Ethernet Controllers

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Internal Ethernet controller

A variety of Ethernet controllers is integrated into almost all models starting with the introduction of the A, T and X series.

The Ethernet controller is located on either a MiniPCI card, Communications Daughter Card (CDC), or integrated on the systemboard.

3COM Fast Ethernet (10/100)

MiniPCI cards featuring this chip:

Intel Fast Ethernet (10/100)

CDC and MiniPCI cards featuring this chip:

In addition, this chip is integrated into select systemboards of the following machines:
Intel 82550GY

Intel 82558

Intel 82562ET

Intel 82562EZ

Driver: e100 (The 'e100' driver is the suggested driver, but 'eepro100' should also work.)

Intel Gigabit (10/100/1000)

Chipset: Intel PRO/1000 MT Mobile Ethernet
Driver: e1000

This chip is integrated into select systemboards of the following machines:
Intel 82540EP

Intel 82541GI

Intel 82573L (PCI-Express)

Intel 82566MM (PCI-Express) (w/ Intel Active Management Technology (AMT))

Note: DO NOT(!!!) use the "irqpoll" boot parameter. This causes the network card to lose it's irq, and makes any stability of the network connection impossible. Note: There is a known issue with the e1000, t60/t60p and the 2.6.17 kernel. It is unconfirmed if this issue effects other configurations.
Note: This chip supports Auto-MDIX, meaning you will never need a crossover ethernet cable.
Note: The first signs of explicit support for this chip in 2.6 kernels is with 2.6.12-rc2.
Note: Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3.0 (2.4 kernel based) begins 82573L support with Update 7.
Note: Some users report issues: Problem_with_e1000:_EEPROM_Checksum_Is_Not_Valid
Note: Some users have reported latency problems with e1000 driver. It seems, that switching off Interupt Throttle Rate (ITR) helps.
Note: Additional configuration options from Intel
Note: Another possibility is to use "RxIntDelay=5".

For Gentoo users - compile e1000 as a kernel module and add 'options e1000 InterruptThrottleRate=0,0' to /etc/modules.d/e1000

I had serious performance problems on Ubuntu Edgy (ca. 400 kb/s File transfer rate). I compiled version e1000-7.3.20 from http://sourceforge.net/projects/e1000/ and this solved my problem. All other hints above did not improve the file transfer performance (they did improve the ping latency) for me.

Broadcom Fast Ethernet (10/100)

Driver: tg3 or bcm5700

This chip is integrated into select systemboards of the following machines:
Broadcom BCM5901

Broadcom BCM5751F

Broadcom Gigabit (10/100/1000)

Driver: tg3 or bcm5700

This chip is integrated into select systemboards of the following machines:

Broadcom BCM5752M

Broadcom BCM5751M

Note: There are some problems with the driver since kernel 2.6.17 (at least on a Z61p, Z61m). After an ifdown && ifup it doesn't work anymore. A possible workaround is to build the tg3-driver as a module and reload it when this problem occours. (Adding pre-up modprobe tg3 and post-down rmmod tg3 to the corresponding section in /etc/network/interfaces works fine.) Rebooting the machine would also be possible. This is fixed in kernel 2.6.19-rc5.

The T43 with a stock Linux 2.6.18.1 kernel does not have any problems.