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RE: [rhelv5-list] Vexing Behavior: RHEL 5.2 (2.6.18-92) Random NICEnumeration Between Reboots



Hello,
	Actually after upgrading from 5.1 to 5.2 the problem occurs on
our machines too. We have to add HWADDR lines for each net interface
into the config files. 5.1 did not have this problem.

Regards,
	Daniel
 

-----Original Message-----
From: rhelv5-list-bounces redhat com
[mailto:rhelv5-list-bounces redhat com] On Behalf Of Dan Long
Sent: Wednesday, June 25, 2008 9:32 PM
To: Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 (Tikanga) discussion mailing-list
Subject: RE: [rhelv5-list] Vexing Behavior: RHEL 5.2 (2.6.18-92) Random
NICEnumeration Between Reboots

Correction:  The 'dmesg' output does not match that of the hwconf file.
As a matter of fact, working on the assumption that there is no solution
to our problem and that embedding HWADDR in ifcfg is the only option --
we left HWADDR in place; what we found was that the hwconf file does
stay consistent (hurray!) but the dmesg still changes between reboots
(BOOO!).

Thanks,

Dan

-----Original Message-----
From: rhelv5-list-bounces redhat com
[mailto:rhelv5-list-bounces redhat com] On Behalf Of Dan Long
Sent: Wednesday, June 25, 2008 2:43 PM
To: rhelv5-list redhat com
Subject: [rhelv5-list] Vexing Behavior: RHEL 5.2 (2.6.18-92) Random
NICEnumeration Between Reboots

Moving from RHEL 4 U3 to RHEL 5.2 (2.6.18-92).  This is a really odd
problem and we have NO idea what could be causing it -- we do not have
this problem in RHEL 4 U3.

The problem that we are encountering on RHEL 5 is that if we remove the
HWADDR from the ifcfg-eth* file, we get random NIC enumeration between
reboots.  We have 4 NICs (1 on-board (Intel 82545EM), 1 fibre (Realtek
8139), and a dual-nic add-on (Intel 82546GB).   Fresh RHEL 5
installation and manually configuring the network settings via ifcfg-eth
we would have :

The ifcfg-eth* files:
# Card Manufacturer/Description
DEVICE=
HWADDR=
ONBOOT=
IPADDR=
NETMASK=

And the modprobe.conf file:
alias eth0 8139too
alias eth1 e1000
alias eth2 e1000
alias eth3 e1000

The hwconf file:
eth0 - realtek
eth1 - 82545EM
eth2 - 82546GB
eth3 - 82546GB

But after a reboot the hwconf file would have:
eth0 - 82545EM
eth1 - realtek
eth2 - 82546GB
eth3 - 82546GB

As expected, the modprobe.conf and the ifcfg-eth* stays the same.
"dmesg |grep eth" follows the hwconf file.  

In RHEL4 we use modprobe.conf to assign the realtek to eth3 with the
'alias' parameter.  As you can see, this can be a problem when
ifcfg-eth0 is configured for network-A and ifcfg-eth3 is assigned to
network-B but after a reboot they are swapped around.

Not only that but successive reboots rearranges the enumeration in other
orders (the realtek is on eth1 or the 82545EM is on eth3).    After
several days of reading and searching the various forums, I have not
seen a single instance of this problem.  The closest instance seems to
be:
http://linux.dell.com/files/whitepapers/nic-enum-whitepaper-v3.pdf

However, the whitepaper describes an issue where the enumeration is
different when the hardware changes.  Where as our problem has no
hardware or software changes other rebooting the system.  As such using
the kernel parameter 'pci=bfsort' or 'pci=nobfsort' has no effect on our
problem.  I have tried another computer with just two NICs (one onboard
and one fibre) and same problem occurs; some reboots changes the order
others doesn't. 

We wish to avoid hard coding MAC addresses to the NICs.

Any suggestions or ideas or need more information?  Thanks!


Sincerely,

Dan Long
PDSS CCTT 

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