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Re: Marvell 88E8053, sky2, and netdev


On 2/12/2005 12:13 a.m., Rob Andrews wrote:
On 01-Dec-2005 10:56.49 (GMT), Nathan Grennan wrote:
 >   I have a MSI K8N Neo4 Platinum motherboard. It includes a Marvell
 > 88E8053 ethernet controller. From what I see online it seems the right
 > driver is the sky2 driver. I see hints that it was in the netdev.2
 > package, but seems to be missing from the netdev.3 package. Has it been
 > removed from netdev? Is it too unstable? Will it be coming back? Is
 > there an alternative?

It's possible that it *is* covered by the sk98lin driver, but not the
in-kernel tree. SysKonnect have a more recent sk98lin available from
their site than that in the kernel. It supports the Marvell PCI-E
gigabit interface I have, at least (whereas skge & in-kernel sk98lin do

I do note that sk98lin is not being built in the rawhide kernel package
(I don't have an FC4 box to hand so I can't tell if it's being built for
that), but skge is. It could be a small matter of adding the PCI IDs to
the skge driver to get it working. I'll try it once I have a spare moment.

Forget about the sk98lin from SysKonnect, the two new drivers that have been written recently for those cards are orders of magnitudes better than the SysKonnect one. I'm referring to the skge driver, and the new sky2.

I know because I have an 88E8050 myself, which is not supported with the skge driver but is supported under sky2. Having spent the last 3 or 4 months trying to get it to work the breakthrough came a week or so ago and ever since it has been flawless. The author of the code (Stephen Hemminger @ OSDL) has since fixed this issue properly in the sky2 driver. The sk98lin driver from Syskonnect also worked around the same issue, by restarting the controller on the card every minute or so if various counters did not increment. That method of 'fixing' probably gives you an idea why I suggested avoiding the SysKonnect one in my opening sentence.

A fairly recent sky2 is in -mm (v0.7), but the v0.9 version which fixes all known bugs to date is going to be in 2.6.16 (it's queued in the bk-netdev git repository if people are interested).

So if you can wait till 2.6.16 opens up and git-netdev is merged you should be OK, or else grab the 'upstream' branch of git-netdev from Jeff Garziks tree now and try patch 2.6.15-rc4.

http://marc.theaimsgroup.com/?l=linux-netdev is also a good place to watch.

I would not suggest just adding PCI IDs, Stephen Hemminger is responsive to emails so if that is the right thing to do it should be done via him so that the fix goes upstream.

The sk98lin driver in the kernel is gradually being deprecated away and my understanding is that it is likely to receive little if any maintenance going forward. So I don't think the chances of it being re-enabled in rawhide are too good.


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