Network problems with VIA chipset and Athlon XP

Claudio Martins ctpm at
Tue Oct 29 09:32:21 PST 2002

On Wednesday 23 October 2002 13:47, Donald Becker wrote:
> What driver and version?

  Hi Donald. Thanks for the quick reply. I was using the driver that comes 
with the vanilla 2.4.18 kernel with no patches of any kind.

> Yup, you are using a Tulip card with the modified driver distributed
> with the kernel.
> The modified Tulip driver in the kernel is broken with certain cards,
> and has been for a long time.  Even with the example of my working
> driver, the people modifying it prefer to keep patching their patches.
> Someday they will might it right by chance, but that approach takes much
> longer than understanding, design and testing.
> [...]

  OK, I have tried the netdrivers from scyld, and the problem is still the 
  With scyld netdrivers the problem shows up even quicker than with vanilla 
2.4.18 kernel. One of the nodes has a RTL8139 instead of a tulip, and with 
your drivers it froze almost instantly, with a blank screen. As usual, one of 
the other ones (with tulip card) will show the problem around 5-30min. after 
starting the test.

  After that, I returned to the original 2.4.18 drivers, and tryied a kernel 
_without_ uniprocessor apic support, but that also didn't help. I have also 
looked at the options at BIOS setup menu (with the latest bios update 
installed), but found nothing special.

  I've also applied the patch described at

that is supposed to correct some problems with pci latency on VIA chipsets. At 
the end of a couple of hours the problem arised again, so no success with 
this one too.

  I've been contacted by another person (CC-ed in this mail) that is 
experiencing similar problems with VIA chipsets and has been advised to stay 
away from VIA-based cluster machines.

  I don't know if this might be fixable with a kernel patch (maybe the patch 
in the URL above is a good start?...), or if I'll have to go to the more 
radical aproach, i.e. get rid of the motherboards and get ones without a VIA 
chipset in it....

 Thank you for any help or suggestions. Best regards


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