Load NIC driver during install?

jkbuckethead
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Load NIC driver during install?

Postby jkbuckethead » Tue Nov 20, 2018 8:00 pm

I've been interested in upgrading the NIC in my HDA for a while now. Unfortunately what I discovered was that amahi supports only one NIC, and is bound to the NIC used during the install. I tried changing NICs manually, but it was beyond my skills and knowledge. I am doing a clean install of version 11 so I thought this might be an opportunity to upgrade the NIC by installing the NIC before the isntall.

My plan was to use an Aquantia AQN-107. This NIC supports 1, 2.5, 5, or 10Gbe depending on the length and type of cable used, plus of course the speed of the port to which it is connected. I have a netgear switch that provides ports of all four speeds. I don't have a free 10Gbe port, but 5Gbe is still a nice speed increase.

I installed the new NIC, and disabled the onboard NIC in BIOS so the system would detect only one NIC. I booted the amahi CD, but unfortunately after selecting my language I got a Network Configuration screen instead of the expected Installation Summary screen. The page says "No network devices available" making it look like the system is not recognizing the new NIC. I know from my previous experiment with Amahi 10, the system did detect the hardware (no drivers installed) even though I could not figure out how to use it. When I installed this same NIC in my windows 10 PC, the NIC would not work until I installed the driver. I wonder if the same goes for Linux?

Aquantia does offer linux drivers for the card. Is there a way to load drivers from a thumb drive during the install process?

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bigfoot65
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Re: Load NIC driver during install?

Postby bigfoot65 » Wed Nov 21, 2018 12:07 pm

Aquantia does offer linux drivers for the card. Is there a way to load drivers from a thumb drive during the install process?
Not sure if you can load drivers until the actual OS install is complete.

Might consider using the DVD which has more drivers and might include one compatible with your network card.

Also recommend checking out the internet for guidance.
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jkbuckethead
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Re: Load NIC driver during install?

Postby jkbuckethead » Wed Nov 21, 2018 3:06 pm

I thought about the full DVD option after my original post. The installer seems to work since it is using the media, and not looking for a network device to complete the install. However, I ran into a different problem.

I downloaded the Fedora 27 iso using the link on the Fedora 27 Server DVD Install wiki page. Unfortunately, the software selection screen offers only two options - Fedora Server Edition and Fedora Custom Operating System. Minimal Install is not an option. In fact, most of the dozen or so options depicted in the wiki screenshot are missing.

Is either of the available options acceptable for Amahi? If so, which one?

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bigfoot65
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Re: Load NIC driver during install?

Postby bigfoot65 » Wed Nov 21, 2018 3:15 pm

Unfortunately, the software selection screen offers only two options - Fedora Server Edition and Fedora Custom Operating System. Minimal Install is not an option. In fact, most of the dozen or so options depicted in the wiki screenshot are missing.
Interesting. We were initially using Workstation I believe before switching to Server. Good catch!

I would say try Server and see how it works. You don't need to select anything on the right side.

Will have to work on updating the screenshot to match the DVD.

Sorry about that as we tested these installs and must have just overlooked it.
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bigfoot65
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Re: Load NIC driver during install?

Postby bigfoot65 » Wed Nov 21, 2018 6:19 pm

Screenshot and guidance updated for Fedora 27 DVD install guidance.
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jkbuckethead
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Re: Load NIC driver during install?

Postby jkbuckethead » Wed Nov 21, 2018 11:18 pm

The wiki may not be entirely incorrect. The Installation Summary screenshots show Fedora Server Edition, but the Software Selection screen and the text refer to the minimal install. I was inclined to go with the minimal install since that was used for Fedora 25.

I went ahead and installed Fedora Server edition, but unfortunately my NIC still was not recognized. That was disappointing as this is not all that uncommon of a chipset anymore. There are at least 4 manufacturers putting these in their NICs, plus a handful of motherboards now include the same basic chip. There are linux drivers for the card, which would probably help, but unfortunately installing the driver manually from a thumb drive using the command line is way over my head.

My other server has a Mellanox MNPA19-XTR card so just for grins I took it out and installed the card in the HDA. Fedora did recognize the card right away, and now that I had a network connection I was able to install amahi. I had a temporary monitor connected so when it finished and rebooted, I could see the HDA login prompt. I am also able to connect to the fedora management console, and it looks like amahi is running. Unfortunately though, whenever I try to access the dashboard in a browser I get the dreaded Dashboard exception error. I don't know if it doesn't like the NIC, or it doesn't like the version of fedora I used, but whatever it is I can't use it like this.

I also tried the express CD with the mellanox card to see what happened. It did see the mellanox card and complete the installation, but upon completion I am still getting the dashboard exception. This same computer was running amahi 10 yesterday, except for the new NIC.
It seems like the new NIC is not compatible for some reason. I guess it's back to plain old 1Gbe for me.

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Re: Load NIC driver during install?

Postby bigfoot65 » Thu Nov 22, 2018 5:30 am

Based on your other post, sounds like this may not be related to the new nic.

Recommend we close this thread and continue in the other you started.
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