I have an Edubuntu server that has been used to boot both thin clients and fat clients for quite some time. Now, we're trying to use HP 8200s with Allied Telesis AT2711 100Base-FX NICs, and things have gotten weird when trying to boot with the AT cards.

The AT NIC will request and get an IP address, download and load the image. Then, it requests the IP address the second time, but APPLIES THE ADDRESS TO THE ON-BOARD NETWORK CONNECTION! If I connect a patch cable to the onboard network connection before initramfs times out to busybox, the computer finishes booting. But only the on-board network connection is active, the computer acts like the AT NIC isn't even there, even though lsmod shows the tigon tg3 driver being loaded.

I've been all over the 'net, all over the Canonical website, but can't find anything that helps. ipappend 2, ipappend 3, adding biosdevname=0 to pxelinux.cfg/default, blacklisting modules so they can be loaded in a different order specified in chroot etc/modules, adding to the net) section in initramfs-tools/hook-functions.......in short, I've tried everything that I could find that seemed to have a chance of helping.

Allied Telesis changed the design of their card earlier this year; I remember that the old version did not have this problem. But, I can't go back and verify because we've shipped all the old inventory and have none left. (BTW, I'm using this setup in a QA environment, to run a final functional test on products before we deliver to customers.)

Any help, except the suggestion of using a different NIC, would be greatly appreciated. The card cannot be changed for a number of reasons, not the least of which is a contractual requirement.

  • Bear with me as I learn about this stuff. It's now clear that UDHCPC is assigning the IP address incorrectly, ignoring the "ipappend 3" in pxelinux.cfg/default. I'm slogging through the code looking for the offending subroutine. Recap: the workstation works fine until DHCPC starts. DHCPC requests an IP address via the add-in Allied Telesis NIC, but assigns the address to the embedded NIC, and tries to connect through the embedded NIC. If I connect the embedded NIC to the switch the workstation boots fine, but the AT NIC acts as if it isn't there.
    – Mark Pesi
    Aug 10, 2014 at 14:27


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