My problem with Ethernet naming on Red Hat Enterprise 5
Here's my problem: I have a bunch of identical 1U servers (SunFire
X2100 M2s) with four onboard Ethernet ports, driven by two different
chipsets (two nVidia ones, two Broadcom ones). I want to configure our
RHEL installs so that no matter which physical unit I stuff the system
disks into, the Ethernet ports come up with consistent names that match
the ports on the back of the server;
eth0 should always be the port
labeled 'port 0' and so on.
(Since they have hotswap drive bays, we want to be able to easily swap drives between units in case of hardware failure or the like. It also simplifies general administration a bunch if the Ethernet naming matches the hardware naming.)
In the good old days, this was simple; just set up
eth1 to the
tg3 driver and
eth2 to the
forcedeth driver, and everything usually worked.
In the new world of
udev, not so much; much like with Ubuntu, everything really wants to name things based
on known Ethernet addresses, and there seems to be no way to control
what order modules are loaded in. The furthest I've gotten is a
configuration that does nothing with any 'new' Ethernet ports, so you
have to log in on the console and change all of the
HWADDR values in
the ifcfg files to have the correct Ethernet addresses.
(To do this, you have to turn off
kudzu with '
kudzu'. If you leave it enabled, it will helpfully configure any 'new'
Ethernet ports to do DHCP on boot, and in the process it will replace
your working ifcfg files with new ones. Yes, it leaves the old files
.bak extensions, but I am pretty sure that if you swap
hardware twice you will lose them entirely.)