[Beowulf] A question about antique hardware

Gus Correa gus at ldeo.columbia.edu
Wed Dec 16 12:03:34 PST 2009

Dear Beowulfers

Did anybody ever get Gigabit Ethernet NICs to work on
the Tyan Tiger S2466-4M motherboards under Linux?

If so, I would appreciate any words of wisdom about which
NICs work, the appropriate BIOS settings,
which PCI slots to use, etc.


I flashed the Tyan S2466-4M BIOS to the latest version,
V4.06 (super, final 2003 edition).

I need to set this head node up with two GigE ports.
I have two Intel 82543 Fiber Gigabit Ethernet PCI adapters,
which use the e1000 driver.
However, I would happily use other NICs and drivers,
anything that works, including copper based GigE.


I googled up to find tips and solutions,
and I tried  a number of different combinations:
disabling the onboard 3Com Ethernet 100 port with a jumper;
placing the NICs on the PCI-64 and on the PCI-32 slots;
disabling the BIOS "option RAM scan" on the NICs' PCI slots;
disabling USB on BIOS;
trying one NIC at a time; etc.

However, so far no game.
The NICs are recognized,
link LEDs light up,
ping works,
but the system seems to be unstable,
ifdown/ifup hangs,
hence the system hangs when it tries to
take down the GigE ports during shutdown.

Moreover, I get many of this kernel message on dmesg:

Warning: kfree_skb on hard IRQ f88e47b2


This is the head node of our old Linux NetworX cluster.
The original head node motherboard, ASUS A7M266,
supported the aforementioned Intel NICs.
Unfortunately it seems to have died.

I bought an used-but-functional Tyan S2466-4M board
on E-Bay as a replacement.
These S2466-4M boards seem to have been very popular
on servers and Beowulfs.
It sounded to me as a good choice.
After all, we have this board on all compute nodes.
The compute nodes don't have GigE,
only the onboard 3Com Ethernet 100 for service and I/O,
plus Myrinet-2000 for MPI.
They have been working fine for 8 years now.


Thank you.

Happy Holidays!

Gus Correa
Gustavo Correa
Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory - Columbia University
Palisades, NY, 10964-8000 - USA

More information about the Beowulf mailing list