Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Serious, potentially hardware-damaging e1000e driver issue on Intrepid

This e-mail appeared in my inbox just now. If you're thinking of trying the Intrepid Alpha6 CD, you should know this information. I'm publishing because not all the people who want to test will be on the ubuntu-dev mailing list.
Dear developers,

Reports have been coming in that the e1000e ethernet driver for Intel GigE chipsets, as included upstream in Linux 2.6.27, may under certain conditions irreparably damage your ethernet hardware by corrupting the on-board firmware.

While we expect alphas to include a fair number of bugs, and rely on your continued support and testing to help resolve these bugs for Ubuntu releases, bugs that damage hardware are quite another matter.  As a result of this bug we must recommend that users do *not* use Intrepid alphas, including the LiveCDs, on machines with Intel GigE ethernet.

Efforts to safeguard the hardware of affected users are ongoing, though initially this will consist of a workaround in the form of disabling the e1000e driver.  Alpha 6 CD images will not be re-issued for this fix, so affected users are advised to either use daily CD images once a resolution is in place, or to wait for the release of the 8.10 beta, due to be released on October 2.

Further discussion of this issue can be found on the ubuntu-devel mailing list at
and progress on resolving this issue can be tracked at

Steve Langasek                   Give me a lever long enough and a Free OS
Debian Developer                   to set it on, and I can move the world.
Ubuntu Developer                          


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