[CentOS] Need advice trying to load ethernet firmware for kickstart

Spiro Harvey spiro at knossos.net.nz
Wed Nov 10 18:02:47 EST 2010

I've got a memory stick that I use to install systems. It's basically
just has a simple isolinux setup on it that calls up the kickstart
files from an http server and pulls down the distro via our online repo.

However, I'm trying to get a standard automated install like this on an
IBM box which has a Broadcom NetXtreme 2 NIC that requires firmware to
be there on bootup.

I've got the file, and I've added it into the directory that I think it
should be in (/lib/firmware/bnx2) on the initrd.img. However, when the
system boots, it identifies the NICs on one of the console screens,
but borks and won't boot properly.

On console 1:

GRUB boots, I get menu, choose option.
Kernel loads
initrd.img loads
anaconda starts
loads usb-storage module
borks with:

loader received SIGSEGV! Backtrace
 ... etc
install exited normally [1/1]

sends termination signals, unmounts everything, and halts ("You may
safely reboot")

On console screen 3:

last few items are loading bnx2 module, insert module, remove
usb-storge from modprobe.conf, and finally "getting kickstart file"

On screen 4:

detects storge devices and BNX2 NICs

It seems to be crapping out when it tries to do the network access, but
I've got nothing more I can trace the problem with. There's no shell
yet. So I can't figure out if I've put the firmware in the wrong place,
given it the wrong permissions (dirs are 755 and .fw file is 644) but
whether that even matters because the source files are on a FAT16
partition, I don't know. It could just not be loading it, or the file
could be corrupt.

So how do I go about debugging this? Or am I doing it wrong?

Any advice or pointers greatly appreciated.


Spiro Harvey                           Knossos Networks Ltd
(04) 460-2531 : (021) 295-1923          www.knossos.net.nz
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