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Onboard rtl8139 works in 2.2 kernel but not in 2.4 kernel, please help


First off, is this the correct place to get answers on kernel/driver problems?  
Should I instead post to debian-boot, should I email the kernel maintainer, 
or should I submit a bug report?

Now the problem ... I recently purchased a Gigabyte GA-8SIMLH motherboard.  It 
has an onboard network card identified as a REALTEK RTL8100L LAN chip (see 
http://www.giga-byte.com/products/8simlh.htm).  I installed woody using one 
of the mini-install CDs and that went fine with one exception.

The 8139too module in kernel-2.2.20-idepci loads and drives this network card 
just fine.  kernel-image-2.2.22 also works.  In 2.2.22, 8139too.c claims to 
be driver version 0.9.18-2.2.

The 8139too driver in woody's 2.4 kernels successfully loads and I can see 
eth0 (i.e. ifconfig eth0) but it simply isn't able to communicate on the 
network.  kernel-image-2.4.18-686, kernel-image-2.4.20-686 (from proposed 
updates) and the 2.4 boot floppy kernel (2.4bf?) all show this problem.  
8139too.c in 2.4.20 claims to be driver version 0.9.26.

I get the message "NETDEV WATCHDOG: eth0: transmit timed out" when using the 
2.4 kernels and no successful network communication occurs. mii-tool show a 
successfully negotiated 100baseTX-FD connection

According to Donald Becker this chip has been supported for quite a while (see 

An interesting side note is that the kernel from Redhat 8.0 (2.4.18-14) works 
fine.  The driver in Redhat's kernel claims to be version 0.9.25 but they are 
patching it.  The redhat kernel has the same options selected regarding the 
8139too (driver as a module and support for older boards is checked).

Redhat's 2.4.18-14 actually seems to be more a 2.4.19 kernel since they apply 
the following patch:


The above patch does modify the 8139too driver.

Can anyone suggest a course of action?  I have no problem with compiling my 
own kernels but since the redhat kernel works with the same options as 
Debian's kernel I'm not sure what a recompile might accomplish without 

Thanks for any help!
Fraser Campbell <fraser@wehave.net>                     http://wehave.net/
Brampton, Ontario, Canada                                    Debian GNU/Linux

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