[Beowulf] Re: A question about antique hardware

Steve Cousins cousins at umit.maine.edu
Thu Dec 17 11:55:52 PST 2009

Gus Correa wrote:

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

Hi Gus,

I have a S2466 Tiger MPX board that has been running for years with a 
copper Intel Pro/1000 MT NIC (82540EM) without trouble. The onboard 3Com 
3c905C is running too and I've never had any problems with it (that I can 
remember!). The Gigabit card is using the e1000 driver and the 3Com is 
using 3c59x with a 2.4.20-20.7smp kernel with Redhat 7.3. (yikes!) As you 
can see it is a machine that I have pretty much forgotten about but it is 
closed off to the internet and it still serves a purpose.

I hope this helps.


> 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
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------

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