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protocol 03-27-2012 05:19 AM

Debian Installation - Change Network Card Speed During Installation
 
Hello

A TP-Link Card i use, has trouble with auto-negotiating with my router. I need to be able to manually set the speed of the card, while installing Debian, otherwise no network is available to me.

Is there a way to pass a parameter that will set my eth0 speed to 10Mbps full duplex before i even start installing the distro?

Please assist

Panos

fukawi1 03-27-2012 05:24 AM

I cant see your reasoning from the information provided, but to answer your question, you can configure your NIC's speed (and other settings) using either "ethtool" or "mii-tool".

protocol 03-27-2012 05:32 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by fukawi1 (Post 4637390)
I cant see your reasoning from the information provided, but to answer your question, you can configure your NIC's speed (and other settings) using either "ethtool" or "mii-tool".

Thank you for replying.

My reasoning is that Debian is constantly attempting to use the network while installing, for syncing with a time server, for downloading additional or updated packages, for scanning a repository etc. I am used to this process and have bad memories from previous attempts to install it without a network connection being active.

Therefore, i am seeking for a way to set a proper speed for my network card, so that networking will work as expected during installation. I am aware that i can user "ethtool" or "mii-tool" for adjusting this after installation (although, mind you, ethtool still needs to be downloaded, therefore still needs a network connection to be available), however, i wish there is a way to set the network card speed before installation of the OS actually starts.

Also, i wish to clarify that i am using the 'network-install' method for installing Debian. If i should be downloading the complete cd (or DVD), for mii-tool or ethtool to be available as the system installs, then i will do so.

Regards

fukawi1 03-27-2012 05:44 AM

I still don't understand your problem...

It sounds like you are trying to install Debian, using the network-install image, without a network connection. If this is the case, then you should download the cd/dvd ISO and install from that..

I don't understand why you have to restrict your NIC to 10Mbps, you shouldn't have to configure the NIC speed manually, as both ends of the connection should negotiate to a speed both NIC's are capable of.

protocol 03-27-2012 05:52 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by fukawi1 (Post 4637414)
I still don't understand your problem...
It sounds like you are trying to install Debian, using the network-install image, without a network connection. If this is the case, then you should download the cd/dvd ISO and install from that..

Debian, still constantly attempts to use the network, even while installing from a DVD. For all the reasons that i have stated.

Quote:

Originally Posted by fukawi1 (Post 4637414)
I don't understand why you have to restrict your NIC to 10Mbps, you shouldn't have to configure the NIC speed manually, as both ends of the connection should negotiate to a speed both NIC's are capable of.

As i already mentioned, it is the negotiation that fails, and that has caused this question. I have not experienced a negotiation failure between network devices before, but... there it is, and i am trying to find a way to overcome the problem. If it turns out that there is no way to define the network speed -->at boot time<-- (a question for which it appears that you do not know the answer), then i am smart enough to know that i have several other options (including the possibility to get a new network card).

fukawi1 03-27-2012 06:04 AM

You will need to configure it twice.
Once for the livecd to install, and once for the installed system (the some installers may remember the settings, but I am not sure if Debian is one of them).

I'm not familiar with what you are presented with for the Debian network-install livecd, but assuming you can drop to a different console (ctrl + alt + F1-6) you should be able to configure the NIC with ethtool. If you only get the one console and limited options, then i would suggest trying the full CD iso, which boots to a desktop environment, with a graphical installer that will let you have a console.

Failing that, then I would go with your "new NIC" idea, but i would test the other end of the connection too.

protocol 03-27-2012 06:07 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by fukawi1 (Post 4637429)
You will need to configure it twice.
Failing that, then I would go with your "new NIC" idea, but i would test the other end of the connection too.

Thank you very much for the advice. I will do so, as suggested.

Cheers

WizadNoNext 03-30-2012 12:53 PM

Why bother to install ANY OS directly on machine, when you can do it on virtual machine straight to HDD? Then no confusion with network speed.

P.S. Are your card ancient or something? I never had card, which ever any problems with auto-negotiation.

protocol 03-30-2012 02:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by WizadNoNext (Post 4640808)
Why bother to install ANY OS directly on machine, when you can do it on virtual machine straight to HDD? Then no confusion with network speed.

Why bother eating? We will all die someday.

Quote:

Originally Posted by WizadNoNext (Post 4640808)
P.S. Are your card ancient or something? I never had card, which ever any problems with auto-negotiation.

Actually it is a TP-3269, far from ancient. I've never encountered such a situation before, and i've tested with another TP-3269 as well.

So, to make a long story short (and useful), there is indeed a way to change the network speed at install time. As soon as Debian starts to copy files to the designated partition, one can switch to another console and navigate to the /target folder. Inside that folder there is an "sbin" folder that contains the "mii-tool" program that will allow the exact setting of the network card speed, thus allowing the installation to complete normally. After the first reboot, the tool is inside the /sbin folder. I have checked this process all the way and it works as described.

Despite all this, i took the friend's advice and purchased two Intel network cards that auto-negotiate without any problems.

Thank you all for your help and comments.


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