Re: Kernel Ethernet Error Message.

From: Paul Gortmaker (
Date: Thu Jan 13 2000 - 05:49:47 EST

Adrian Chung wrote:
> Hi everyone, I saw the following in my log tonight, and I'm wondering what
> it means.
> Jan 8 00:44:43 gold kernel: eth1: timeout waiting for Tx RDC.
> Jan 8 00:44:48 gold last message repeated 5 times

It means that the 8390 (or clone thereof) didn't set the remote DMA
complete flag indicating that it has finished shuffling around the
transmit data that we just stuffed into it. Early (1.2.x) versions
of the driver didn't watch for the RDC flag at all which led to
mysterious hard lockups.

Is this a one-off splurt of 6 messsages or are the logs full of
these? You could try enabling the `read before write' pseudo fix
in ne.c (which is off by default). Other info that might also be
useful such as kernel version, does eth0 report it too, frequency
of occurence, load conditions, etc etc. should accompany help posts.

> The computer is set up as a router, running tipxd (routes IPX between two
> LAN's across the internet) and is a P100/16MB RAM with two ISA Novell NE2000
> compatible NIC's.

If it sees a lot of traffic, the use of two ISA ne2k cards may not be
best choice, but regardless it should still work.

> Is it possible that this message is caused or can be fixed by replacing the
> two ISA NIC's with PCI ones?

The message comes from the ISA ne2000 driver, so if you toss the cards
then the message goes too. Don't go with a PCI NE2000 card unless you
get them for free. Card replacement might be a bit drastic unless this
is a mission-critical setup. I'd try enabling the RW_BUGFIX for a start.

> Or could it also be a problem with the tipxd software...

No - it has nothing to do with the user space software. It is the driver
saying to you ``Hey - the card was supposed to do this but it didnt''.
Fortunately the driver notices the condition and restarts the card
rather than plodding forward and hanging the machine.


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This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Sat Jan 15 2000 - 21:00:29 EST