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Author Topic: Davicom Eth Card Challenge  (Read 2799 times)
Pita
Vectorian
****
Posts: 1310


« on: December 20, 2007, 12:08:10 am »

Recently we had the debacle that slackware and its clones (slackies) had a
very buggy new driver for the savage graphic card. This was solved by the
skill and tenacity of Uelsk. A first among slackies. On my last check neither
slackware nor absoluteLinux had that driver.

Now, it is a well known fact that slackware and its clones are seemingly
unable to connect to the Internet if somebody has a Davicom ethernet card,
and this now for quite some years. A connection can only be accomplished
after some hacking which is beyond the realm of a newbie. In fact when It
happened to me the first time I was off slackware for several days and working
in DSL until with the help of some guys in the linux-newbie list the problem
was solved.

I do not know why this has to be with slackies when DSL, Fedora and Ubuntu do
not have such a problem with a Davicom eth card. These distros pick up the
card correctly and Internet connection is established once installed without
any additional hacking.

So I am posing this challenge; could VectorLinux once again be the first
among slackies to have an instant Internet connection if somebody is using a
Davicom eth card?
Logged
bigpaws
Vectorian
****
Posts: 1850


« Reply #1 on: December 20, 2007, 12:57:57 am »

Your post is somewhat incomplete. Your are
requesting that a fix be made, you have the
information to fix it and yet withhold the solution.

The Savage driver is included in Xorg, not controlled by
Slackware. The problem may also be at the kernel level
which is where I fixed it for myself.

Well after some Googling I found the solution. It appears
that the Davicom Chipset can use one or the other modules
in the kernel and that sometimes the tulip module gets loaded
along with the dmfe module. The fix is that a kernel module can
be blacklisted.

If and in fact both problems you relate to are kernel modules
then the solution is to recompile a kernel. You could also help
by suppling some more information, in that you appear to have
a solution.

Quote
I do not know why this has to be with slackies when DSL, Fedora and Ubuntu do
not have such a problem with a Davicom eth card.

Since you use these Distros' or at least that is the indication please post the
output of the blacklist and the kernel config files. This would certainly be a
productive solution for your challenge.

It is certainly the desire of any distro to get things right. However since there are
so many different combinations of hardware then getting it perfect for everyone
is almost impossible.

When reading the good book it is suggested to compile your own kernel just for
the very reason mentioned above. Most of the time the generic kernel will work.

Bigpaws

Logged
Pita
Vectorian
****
Posts: 1310


« Reply #2 on: December 20, 2007, 10:44:33 pm »

Bigpaws, I don't know, did you got me wrong? I wrote this for the sake of Linux in general and slackies in particular. I am not a programmer just a regular home user. I just find it an anomaly that a fine distro like slackware can't fix this issue that someone having an Davicom eth card will fail using Linux. It is so bad that with the recent live CD of VL59 even me could not make a connection using all the steps normally necessary as I have reported under Distro Development.

I know the problem, a newcomer would not and could therefore be lost either for Linux or any of the slackies.

I will surely provide any assistance I can give if asked for.I had never much luck trying to do something in a kernel. Usually I messed things up.

I have only tried a live CD of Ubuntu and gave it away, I stopped using RedHat at version 9 and kept the box going until Fedora 4 for sentimental reasons and as a backup in case something would foul-up in Slackware. I still have the CDs and can reinstall Fedora4. DSL, I just like for its own being and keep it up-to-date and take it along when travelling.

Regards
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bigpaws
Vectorian
****
Posts: 1850


« Reply #3 on: December 21, 2007, 04:28:43 am »

Quote
Bigpaws, I don't know, did you got me wrong?

It is possible. My interpretation was that you are requesting a fix
for two problems. You mentioned there is a fix without posting it.

Quote
It is so bad that with the recent live CD of VL59 even me could not make a connection using all the steps normally necessary as I have reported under Distro Development.

I did notsee your report at Distro development, which again could have made a
misinterpretation on my part about your post.

Since the problem appears to be bad module loading for the Davicom card
it is possible that blacklist maybe used. I have run into problems with that in
the past.

May I suggest that you write a howto that shows someone how to solve the
problems that you may be having. It is certainly possible that someone
else is having the problem as well.

I did not see that you are having that much of a problem with the 5.9 live, I do
hope that a solution is found.

Thanks for not looking at my response as a rant since that was not the intention.

Bigpaws
Logged
Pita
Vectorian
****
Posts: 1310


« Reply #4 on: December 21, 2007, 11:53:14 pm »

I just burned the latest version of DSL, what a gem. Booted it and had my Internet connection instantly without me doing anything at all. In modprobe.d there is no blacklist and naturally module dmfe is listed in lsmod.

I have to add that with zenwalk, just now as with VL59-Live I could not connect to the Internet at all. Slackware and other slackies I tried would connect after doing my things: rmmod tulip, modprobe dmfe, USE_DHCP[0]="yes", rc.inet1 start, blacklist tulip instead of dmfe, enable dmfe in rc.modules.

I only hope that this "bug" now in VL59-Live will not find its way into the final VL59-STDT. With VL58-Live there is no problem connecting to the Internet after doing my things.

Season Greetings
Logged
bigpaws
Vectorian
****
Posts: 1850


« Reply #5 on: December 22, 2007, 03:33:54 am »

Are you doing the all of these actions every boot?

In Slackware 12 in /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist

dmfe is listed so uncomment and all should be well.

There is also a comment about conflicts which maybe why
it is blacklisted.

I never saw the explanation about why the modules setup
was changed. This is apparently where the problem lies.

You can test to see if it was blacklisted in console:

cat /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist | grep dmfe

So the solution for your Ethernet is possible it may be
as simple as changing the blacklist. Ask the guys putting
5.9 together about it.

The savage problem is a combination of Xorg and the kernel.

I have a S3 savage card in my laptop and I had one heck of a time
with getting any performance out of it. To get everything working I
have a kernel config I use and an xorg that I move into place. I would
be glad to share. VL 5.8 Live got the best performance out of the
savage card.

HTH

Bigpaws
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rbistolfi
Packager
Vectorian
****
Posts: 2284


« Reply #6 on: December 22, 2007, 05:33:56 am »

Quote
I have a S3 savage card in my laptop and I had one heck of a time
with getting any performance out of it. To get everything working I
have a kernel config I use and an xorg that I move into place. I would
be glad to share. VL 5.8 Live got the best performance out of the
savage card.

Good material for a wiki entry. A hardware section with solutions for specific problematic hardware could be good. Those pages get a lot of google hits Smiley.
Logged

"There is a concept which corrupts and upsets all others. I refer not to Evil, whose limited realm is that of ethics; I refer to the infinite."
Jorge Luis Borges, Avatars of the Tortoise.

--
Jumalauta!!
bigpaws
Vectorian
****
Posts: 1850


« Reply #7 on: December 22, 2007, 06:43:19 am »

Actually you are right, one problem is that I
have no idea what combination in the kernel
and xorg exactly fixed. The howto would have
been written.

Savage cards are certainly not high on card to
get list. The cards are known to be problematic
even in windows.

I found that VL 5.8 Live had that card running great,
I moved xorg.conf to another install and no go. So I
used the kernel config file from that and it was working.

I recompiled many kernels to find the right combination
by following the old config and never could replicate it.

Bigpaws
Logged
rbistolfi
Packager
Vectorian
****
Posts: 2284


« Reply #8 on: December 22, 2007, 06:54:51 am »

lol you should keep many copies of that config! I know some hardware in Windows can be tricky too. My father has the (in)famous Micromodem.
Logged

"There is a concept which corrupts and upsets all others. I refer not to Evil, whose limited realm is that of ethics; I refer to the infinite."
Jorge Luis Borges, Avatars of the Tortoise.

--
Jumalauta!!
Pita
Vectorian
****
Posts: 1310


« Reply #9 on: December 22, 2007, 06:31:15 pm »

First, xorg is not a problem anymore after Uelsk8 was able to make the correct driver for a savage card xf86-video-savage-* (Chapeau)

On installed slack distros I have to make my "things" to connect to the Internet only once, whereas on live CDs every time I would boot with them. Sometimes only the first 2 steps are needed, rmmod tulip and modprobe dmfe.

In all slackies dmfe is blacklisted and as already stated I change that to tulip. That did not help with zenwalk and now with VL59-Live. Both read the HWaddress of the Davicom card correctly why they cannot connect is beyond me.

If this cannot be addressed with slackies may be potential users should be warned and/or told the steps to do to get connected to the Internet.

WARNING: IF YOU HAVE A DAVICOM ETH CARD BETTER LOOK FOR A NON-SLACK DISTRO WinkWink

There was at least one post in this forum of a guy with a Davicom card who could not connect.

Logged
seaken
Member
*
Posts: 18


« Reply #10 on: December 29, 2008, 04:18:18 pm »

Just in case anyone else can be helped by this, I spent all day trying to find a solution for why Vector 5.9 Standard would not use my Davicom NIC. (I'm a noobie with Linux) I suspected a driver problem after awhile. This was the solution, as stated below in this post by bigpaws. I changed the file at /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist and commented out the line for blacklisting dmfe and added a line to blacklist tulip. I then rebooted and everything is now okay.

So, in brief: if you have a Davicom Semiconductor NIC and are having trouble getting it to work with Vector, or another Slackware derivative, try blacklisting tulip instead of dmfe. This was the only change I needed to make. Worked for me.

Thank you to all who shared in this post,
Sean


Are you doing the all of these actions every boot?

In Slackware 12 in /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist

dmfe is listed so uncomment and all should be well.

There is also a comment about conflicts which maybe why
it is blacklisted.

I never saw the explanation about why the modules setup
was changed. This is apparently where the problem lies.

You can test to see if it was blacklisted in console:

cat /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist | grep dmfe

So the solution for your Ethernet is possible it may be
as simple as changing the blacklist. Ask the guys putting
5.9 together about it.

The savage problem is a combination of Xorg and the kernel.

I have a S3 savage card in my laptop and I had one heck of a time
with getting any performance out of it. To get everything working I
have a kernel config I use and an xorg that I move into place. I would
be glad to share. VL 5.8 Live got the best performance out of the
savage card.

HTH

Bigpaws

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