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Thread: sungem on PowerMac G4: RX MAC fifo overflow

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2008

    sungem on PowerMac G4: RX MAC fifo overflow


    This is the same problem as in this thread, but I cannot move that thread to the PPC section, so I'm starting a new one here (maybe a kind mod could move/combine as necessary, thanks in advance).

    Machine: PowerMac G4 (no more firmware updates applicable)
    System: Linux 2.6.31-19-powerpc #56-Ubuntu Thu Jan 28 00:50:48 UTC 2010 GNU/Linux
    Ethernet: 0002:20:0f.0 Ethernet controller: Apple Computer Inc. UniNorth GMAC (Sun GEM) (rev 01)
    Driver: sungem (srcversion: 9C4DDFB8D2201E852413F4F)

    Issue: This gets written to the log periodically:
    eht0: RX MAC fifo overflow smac[<a mem address>]
    and if enough of those get written, then the system loses network connectivity.

    I wanted to say it started after I updated to 9.10 (different version of sungem), but in 2.6.28-6-powerpc (fewer) same error messages are still logged. I never witnessed loss of connectivity under the older kernel, but the error msg is there, period.
    Edit: I did witness loss of connectivity under older kernel, but the reason could lie in some package update: I know, unlikely.. but I had no problems for weeks of uptime before. Maybe there was some hardware change in the network beyond my knowledge, who knows.

    To bring back the network I can do:
    ifdown eth0; rmmod sungem; modprobe sungem; ifup eth0
    (I never tried without reloading the module)

    There are very very few ancient and inconclusive references to the same problem on Google. This thread seems to imply that this was fixed in ~2.6.12, but I guess not.

    Bottomline, if somebody knows where should I post this so that sungem maintainers could look at it, please reply. Thank you!
    Last edited by alexei.colin; March 13th, 2010 at 04:01 AM. Reason: Updated info

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx

    Re: sungem on PowerMac G4: RX MAC fifo overflow

    I would send your findings to Benjamin Herrenschmidt, he is involved in the PPC kernel.

    benh at
    Linux on your Apple Mac │ iLinux

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2008

    Re: sungem on PowerMac G4: RX MAC fifo overflow

    linuxopjemac, thank you for referring to Ben. He replied and might look into it.

    Meanwhile, I put the module reloading and interface restarting into a cron job that executes every hour: sudo crontab -e
    # m h  dom mon dow   command
    0  *  *   *   *     /usr/sbin/fix-sungem
    and the script /usr/sbin/fix-sungem contains
    /sbin/ifdown eth0 && /sbin/rmmod sungem && /sbin/modprobe sungem && /sbin/ifup eth0
    Script must be executable: chmod +x /usr/sbin/fix-sungem

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