Notes on Intel EtherExpress

Shane Shrybman (
Tue, 14 Dec 1999 10:56:44 -0500 (EST)

I have two Intel EtherExpress ISA NICs in my Linux firewall box. I have
had to use some work arounds to get these card to work properly. I
understand that these aren't the greatest NICs, (prehaps this is why they
only cost me $11 each :)) ). I decided to make this post in case it
might help someone or someone could offer some better solutions.

Anyways the card seems to emit _extra_ interrupts sometimes ( X traffic
seems to really trigger this), this fills up the logs with messages like:
eth1: interrupt but no status. Besides the log entries no other ill
affects have been noticed. I have painstakingly developed this patch
for that problem:

--- eexpress.c.orig Sun Dec 12 19:36:35 1999
+++ eexpress.c Sun Dec 12 19:37:11 1999
@@ -714,7 +714,7 @@

if (SCB_complete(status)) {
if (!eexp_hw_lasttxstat(dev)) {
- printk("%s: tx interrupt but no
status\n", dev->name);
+ /* printk("%s: tx interrupt but no
status\n", dev->name); */

I have the feeling this should only be a debug message. Corrections and
improvements are welcome.

After booting the machines will not accept incomming packets unless they
emit a packet first. I worked around this by putting this line in one the
the system init scripts: ping -c1

The cards also stop responding if I ifconfig them up and down many times.

I am currently using the 2.2.14pre12 kernel and I am using this line in my
lilo.conf file to find and load the driver for the the cards.

append = "ether=11,0x300,eth0 ether=10,0x270,eth1"

Have a good one,


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