slave node problem

Donald Becker becker at
Mon Feb 4 16:48:17 EST 2002

On Sat, 2 Feb 2002, david silverman wrote:

> The department here just upgraded the PCs, so there were quite a few 
> obsolete pentiumMMX computers with 64M laying around, so I thought I'd try 
> I have the $3 Scyld -8 CD. The front-end node seems to work fine. The slave 
> nodes, though don't get past getting an IP address. After getting the IP 
> address, it just keeps repeating 'neighbor table overflow'.

This is one of the least useful messages from the Linux kernel.
It is a general purpose network error, with a non-descriptive message.

In this case I suspect that it means either "no ARP response" or
"transmit packets were not marked as complete".

> It seems to recognize the etherlink III 3c590 NIC fine during
> bootup.

What NIC do you have?
Is it really an ancient 10Mbps 3c590, or some other 590/900 series card?

> The PCs are  
> connected together through just a cheap hub. Prior to the arp, there was 
> the message: ***WARNING*** No MII transceivers found.

This is expected if you really have a '590, but bad if you have a more
modern card.

> Reviewing the past 
> postings, I've seen people with similar problems,

No similar problems have been reported.  Remember that all problems look
alike: "it doesn't act as I expected it to".
The 'neighbor table overflow' message is a good example of a generic "it
doesn't work" problem.  Even when the system is functioning, you might
still see the message.

> I can't change the NIC and these PCs won't boot off a 
> CD. I'm not sure how to make a stage 2 boot floppy.

We don't recommend using stage 2 floppies since they must be rewritten
every time you update the kernel or network device drivers.  The stage 2
boot floppy method is needed only for the rare motherboard/BIOS where
Two Kernel Monte fails to start a new kernel.

> Also, are only PCI NICs allowed?


The framework exists for NICs on any bus type that supports
Vendor+Device ID words.  Note the "PCI" label in the
/etc/beowulf/config.boot file.

I'm guessing that you actually want to know about ISA NICs as booting
devices, rather than support for Infiniband, USB 2.0 or Firewire NICs.
No, there are both techincal and practical reasons why we can not
support ISA NICs.

Donald Becker				becker at
Scyld Computing Corporation
410 Severn Ave. Suite 210		Second Generation Beowulf Clusters
Annapolis MD 21403			410-990-9993

Beowulf mailing list, Beowulf at
To change your subscription (digest mode or unsubscribe) visit

More information about the Beowulf mailing list