Red Hat Bugzilla – Bug 130623
Update to kernel-2.6.8-1.521 makes ethernet (8139too) to seize up
Last modified: 2015-01-04 17:09:04 EST
Description of problem:
After an update to 2.6.8-1.521 on Acer Travelmate laptop with
built-in "RTL-8139/8139C/8139C+" ethernet a network traffic
stops after a while. This apparently requires a more sizeable
transfer and just moving in some 15M binaries of an old kernel
luckily is not enough to lock up ethernet. :-)
There is not much which is visible on a machine, I am afraid.
'mii-tool' reports "eth0: autonegotiation failed, link ok",
which is a normal state, and no amount of usual tricks, like
'mii-tool -R' or taking a link down, unloading a module and
trying to restart eth0 helps. Everything works, up to the point,
but no packets are moving on a wire until a machine is rebooted.
Logs show repeated messages:
NETDEV WATCHDOG: eth0: transmit timed out
eth0: link up, 10Mbps, half-duplex, lpa 0x0000
There is some other clue that '8139too' may be not responsible
for that because when this happens then a USB mouse
("Bus 002 Device 004: ID 046d:c00e Logitech, Inc. Optical Mouse")
which happens to be connected to that laptop stops working too
and nothing cat revive it save a reboot.
As mentioned before this does not happen with a "normal" amount
of a network traffic but attempts to do a backup by rsyncing to
another machine killed networking, and a mouse, twice in a row.
Only after backin off to kernel-2.6.7-1.494.2.2 I was able to
perform that task. To give an idea about a scale this is
a message from rsync on a completion:
wrote 570694893 bytes read 3025682 bytes 405026.88 bytes/sec
total size is 4596947042 speedup is 8.01
An interrupt structre with 2.6.7-1.494.2.2 looks like that:
# cat /proc/interrupts
0: 3182848 XT-PIC timer
1: 182 XT-PIC i8042
2: 0 XT-PIC cascade
8: 1 XT-PIC rtc
9: 4 XT-PIC acpi
10: 5 XT-PIC uhci_hcd, yenta, Intel 82801DB-ICH4
11: 709722 XT-PIC uhci_hcd, uhci_hcd, eth0
12: 2588 XT-PIC i8042
14: 225937 XT-PIC ide0
15: 921 XT-PIC ide1
Version-Release number of selected component (if applicable):
One of my machines is having an almost identical problem. The network
interface works fine until i log out of X (and return to the GDM
welcome screen). I not sure how or if these two events are related,
but the NIC seizure is happening consistently when, and (so far) only
when, i log out of GNOME.
This seems to not be isolated to the 2.6.8-1.521 kernel. I had the
same problem with the 2.6.7-1.494.2.2 kernel. I am using the 8139too
For this network card, lspci -v shows:
02:07.0 Ethernet controller: Realtek Semiconductor Co., Ltd.
RTL-8139/8139C/8139C+ (rev 10)
Subsystem: Realtek Semiconductor Co., Ltd. RT8139
Flags: bus master, medium devsel, latency 64, IRQ 3
I/O ports at dc00 [size=ff800000]
Memory at ff7ffc00 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=256]
Expansion ROM at 00010000 [disabled]
Capabilities:  Power Management version 2
cat /proc/pci shows for this device:
Bus 2, device 7, function 0:
Class 0200: PCI device 10ec:8139 (rev 16).
Master Capable. Latency=64. Min Gnt=32.Max Lat=64.
I/O at 0xdc00 [0xdcff].
Non-prefetchable 32 bit memory at 0xff7ffc00 [0xff7ffcff].
rmmodding the driver and reloading doesn't help. service network
restart hangs when it tries to bring the interface back up. Only
rebooting makes the interface function correctly again. If i get a
chance, i may look at the kernel driver source. I hope other people
are checking into this as well, as any assistance is much appreciated
at this point.
Some additional info here. I now suspect that my first post for this
bug should be a separate bug. I dunno, my apologies if that's the case.
The problem i submitted is more of a hardware issue than a Linux
issue, stemming primarily from an IRQ resource conflict between the
NIC and the video controller. The system is a Dell Dimension 4300S.
The BIOS (rather foolishly) INSISTS on binding the video IRQ to the
NIC, so that changing one always changes the other to be the same,
despite there being a few other available IRQs. Seems kinda stupid to
me. At any rate, the result of this fact was that no matter what NIC i
installed on the m'board, it would still always freeze when i logged
out of GNOME/X. Since i wasn't able to alter the interrupts to my
satisfaction in the BIOS, and wasn't sure if there was a way to select
an interrupt for either PCI device from within the OS (using pcitools
or something), i found a suitable workaround by editing the
/etc/X11/gdm/gdm.conf to AlwaysRestartServer=true. This seemed to
prevent the NIC from freezing as a result of the shared IRQ
contention. (Some kind of race condition that this solution helps avoid?)
I would point out that the originator of this bug is also suffering
from an IRQ resource conflict:
11: 709722 XT-PIC uhci_hcd, uhci_hcd, eth0
and so his problem might be avoided if the devices in question could
be set to use different IRQs, maybe in the BIOS.
The problem i was having would happen regardless of what IRQ the two
devices were using, because, thanks to BIOS restrictions, they were
still always using the same IRQ (!). It'd be nice if the BIOS were
Perhaps there are some kernel-level changes that could be thought of
in regards to PCI IRQ sharing and contention?
> and so his problem might be avoided if the devices in question could
> be set to use different IRQs, maybe in the BIOS.
I wish. This is a laptop an what can be done in BIOS is, ahem,
not that overwhelming. Moreover this is likely ACPI which assigns
those interrupts and without ACPI that laptop does not work too well.
In any case I did not observe the problem with kernels older than
mass update for old bugs:
Is this still a problem with the 2.6.9 based update kernel ?
Very recent update of FC2 kernel to 2.6.9-1.6_FC2 apparently
solved that problem for me. I did not try too many times
but so far backups over a network were successful.
REOPEN if this issue comes back.