Loading modules into compiled kernel

Rick Stevens rstevens at vitalstream.com
Tue Jun 28 17:43:05 UTC 2005

Bob McClure Jr wrote:
> On Mon, Jun 27, 2005 at 05:19:40PM -0700, Rick Stevens wrote:
>>Bob McClure Jr wrote:
>>>On Mon, Jun 27, 2005 at 10:20:45AM +0300, vputhen at cc.hut.fi wrote:
>>>>I am doing some work on 2.4.18 kernel. I got bcm5700 driver for a 3com 
>>>>Gigabit ethernet card which I bought 2 years ago. My problem is that when 
>>>>I compile a new kernel (with the same version but with other changes), I 
>>>>have to always insmod it after the new kernel has booted up. Is there 
>>>>someway to load this module in the kernel after compilation and before it 
>>>>is booted? I cannot find  broadcom in the list of vendors while 
>>>>configuring (make xconfig or make menuconfig). 
>>The "tg3" driver works for Broadcom (albeit not the "best" driver).
>>>You should be able to make an entry in your /etc/modules.conf to the
>>>effect of
>>> alias eth0 bcm5700
>>>and it should get loaded as soon as it's needed.
>>Ah, only if the driver is in the appropriate "/lib/modules/`uname -r`"
>>directory, Bobster.  And the "tg3" driver is the default for Broadcom.
>>The bcm5700 driver is much better, but tg3 is the default.
> Hey, someone had to stand in the gap and offer _something_ to the OP
> until you got off your tin can and showed up here. ;-)
> I'm not accustomed to the rarified air of gigabit ethernet.  Only last
> week did I spring for a dual-speed (10/100Base-T) hub for my LAN.
> Woo!

Sorry, but I've been up in our L.A. facility for the last four weeks
working my tail off installing a 10TB SAN system with a global file
system to replace our current NAS system.  This will be expanded to 45TB
within a month and we have to migrate over 6TB of data from the NAS to
the SAN without interrupting service.

We spent a lot of $$$ on this and since my boss and I convinced the
company this is the only way we can go, it's been my focus.  I've had
very little brain power or stamina left over for the list.  I haven't
gotten home before 9:00 p.m. for a month, and that's only after a drive
of over an hour after putting in 14 hours at the office.  In a word, I'm

If everything goes according to plan, we cut over to the new system on
Wednesday night (only three days late, even though half the equipment
was 2 weeks late in delivery), and I'll be back to the normal schedule
of 10 hour days in the Irvine office (only a 20 minute drive from home).

>>>Have you considered upgrading to FC2, 3, or 4?  One of those probably
>>>already has support for the bcm5700.
>>Again, it's the "tg3" driver.  Just why Fedora/RH continue to use this
>>"pretty sad" driver is beyond me (probably some copyright BS), the "tg3"
>>driver continues to be the default.
>>Why is tg3 sad?  It has major issues autonegotiating with some switches
>>(Extreme and Cisco to name two), it's unreliable at speeds >10Mb and you
>>get lots of buffer overruns.  The bcm5700 driver is much better, but
>>you do have to build it yourself.
> Perhaps, like Micro$oft, a triumph of marketing over technical
> excellence.

There's two possibilities...the bcm driver isn't GPL'd properly (I'd
have to check that) or it's too hardware-specific.  The tg3 driver works
with a lot of cards--not just the Broadcom.  The bcm driver is quite
specific and only works with Broadcom chipsets.  However, it's faster
and more reliable than the tg3 driver if you can use it.  I check the
website often and have, oh, 15 or so different versions of the driver
code on a 750MB ZIP disk (along with other useful drivers).
- Rick Stevens, Senior Systems Engineer     rstevens at vitalstream.com -
- VitalStream, Inc.                       http://www.vitalstream.com -
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