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Solving initial NIC problems in Oracle VM Server 2.2.1

by Laurens van der Starre on July 16, 2011 · 6 comments

While playing around with my new bare metal Oracle VM Server, I found out that Oracle VM Server is quite picky when it comes to network interface card (NIC) drivers. It is not uncommon that a Oracle VM Server meant as test / development server is not build from server spec hardware. Most motherboards come with a build-in NIC based on a Realtek chipset. It can easily happen that after the initial installation, the network simply doesn’t work in the Dom0. The r8169 kernel module will simple not work.

Luckily is not that hard to get it to work, by simply compiling your own drivers. There is an excellent thread on the OTN forum about this. Basically it boils down to installing the Kernel headers, glibc and its headers and the compiler in dom0 to compile your NIC driver. First you’ll have to get your NIC driver. In my case, for my Realtek 8111E, I could simply get the source from Realtek.

Now to get the prerequisites. In this blog post I assume a X86_64 platform. I’m using Oracle VM Server 2.2.1, meaning that my NIC should at least be supported by Oracle Enterprise Linux 5 Update 3.

  1. Download the OEL5.3 X64 DVD ISO from the eDelivery portal.
  2. Mount the iso
  3. Copy from the Server directory the following RPMs to an USB stick:
    1. kernel-headers-2.6.18-128.el5.i386.rpm
    2. compat-glibc-headers-2.3.4-2.26.i386.rpm
    3. glibc-headers-2.5-34.i386.rpm
    4. libgomp-4.3.2-7.el5.i386.rpm
    5. compat-glibc-2.3.4-2.26.i386.rpm
    6. glibc-devel-2.5-34.i386.rpm
    7. cpp-4.1.2-44.el5.i386.rpm
    8. gcc-4.1.2-44.el5.i386.rpm
  4. From the Oracle VM Server installation disc, get the following RPMs from the Server directory:
    1. kernel-ovs-devel-2.6.18-128.2.1.4.9.el5.i686.rpm
    2. kernel-devel-2.6.18-128.2.1.4.9.el5.i686.rpm
  5. Mount the USB stick in your Dom0 (mount /dev/<<device>> /mnt/<folder>)
  6. Install the RPMs mentioned above, in the same order as above with rpm -Uvh <<package>>
  7. Compile your driver, and follow the instructions given by the manufacture’s readme.

You can blacklist the old driver (if necessary), by putting it into /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist . After loading the new driver module, and restarting the network interface, you should be ready to go!

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Bob April 4, 2012 at 10:20 pm

Is it possible to compile the driver if it’s a windows driver? I am on the Intel website and I can only find .exe available for download, not the source code.

Reply

Laurens van der Starre April 5, 2012 at 1:22 pm

No, it has to be a linux driver. If you have an intel chipset for your NIC, it should be working out of the box.
If you are creating a new OVM Server now, then I would advise not to go with version 2, but start with 3. Version 3 has better hardware compatibility.

Reply

David Moraes December 11, 2012 at 2:00 pm

Thanks for your Help.

Reply

Raja May 1, 2013 at 5:38 pm

Laurens van der Starre,

Thanks a lot for this wonderful post.

I have an issue here:
I have plugged in my USB SanDisk Cruzer Blade 32G.

I could see it is detecting the device :
scsi 5:0:0:0: Direct-Access SanDisk Cruzer Blade 1.26 PQ: 0 ANSI: 5

O/P of ‘dmesg | grep -i sdb
sd 5:0:0:0: Attached ssg2 type 0csi generic
sd 5:0:0:0: [sdb] 62530624 512-byte logical blocks: (32 GB/29.8 GiB)
sd 5:0:0:0: [sdb] Write Protect is off
sd 5:0:0:0: [sdb] Mode Sense 43 00 00 00
sd 5:0:0:0: [sdb] Write cache: disabled, read chache: enabled, doesn’t support CPO or FUA
sdb: sdb1
sd 5:0:0:0: [sdb] Attached scsi removable disk

However I am unable to trace it from “mount | grep sdb”
or even unable to mount it.

mount -t vfat /dev/adb1 /mnt/myUSB
mount: /dev/usb1 already mounted or /mnt/myUSB busy

Could you please let me know how to mount the same.

Thanks in advance.

Reply

Laurens van der Starre May 2, 2013 at 1:50 pm

Difficult to say. Make sure you’re not in the /mnt/myUSB directory when trying to mount it.
What does fuser -m /dev/sdb1 sauy?

Reply

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