2.6.27 Kernel Killing Network Hardware
Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Kernel on 25 September 2008 at 08:18 AM EDT. 15 Comments
In case you missed it, there's a rather serious regression with the e1000e network driver in the Linux 2.6.27 release candidate kernels. This Ethernet driver has been killing some Intel integrated Gigabit network adapters by corrupting the chip's EEPROM. This bug (Bug #11382) has appeared in the Linux kernel and potentially impacts all Linux distributions using 2.6.27 kernel release candidates.

OpenSuSE has issued a statement telling its users not to use the latest OpenSuSE 11.1 and SuSE Linux Enterprise 11 betas if you're using any Intel e1000e hardware. Canonical has released a similar statement for Ubuntu. Until this issue is fully resolved, the e1000e driver is being blacklisted within Ubuntu 8.10 and Intel users are advised not to try out Intrepid Alpha 6. On the Mandriva blog is another statement about this major issue.

The Linux 2.6.27-rc7 kernel does have fixes that prevent corrupting the Intel e1000 (non-E) EEPROM/NVM, but without a fix for the e1000e hardware. A patch though for the e1000e corruption issue has appeared in the -mm tree and can be viewed here.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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