content:

install e100  /sbin/modprobe eepro100


Additionally, to make sure the e100 driver get's unloaded during boot, add the following line to the config.system file in the image description /opt/SLES/POS/system.image_name-version/config.system

echo "modprobe -r e100">> /etc/init.d/boot.local


Then create the image and deploy it as usual.

For further information on how to build images, please follow the NLPOS9 documentation:

https://www.novell.com/de-de/documentation/nlpos9/index.html



Disclaimer

This Support Knowledgebase provides a valuable tool for NetIQ/Novell/SUSE customers and parties interested in our products and solutions to acquire information, ideas and learn from one another. Materials are provided for informational, personal or non-commercial use within your organization and are presented "AS IS" WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND.

  • Document ID:7006721
  • Creation Date:25-AUG-10
  • Modified Date:27-APR-12
    • SUSESUSE Linux Enterprise Point of Service

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