alx

alx Ethernet driver

This is the home page of the Linux Qualcomm Atheros alx Ethernet driver.

Device support

Updated on March 05, 2013:

The alx driver is intended to only add support for newer Ethernet device. It used to be the case that the alx driver was trying to replace atl1c but aftter some discussions we deteremined its best to keep doing evolutions on atl1c for older chipsets and only use alx for newer chipsets that previously did not have drivers. As it is right now work all atl1c device support from the alx driver has been split and moved upstream, in the meantime alx continues to support all the newer QCA Ethernet chipset.

You can get alx support through two means:

The differences between the releases is that the alx standalone git tree should be used for development in coordination with the Linux kernel and FreeBSD family. The alx standalone git tree only supports the linux-next kernel. The compat-drivers release provides kernel backport support for all supported Linux kernel releases.

The alx driver was submitted for upstream inclusion a few times now and it has gotten rejected, we are working to clean that up for a new submission. The alx driver though is being developed under a new paradigm. We are trying to address support for both Linux and FreeBSD with one standalone tree and once we get support for both under one tree we will submit the driver upstream to both kernels.

The alx driver provide support for:

  • 1969:1091 - AR8161 Gigabit Ethernet
  • 1969:1090 - AR8162 Fast Ethernet
  • 1969:10A1 - QCA8171 Gigabit Ethernet
  • 1969:10A0 - QCA8172 Fast Ethernet

atl1c provides support for these chipsets:

  • 1969:1063 - AR8131 Gigabit Ethernet
  • 1969:1062 - AR8132 Fast Ethernet
  • 1969:2062 - AR8152 v2.0 Fast Ethernet
  • 1969:2060 - AR8152 v1.1 Fast Ethernet
  • 1969:1073 - AR8151 v1.0 Gigabit Ethernet
  • 1969:1083 - AR8151 v2.0 Gigabit Ethernet

Mailing lists

We have two mailing lists for alx development. One list is to address QCA personal in change of maintaining the driver, and the other is the public mailing list used for development to which you should subscribe to. Use the QCA mailing list, but bugs, questions and patches: nic-devel@qca.qualcomm.com

The QCA development mailing list is:

http://lists.infradead.org/mailman/listinfo/unified-drivers

Maintainers

The following are the maintainers of alx:

  • Maintainer: Cloud Ren
  • Backup: Stevent Li

Support resources:

  • Wu Ken
  • David Liu

Code

This code has now been posted for inclusion upstream. If you want to install this driver right now you can also do so by downloading this tarball:

https://www.kernel.org/pub/linux/kernel/projects/backports/2013/03/04/compat-drivers-2013-03-04-u.tar.bz2

The "-u" postfix annotates that we have applied a driver under a unified driver, as defined by the unified-driver effor through the mailing list. For more details refer to the compat-drivers documentation.

Install

To only compile and install the alx driver you can do:

./scripts/driver-select alx

make

sudo make install

Test results

Below is a graph of test results of the alx and atl1c driver. The changes observed below on alx over atl1c are merged into the upstream atl1c so you will get these changes on atl1c. The alx driver will only provide support for newer chipsets.  These test results were run with ASPM enabled.

alx vs atl1c alx iperf test results

For more textual boring details you can see the alx iperf test results page.

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