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Old 09-14-2005, 11:40 AM   #1
teckk
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Registered: Oct 2004
Distribution: FreeBSD Arch
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Network Stalling, Internet Stalling. Need network admin please.


Would a network admin give me a hand.

I've experienced network stalling with every distro of Linux that I have ever tried. When browsing the internet with any browser or media player, the browser or media stream will die after a while. If I watch Gkrellm I can see that it's not even making any requests. When making large downloads like an .iso with a dload mgr like wget I can watch the download die, pick up, die, pickup etc. I can remedy the problem with something like "ifdown eth0" "ifup eth0" or "ifconfig eth0 down" for a while until it dies again in 3, 5, 10 min. Now that could be due to heavy load on a web site. The BSD and windows machines hooked to the same switch have no problem. I can also leave the machine alone for 5, 10 min and the problem is gone for a while.

I don't think that it's a hardware problem. I've had Linux on 8 machines ranging from Celeron 400, PII, PIII 850, P4 2.4 etc. The PIII and P4s have 512MB RAM.

It's not distro specific. I've used Fedora, Centos, Mandrake, Slack, Vector, Debian, etc.

I don't believe it's network hardware specific. I've got FreeBSD and Windows hooked to the same switches as the Linux machines. BSD and Windows have no problem. I've switched patch cables, switches, network cards etc. I've even hooked Linux machines together with a crossover cable, and to windows machines with crossover cables, Linux still stalls.
I've shared a windows box internet connection with a Linux box, Linux stalls.

I've used Linux with 10/100 Mb Ethernet and 802.11b. Linux stalls.
At this point I believe that Linux has a network performance problem.

I solved the problem, I switched to FreeBSD which doesn't suffer from that problem. Great handbook, great ports/package collection, rock stable, I've never had a FreeBSD machine crash yet, apps yes the OS no. I use it as my main desktop most of the time now.

I've mentioned this to other LQ members before and was told that they had never had such a problem. So the prob must be on my end.

This building is hooked to the internet with a DSL home portal. It's a combo DSL modem-router. I have a switch hooked to it, all the machines to the switch. They're all 100Mb. I also have wireless bridges talking to the portal (80211.b) The portal supports 6 simultaneous Wi-Fi. I have switches hooked to the wireless bridges which are WiFi to the portal.

It does not matter where I put the Linux boxs. On the switch connected to the portal or on a switch connected to the wireless bridge. Linux stalls.

Ifconfig doesn't show any collisions. If this were on only 1 machine that would be an obvious machine or config problem.

If I hook 2 Linux machine together on a switch and transfer files one to the other, 2 or 3 GB worth, I can watch Linux stall and pick up, stall and pick up. That's not too bad on a LAN but for internet access it makes it unusable to me for anything mission critical.

I read others having the same complaint may times over the last year here on LQ.
I'm not a network admin, I'm an engineer. I've a good understanding of ethernet for managing this small LAN. I could use instruction.

I would appreciate your comments.
 
Old 09-14-2005, 01:25 PM   #2
vesperatus
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Do you have the problem on the SAME machine using different distros or any combination of machine/distros of linux gives you that problem ?

It's almost untrackable if this happens with every combination of pc and distribution !
 
Old 09-14-2005, 02:05 PM   #3
teckk
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Yes I know, that's why I concluded that Linux itself has the problem.

Mandrake is the slowest acting distro out of the box that I have used, Slack is the fastest. And that is when installed on the same box. There is nothing wrong with Slacks performance until the network interface stalls out. Kernel 2.4.

Fedora works well if the network interface would work for more than 10 min without stalling out. Kernel 2.6.3 & Centos Kernel 2.6.8
Close the browser and a quick ifdown, ifup, reopen the browser will put it back into action for a while. That just does not work for anything mission critical like taking a timed test on-line. Or watching media streams. There's ways around it like downloading the stream first. Lots of extra effort. It is good for learning.

This is not suppose to start a distro flame war. I'm trying to get at the fault.

I can put FreeBSD on an old slow PII with only 32 MB RAM in it and run KDE if I want. It is slow for sure but not a connection problem out of it. Of course Fluxbox works better but the point is I'm not talking about slow, I'm talking about not working.

There have been lots of posts on LQ from people who's Browser with Linux takes 2-3 min to load a page. It's not the browser having a problem, it's Linux waiting to come out of the stall it has. I think this is why lots of people leave Linux and go on to another OS. I'm sure that there are many people reading this that have the same problem with Linux but are silent because you'll get flamed for saying a discouraging word

There's nothing wrong with Firefox other than being a little buggy sometimes, minor prob. Fedora with Firefox will surf the web like lightening for a while until the stall sets in. I finally made a shortcut on the desktop for "kdesu ifdown eth0" etc.
There's nothing wrong with Mplayer either, but it won't play without a continuing stream.

It could be a problem with the DSL home portal I guess, but BSD will stay up for weeks without incident.

Linuxs' performance on the network is better than the windows machines as long as the network interface is working. This is a memory allocation problem, buffer prob, module problem, MTU,.....wish I knew. I've used several different network card brands, types.

As I said I'm not unhappy, FreeBSD is just what I was looking for. I would like to find out what needs to be changed to make these Linux boxs work better.

Respond as you will. Thanks.
 
Old 09-14-2005, 02:15 PM   #4
vesperatus
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I have a RedHat 9 server right under my nose and can surf the net, download, transfer file, whatever without a problem.

Your's is kinda weird. It sounds like a hardware problem. but if you changed computers and you are still having an issue, I can only see 1 problem and it's U . I'm not a linux guru, but from my experience, I beleive that most problem we have ( us newbies ) is that we are not configuring things properly. To get help on that, we'll have to wait until someone who knows how to configure/debug linux networks.

Good luck
 
Old 09-14-2005, 03:39 PM   #5
vesperatus
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This looks similiar :

http://www.linuxquestions.org/questi...hreadid=363201
 
Old 10-19-2005, 10:02 AM   #6
FraQture
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Registered: Dec 2004
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So, is the source of this problem known yet? Because although it might work, having to run a "kdesu ifdown eth0" shortcut every x minutes sounds like a shitty workaround.
 
Old 10-19-2005, 05:22 PM   #7
dguitar
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Registered: Jun 2005
Location: Portland, ME
Distribution: Slackware 13, CentOS 5.3, FBSD 7.2, OBSD 4.6, Fedora 11
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Just thought I'd throw my 2 cents in about this.

I run 3 servers out of my house and 2 servers at work. 2 Linux(FC3) and 3 windows(2k3). Now at my house I would have the same problem. I'm not a real guru on linux networking or networking in general, but I know enough to maintain these servers(Web designer by trade). I asked a buddy of mine about this issue who is a 'guru'. After quite abit of explaination which most when just a tad over my head, but could grasp the conecpts behind the whole thing, he got it working like a champ. He basically explained it to me that there are underlying problems w/ IPv4 and TCP/IP and packet switching, it's self that become more apparent in Linux then windows (can't explain the FreeBSD working well). Although most people don't notice it, or notice it and think it's just the website etc etc. Also added to the fact something w/ the drivers and NIC cards that are of certian brands. Never had the problem again.



This probably doesn't help you at all or maybe it does. Probably doesn't make much sense either.

I'll try to ask him what he did and report back next time i see him.
 
Old 06-24-2009, 02:41 PM   #8
Vlad-The-Impaled
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Registered: Jun 2006
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I know this is a very old thread, but I am having EXACTLY the same issues with Fedora and CentOS Linux installations on 5 servers at our colocated data center. The Windows 2000 boxes there are working fine for web & FTP serving of large file content, but when attempting to send a file of 20mb or larger, it will stall after about 7-8mb of download.

Strangely, I can backup the same servers across the LAN we have there without issue though. NFS and Samba are also not a problem. Its just HTTP and FTP downloaded traffic. I also have not seen this problem with uploaded traffic to us though. It might be due to the fact that uploaded traffic comes into our servers at a much slower speed and is not affected, but at 650K/s download speed, I can routinely (but not at the same place) see a stall of download traffic that turns into a lock up of the download and failure.

These boxes have 2.6.18 and 2.6.20 kernels on them. They are on different hardware configurations - some are running as VMs and others are dedicated boxes with Intel E1000 NICs (some have other branded NICs so its not consistent with hardware or drivers).

Did anyone ever get to the bottom of what was going on here?

Thanks in advance for any input.

V
 
Old 06-27-2009, 12:56 AM   #9
teckk
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Registered: Oct 2004
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Might not be an option for you but

I solved the problem back then by turning off the dynamic assigning of IP addresses (DHCP) and gave everything on the LAN a fixed IP. The portal was passing out the leases on the LAN at a certain interval. I tried changing everything. Nothing fixed it until I made the LAN static.

This was a 2wire model 1000 portal (dsl modem) hooked to sbc. Linux did not play well with it until I made all IP's fixed. I guess I also fixed the nameserver too.

FreeBSD 5 played well with it, so did windoze. FreeBSD 6 when it came out had the same problem as linux. That's when I stopped blaming the penguin and looked at the portal. Gave the portal 192.168.0.1, everything else 192.168.1.1 etc.

That doesn't answer your question, but it was something to do with the assigning of IP addresses to the Linux boxes from the portal that caused a stall. I even changed the config to check for new machines and pass out addresses only once an hour without success. This LAN was a mixture of Centos 4, FreeBSD 6 and XP machines then.

Sorry I can't be of more help. Never had to be a real network admin. I fixed it my way which was acceptable at the time and moved on.
 
  


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