Mailinglist Archive: opensuse-features (542 mails)

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[openFATE 310896] Consistent Network device naming-Name network interfaces to match chassis labels
  • From: fate_noreply@xxxxxxx
  • Date: Wed, 1 Dec 2010 18:30:34 +0100 (CET)
  • Message-id: <feature-310896-4@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Feature changed by: Mark Cowley (mcowley)
Feature #310896, revision 4
Title: Consistent Network device naming-Name network interfaces to
match chassis labels

- openSUSE-11.4: Unconfirmed
+ openSUSE-11.4: New
Requester: Important

Requested by: Narendra K - (narendra_k)
Partner organization:

On a Dell PowerEdge server with multiple add-in cards, the naming of
the network interfaces is non-deterministic. This results in 'eth0' not
mapping to "Embedded NIC 1" as labelled on the server chassis. This
issue is seen on Dell PowerEdge 10G above. This feature addresses this
issue by renaming network interfaces based on the following policy as
discussed in the Linux Plumbers Conference -
Embedded devices: em<port> (em => ethernet-on-motherboard)
Add-in PCI cards: pci<slot>#<port>_<virtual function instance>
On a PER710 with 4 Lan-On-Motherboard interfaces and a dual port add-in
network controller, the interface names would look like -
- Onboard interfaces - em1  em2  em3  em4  eth0
+ Onboard interfaces - em1  em2  em3  em4
Interface names for the dual port add-in controller on pci slot 2
pci2#0, pci2#1
If the second port has virtual functions enabled -pci2#1_0,  pci2#1_2
... etc
Biosdevname, which is a Dell developed utility can suggest these names
for the kernel ethN names. This needs to be used as a udev helper
utility. It is available here -
Please find the relevant upstream discussions -

Test Case:
With this change -
1.ifconfig -a would show emN names for onboard interfaces.
2. em1 should correspond to the interface labelled 'Gb1' on the chassis
label, em2 to 'Gb2' etc. This can be tested by
ethtool -p em1 (Blinks the interface)
3. If the kernel has the commit
cat /sys/class/net/em1/device/label
Embedded NIC 1

Use Case:
System administrators can use the Bios provided names which are
consistent across reboots. There is no state such as HWADDR embedded to
achieve persistent naming

Business case (Partner benefit): When there are multiple network interfaces in a system
(onboard + add-in interfaces), eth0 does not always map to the
'Embedded NIC 1' as labelled on system chassis. The naming is non-
deterministic. This feature request addresses the issue by naming the
interfaces as per the BIOS suggested names.
Please refer to the following for more details on the reasons for non-

openSUSE Feature:

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