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SUSE Toasts Hardware (Updated)

Posted in GNU/Linux, Hardware, SLES/SLED at 7:29 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Fried lizards for dinner?

This is bad, no matter the stage of development.

The Intel e1000e driver on openSUSE 11.1 Beta 1 and SUSE Linux Enterprise 11 Beta 1 might have a serious issue with the potential to damage the network card in a way that it cannot be used any longer.

Intel and Novell are currently working to analyze and solve the issue.

It’s a severe issue — severe enough for Zonker to just quote verbatim in his blog. Maybe Novell should issue a press release about it [sarcasm /]. Sort of, like… to warn customers using SLES beta on live servers.

It does not say anywhere whether the issue may be distro specific, buy it could be related to the kernel (possibly Intel’s fault). Either way, there’s this comment:

“Btw, this seems to be an upstream problem, so users of latest kernel snapshots should be carefull as well on their systems …”


“Have you any idea how retarded this request is for anything with an SLE prefix? C’mon guys, get with the programme. Jeez, blow up HW with a SW upgrade, what is this, a TRS-80 retrospective?”

Microsoft SUSE

Update: Alex Hudson tells us that it’s a kernel bug.

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  1. AlexH said,

    September 23, 2008 at 8:16 am


    Seems unfair to suggest that this is a SUSE problem…

  2. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 23, 2008 at 8:19 am


    We don’t know yet.

  3. AlexH said,

    September 23, 2008 at 8:23 am


    You mean you don’t know; other people realise that it’s a a kernel bug probably introduced in 2.6.27, and affects a number of distros.

    But don’t let that stop you bashing a free software project…

  4. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 23, 2008 at 9:02 am


    SLES is free software? I still very much question that.

    Anyway, thanks for the link. I’ll update the post.

  5. AlexH said,

    September 23, 2008 at 9:11 am


    Given that you’re not a customer of Novell (presumably), I don’t see how you’re able to question whether or not it’s free software.

    Personally, I think you should be applauding them for making this issue so well-known and for working on a solution. That’s a real contribution, not scaring people off Linux.

  6. Dan O'Brian said,

    September 23, 2008 at 9:25 am


    Roy: you need to stop attacking first and asking questions later (or, more precisely – attacking first and never asking questions later) and instead ask questions first and attack only after you discover the facts and even then only if they warrant an attack.

    You wonder why people attack you, this would be why. You falsely accuse and attack people, groups, projects, and companies every day over and over, even after you’ve been proven wrong.

  7. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 23, 2008 at 11:36 am


    I clearly stated in the post that it could be a kernel issue. The facts as they were stated still stand, Dan.

    Remember those Ubuntu-laptop HDD issues?

  8. AlbertoP said,

    September 23, 2008 at 11:45 am


    Roy: The problem is not specific of openSUSE. Simply google for “intel e1000e linux” and find out that also ubuntu noticed the problem and discussed it on launchpad https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/linux/+bug/263555

    Novell and OpenSUSE did the right thing (TM) spreading the knowledge about this dangerous bug, writing it on news.opensuse.org and sending emails to all the members of its community.

    To conclude, it is not a fair behaviour to accuse someone if, as you said, “we don’t know yet”, which is not true (see link to kernel bug above). You want to “explore the reality”, and you “don’t know yet”, simply look for information instead of writing articles just to attract the attention to your website.

    We should probably stop commenting and reading this site. We are feeding it by simply replying.


  9. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 23, 2008 at 11:48 am



    You’re a member of OpenSUSE. No bias there? You’re trying to sling mud along with Mono defenders here (shooting the messenger).

  10. Baby In The Bath Water said,

    September 23, 2008 at 1:19 pm


    You aren’t the messenger of actual facts, Roy, you are the messenger that fabricates lies on his ride to deliver the news.

    As far as shooting the messenger, you would know all about that seeing as how you were trying to shoot down the messenger (Greg KH) the other day.

    You, sir, are the biggest hypocrite on the planet.

    Note: this comment was posted from Novell’s headquarters.

  11. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 23, 2008 at 1:27 pm


    No, I defended based on facts and stated Greg’s affiliation, as did other Ubuntu developers who challenged his allegations.

  12. wyretrip said,

    September 23, 2008 at 1:54 pm


    Your bias is showing.. again.

    This site would be a valuable source of news if it wasn’t so slanted. Simply present facts and events.. you don’t have to connect the dots for us as you see them.

    This article should be completely revised to state there is an upstream bug that can affect e1000 cards. The fact that SuSE is affected doesn’t warrant a story labeled “SuSE Toasts Hardware”.

  13. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 23, 2008 at 1:56 pm


    I guess you should also contact Slashdot and ask them to ‘correct’ their report, which bear the headline:

    OpenSUSE Beta Can Brick Intel e1000e Network Cards

  14. AlbertoP said,

    September 23, 2008 at 2:05 pm


    Roy, I’m _not_ a member of openSUSE. Check here, the members list is public: https://users.opensuse.org/membership/list

    I was a member for a short period, then I left because of personal reasons that lead to lack of time. However yes, when I can I beta-test openSUSE and I did some translations. But I’m not affiliated with openSUSE and with Novell in any way. Novell sent to me an openSUSE box for each release I helped to debug and translate, and a penguin plush because my proposal for an openSUSE motto won in a poll. I don’t really think this can make me automatically biased.

    However you don’t really know enough about openSUSE and me to say I am biased anyway. If you come to openSUSE channels, which is something I think you should do at least sometime to be able to judge the community and their work, you’d see I’m pretty well known from my very critical statements when I think they do something wrong. But this is not the case. This time they did something right to protect their users and also the community and Novell from unmotivated attacks like this one.

    To conclude, I think the “messenger” makes more damage to itself changing the real message. So I don’t really need to sling mug.


  15. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 23, 2008 at 2:16 pm



    Yes, you have been polite and I appreciate it, but to nitpick or find weak posts to just throw everything out is hasty and unfair (see the article from Slashdot). I understand that Novell sent you gifts in exchange for valuable contributions (I won’t comment on that); disclosures do establish trust.

    As far as going into #opensuse, I doubt I would be welcome. Besides, Ben Weber is already in #boycottnovell tracking the activity and reporting back to other channels.

    I too used to be a lizard, but as you can see, all I get there now is libel and smears.

  16. AlbertoP said,

    September 23, 2008 at 2:48 pm


    Roy, the point is that almost every single detail about Novell and openSUSE activities is interpreted as negative and explained in incomplete form in order to allow you to elaborate your personal conclusions.
    This would be OK if supported by objective proofs, but you write your opinions, and try make them appear as the reality. An example? Read the title of this discussion. It is simple like that. In the title you conclude that it’s Novell/openSUSE fault, and citing slashdot you forget to report that [quote]“Bug reports for Fedora 9 and 10 and Linux Kernel 2.6.27rc1 match the symptoms reported by SUSE users.”[/quote]

    The gifts Novell sent to me are sent regularly to whoever takes part to openSUSE beta-testing and translation as a “thank you”. All testers receive a boxed version of openSUSE. It has been that way for a long time before Novell acquisition.

    You say you don’t think you would be welcome in openSUSE channels. You won’t find a party waiting for you. But the atmosphere is respectful for everyone. I invited you not because openSUSE needs to track you (actually I think they should ignore what you write), but simply because it is one way to learn something about what really happens in the community.


  17. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 23, 2008 at 3:00 pm



    I drew attention to the headline from Slashdot. In my own post as well it was said in the body (before I knew for sure) that it’s likely to apply to other (cutting-edge) distributions.

    I guess my wording was not terse, but I wrote this in a rush.

  18. Baby In The Bath Water said,

    September 23, 2008 at 3:26 pm


    If this was the first time this had happened, maybe we’d all cut you more slack – but you consistently attack Novell over things that are not their fault and then get upset when “people shoot down the messenger”.

    Well, gee whiz, I wonder why they shoot down the messenger. The messenger isn’t credible, nor is his message.

    Note: this comment was posted from Novell’s headquarters.

  19. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 23, 2008 at 3:32 pm


    This sort of criticism is akin to mother-of-all-lies SCO accusing Groklaw of being unreliable or libelous. Geez, I guess I should ‘balance’ the posts by in luding more press releases and quotes from Novell (I already do that on Saturday) about how nice Microsoft has been, how customers are offered “IP peace of mind,” and how business is up (it’s not).

  20. lalala said,

    September 23, 2008 at 4:00 pm


    If there was an article (slashdot, etc.) about ubuntu “toasting” hardware, would you have posted about it? Probably not. Anything to make SUSE look bad.

  21. Baby In The Bath Water said,

    September 23, 2008 at 4:12 pm


    Roy: the difference is that our criticism of you is actually true.

    Note: this comment was posted from Novell’s headquarters.

  22. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 23, 2008 at 4:36 pm


    Who is we (our)? All the names that I see posting here are SUSE/Novell people and their defenders. You’ve posted here before, so I know you’re not here as regulars contributing constructive feedback.

  23. ZiggyFish said,

    September 23, 2008 at 4:56 pm


    When I read this, I thought that it was a bad day for Linux. However I quickly realized that it happened on a beta/release candidate release of the kernel. Also the developer has been identified and

    The problem however seems to be about the firmware of the card and they are finding fixes for it (i.e Card is not broken, just not functional).

  24. AlexH said,

    September 23, 2008 at 5:30 pm


    @Roy: the fact that you’re looking at the names of who is posting, and not the actual content of the post, shows clearly it is you who is “shooting the messenger”.

    Address the argument, for once, and stop hand-waving away your mistakes by mislabelling people as if that explains it.

  25. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 23, 2008 at 5:51 pm


    No, I just see a firing line, that’s all.

  26. Jose_X said,

    September 24, 2008 at 11:24 am


    Here is a Mandriva announcement: http://blog.mandriva.com/2008/09/23/urgent-notification-major-bug-in-all-mandriva-linux-2009-pre-releases/

    I would not be surprised if Intel is bent on getting the word out quickly so that their hw is not toasted before the eyes of many.

  27. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 24, 2008 at 11:31 am



    “Linux kernel 2.6.27″

    So Ubuntu 8.10 is likely to be affected also.

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