em0 watchdog timeouts

Daniel Bond db at danielbond.org
Mon Oct 5 19:32:54 UTC 2009

Hi Jack,

I'll comment your mail inline:

On Oct 5, 2009, at 6:57 PM, Jack Vogel wrote:

> This posting just muddies the issue, first you talk about having a  
> problem that
> involves Broadcom, ok, so post about that on something other than  
> em :)

I only meant to indicate that the problem might exist outside the  
intel driver.
I'm also indicating that it happens with several drivers (bge, bce and  
em) on several different machines, on both pci-x and pci-e.

I'm sorry if this is confusing to you, but I still think it's relevant  
to mention.

> Then you make some references to hardware that you "might have bought"
> but didn't, I'm not about debugging 'possible worlds problems'  
> though so
> can't help you there either :)

No. I only made references to hardware I actually used, and had real- 
world issues with.

> Finally you never say what the actual hardware is, other than a  
> person who
> I do not know told you it was the best performer... so, what exactly  
> is it?

Sepherosa is a guy that writes drivers for BSD based operating  
systems. Including FreeBSD. He has a lot of knowledge in this area.

The NIC you are referring to, the one sephe recommended me, is a  
82571EB. I didn't mention specific hardware, as I think it's more  
to note this is an issue I'm experiencing across different sets of  
hardware and drivers.

> You have a problem once every 10 days,  and at a specific time no  
> less,
> this almost always means something in your environment, a cron job run
> amok, a piece of hardware that resets, I dunno, but the last thing I  
> would
> suspect given this description is the driver.

This is not what I wrote. I wrote I had a problem every 1-10 days, but  
it would usually happen once every 3-4 days. At worst, every day in  

It's not at any specific time. If you read my email correctly, I say  
it *usually* happens arround 11-13:00,
but it has happened at random times too.

This is my point exactly. I don't think it's the Intel-driver, I think  
the problem is elsewhere. I had a suspicion it had to do with the  
combination of nic + qlogic fc-controller, but I have no evidence of  

> You need a good sysadmin for this debugging I would venture, not a  
> driver
> developer.

What I need is useful advice/help. I never stated I needed a driver  

I'd like to be able to run my favorite OS on cool hardware, in the  
future, for a high-performing NFS-server, without problems like I've  
experienced the past 6months, on a production system.
Please note that I'm managing a server-park almost completely based on  
FreeBSD, and I'm running many NFS servers on other hardware, for other  
services, without issues.

I've seen several other FreeBSD-users having problems with this too,  
so I think it's of importance for the project. As I mentioned  
originally, I'm happy to dispose the hardware to any FreeBSD developer
that might want to look further into this. Debugging it further is  
above my skill-set, I don't even know where to begin looking,  
especially since I can't produce any panics.

I'm sorry to say, but your reply was %0 useful, Jack.

> Jack

- Daniel
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