looking for net driver coder

Carl Karsten carl at personnelware.com
Fri Sep 30 19:15:04 CDT 2005

The Etherboot mail list has agreed that making a UNDI net driver for Linux is a 
good idea, but no one has time.  Where is a good place to post the "job" to see if 
someone wants to do it?  This would probably benefit the Ubuntu LTSP project.

Here are the posts that should give you the basic idea.

> Where can I get some clear info on what the UNDIS3C is? Knoppix has a TS
> option, which first makes you pic out what NICs should be added to the kernel
> that is PXE loaded. It seems like if the kernel can be pxe loaded, it should
> just use the existing connection.
> What am I missing?

> Carl - that is the 3Com equivalent of the 'universal' NDIS driver first created
> by Intel, and originally available via the Intel PXE PDK. It's purpose is to
> provide a single NDIS 2.0 (DOS) driver for DOS-based TCP/IP stacks, the idea
> being that a single DOS boot image will support any PXE 'compliant' NIC out
> there. 3Com still makes the driver available via the MBA utility disk (free) on
> the 3Com site.
> Advantages to the 3Com versus Intel? I do know in some of our testing about 2
> years ago, the 3Com driver would work with an Altiris boot image on an Intel
> GbE NIC where the Intel NIC would not (Altiris supplies the Intel driver).
> Other than that, we've never benched performance on it when we wrote the 3Com
> driver (as part of Lanworks).
> There are some command line options to using it (although not really needed)- I
> can provide the documentation if anyone is interested.
> Steve Marfisi emBoot Inc.

> On Thu, 22 Sep 2005, Carl Karsten wrote:
>>> Well, the "OS" doesn't have any drivers, but the initrd does.  Those 2
>>> things are used to bring up an NFS connection to the rest of the system
>>> (like the modules dir.)  Currently you have to build a "custom" initrd
>>> based on what NIC's you want to support.  my idea is use the pxe stack
>>> untill you can get the NFS mount, then y ou have access to the full
>>> array of drivers and can figure out what is best.
> That actually sounds like a fairly good idea.  You'd have an initrd 
> containing an UNDI net driver, providing an interface "pxe0" (avoiding 
> "eth0" to eliminate confusion), which would work (albeit slowly) to give 
> you access to the normal module loading mechanisms.
> To switch drivers, you'd probably have to copy the driver module to a
> local tmpfs filesystem, store the interface configuration, ifconfig down
> and rmmod the UNDI driver, insmod the new driver module and ifconfig eth0
> with the stored interface configuration, then restart dhcpd.  (You can't
> rely on dhcp to obtain the initial address for eth0, because the dhcpd
> program itself would be inaccessible until eth0 was up).
> I don't have the free time to do it myself, but I'd be interested to see 
> the results if anyone else does.  The Etherboot UNDI driver and the 
> Linux ndiswrapper would be good places to start investigating.
> If anyone is really desperate for this functionality, feel free to make me 
> an offer to get it written.
> Michael
> Etherboot-users mailing list
> Etherboot-users at lists.sourceforge.net
> https://lists.sourceforge.net/lists/listinfo/etherboot-users

^Carl K

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