Broadcom problems under linux

I’ve been trying to install Fedora 9 on a Dell PowerEdge T100 and have been tearing my hair out trying to get the network card to work.

The card in question is a Broadcom Netextreme BCM5722 Gigabit Ethernet PCI Express adapter.  I’ve used similar Broadcom cards in other machines without any problems, but this time around it didn’t want to play nicely.

Since I was doing an NFS install I couldn’t really do anything until this worked, but trying either a DHCP or a static configuration failed.

From a static configuration the error I got was:

result of pumpSetupInterface is pumpSetupInterface failed: create route - 1:Operation not permitted

From a DHCP configuration it was:


All the other messages about the card seemed OK.  The tg3 driver recognised it and even got as far as setting up the link and declaring it ready:

tg3: eth0: Link is up at 100Mbps, half duplex
tg3: eth0: Flow control is off for TX and off for RX
ADDRCONF (NETDEV_CHANGE) eth0: link becomes ready

After much tinkering I found that if I booted the machine with the ethernet cable disconnected and then only connected it once the card was trying to obtain an address everything suddently started working.  If the cable was connected from the start then the interface would never come up.  This provided me with enough of a work round to get Fedora 9 installed and updated.

Fortunately it seems the problem with this card and the tg3 driver has been fixed between the initial fedora 9 release kernel and the current update kernel (, such that after updating I was able to reboot without having to disconnect the ethernet cable and everthing still worked.


Published:November 20, 2008


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