Teaming the BroadCom Gig NIC in Redhat 7.3

Brian K. Jones jonesy at CS.Princeton.EDU
Fri Aug 23 07:04:00 CDT 2002

On Thu, 2002-08-22 at 17:39, Jeff Parker wrote:
> Everyone,
> Want to get Teaming or load-balanced GigE Broadcom NIC's going in RH7.3?
> It took a bit of doing but here is my method (with no express/implied
> warranty, support, or responsibility).

Awesome.  Has yours crashed yet?  How long ya been up with this config? 
I'm gonna give this a shot on one of the test boxes I have - so I'll
report my results.

> Under the 2.4.18-x kernel you can run the Broadcom driver for RH7.1 from
> Dell with no issue, but the teaming is controlled by BASP (which the RPM
> provided by Dell is useless). So I found that 3Com provides the tarball
> and SRPM for BASP for their BroadCom based 3C996
> ( ) {it
> would be great if Dell would provide the source!!!}.
Why not just use the current driver?  I'm not using any Dell-specific
software, in part because I'm really having a hard time finding download
pages for stuff on Dell's site.  Everything I've found on their site is
sales crap.  The other reason is that I don't see why I would use Dell
stuff if there's a driver out there for it - what's the point?
> Steps after getting the stuff from Dell and 3Com for load balancing
> NIC's
> 1.	install the rpm from Dell
> 2.	install the srpm from 3Com, and then install the rpm that you
> make
> 3.	edit modules.conf to set all BC-Ethernet interfaces to use
> bcm5700 (instead of tg3)

Can I build this stuff into the kernel?  Also, are you using the
NetXtreme 5701 NICs?  The 5700 driver will work with a 5701 card?  Just
clarifying here :-)

> 4.	create your team-whatever file in /etc/basp/

Found the docs on 3com's site, so I think I'm good here if I have the
other answers from my questions above :/

> 5.	make your virtual interface sw0 in
> /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ifcfg-sw0 (I copied my ifcfg-eth0 changed
> the device to sw0 and filled the VIP (virtual IP) into the ipaadr.
> 6.	Get your IP addressing straight! Each physical nic needs an
> individual IP address and the sw0 interface is the load balanced VIP.
hehe.  I'll be using dhcp.  Should be interesting.

> 7.	unload the tg3 module, or reboot.
> 8.	Ping your VIP and test.
> As always, this is just ~A~ way of getting this to work. There is no
> support for this method, and no guarantee that it will work. Matter of
> fact, let me state that 
> My setup required an active/standby interface configuration (don't ask
> it is the only option). The config for my Dell PE-2650 I used is at the
> tail of the message (I have included everything touched to clear up any
> questions).

I'd REALLY be interested in knowing how you implemented this.  I've
fumbled around with doing this for a number of reasons, on a few
different types of boxes, and I haven't figured a nice clean way of
pulling it off.

> Good luck, and remember I take no responsibility for what you do. This
> is not advice, it is just a recount of how I got something working.

Understood.  Half the reason I'm doing this is play.  I'd also like to
document it for further reference (which will wind up on my site)
<shameless-plug />

However, if it works out and I get the rest of my team to pound on it
and it works, we may move this into place.  We pretty much support our
own Linux stuff anyway, so if it crashes, we're not really looking to
call anyone else but eachother :)

Brian K. Jones
System Administrator
Dept. of Computer Science, Princeton University
jonesy at
Voice: (609) 258-6080

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