[conspire] Broadcom NetExtreme BCM5705 ethernet driver, Help!

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Sun Feb 29 10:38:24 PST 2004

Hi, Bill.  I've been doing some work on Serial ATA (SATA), so let's deal
with that, for starters:

Doing some research on your SOYO SY-KT600 DRAGON Ultra Platinum
motherboard, it seems that it uses a VIA KT600 North Bridge (the part of
the motherboard where the CPUs and RAM are) and a VIA VT8237 South
Bridge (the part of the motherboard where all the I/O support circuitry
is).  The VT8237, in turn, uses a VIA VT6420 chip for its Serial ATA

I've written a Web page about Linux's support issues with various Serial
ATA chipsets.  See:  "Serial ATA" on http://linuxmafia.com/kb/Hardware .
Basically, support for VIA VT8237 / VT6420 hardware wasn't developed
until Linux kernel 2.6.x.  You're trying to load Libranet 2.8.1 (an
excellent choice!), whose installation kernel, I gather...

> Running Libranet 2.8.1:
> Downloaded and copied "kernel-headers-2.4.21-5_2.4.21-5_i386.deb" into
> /tmp directory.
> Ran: # "dpkg -i kernel-headers-2.4.21-5_2.4.21-5_i386.deb"

...is a 2.4.x kernel, as is still the case with most distributions.

On the bright side, I gather that you've been able to complete
installation onto the other hard drive, so now you can (if you wish)
fetch a prepackaged, precompiled 2.6.x kernel from Libranet (or Debian)
-- or, at worst, compile one yourself.

OK, your ethernet chipset:  Hmm, I gather that this is a gigabit
ethernet controller.  Nice (potentially).

Hmm, my Google hits on "Broadcom BCM5705" are suggesting you should use
the "tg3" driver.  Ah, that rings a bell:  I have another document,
similar to the Serial ATA one.  See:  "Gigabit Ethernet" on
http://linuxmafia.com/kb/Hardware .

It consists partly of a preserved discussion thread from this mailing
list, and should be useful to you.

> Downloaded and copied driver:"bcm5700-7.1.22.tar.gz" into broadcom directory.

This is the manufacturer-issued driver that's said to absolutely suck
rocks.  By all accounts, you should use the community-developed tg3
driver, instead.  

That is typical of hardware support:  Drivers isssued by manufacturers
tend to be some combination of sucky and/or proprietary/binary-only.
Avoid if you can; favour real open-source drivers produced by the
open-source community.

(My opinion; yours for a small fee.  ;->  )

Cheers,                   The cynics among us might say:   "We laugh, 
Rick Moen                 monkeyboys -- Linux IS the mainstream UNIX now!
rick at linuxmafia.com       MuaHaHaHa!" but that would be rude. -- Jim Dennis

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