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I'm seeing network problems with a (RHEL) node (packets dropped), which also seem to manifest themselves by a non-zero count of the 'error' and 'frame' fields in ifconfig output:

eth2      Link encap:Ethernet  HWaddr xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx  
          ...
          RX packets:277593775 errors:1049 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:536

Is there a detailed description somewhere what the exact meaning of 'errors' and 'frame' is ?

EDIT: output of ethtool eth2:

Settings for eth2:
        Supported ports: [ TP ]
        Supported link modes:   10baseT/Half 10baseT/Full 
                                100baseT/Half 100baseT/Full 
                                1000baseT/Full 
        Supports auto-negotiation: Yes
        Advertised link modes:  10baseT/Half 10baseT/Full 
                                100baseT/Half 100baseT/Full 
                                1000baseT/Full 
        Advertised auto-negotiation: Yes
        Speed: 1000Mb/s
        Duplex: Full
        Port: Twisted Pair
        PHYAD: 0
        Transceiver: internal
        Auto-negotiation: on
        Supports Wake-on: umbg
        Wake-on: d
        Current message level: 0x00000007 (7)
        Link detected: yes
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Could be a duplex mismatch. Can you post the output of ethtool eth2 ? –  Mr Shunz Sep 28 '10 at 10:56
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1 Answer

up vote 3 down vote accepted

RX errors mean that your NIC is receiving malformed frames from the transmitting switchport.

Frame errors mean CRC failures on receipt of a frame. The root cause of this could be a bad cable, or a bad interface on either the machine or the switch. Try replacing the cable, then moving to another port on the switch.

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thanks for the answer. I would think that a malformed frame does not have a correct CRC either. What does it need to be malformed ? If there is no/badly sized preamble after the interframe gap or no frame delimiter after the preamble ? or the next interframe gap comes too early/late with respect to the length found in the ethertype/length field ? –  Andre Holzner Sep 10 '11 at 6:57
    
Any of the above. I'm not sure why I put in 'malformed or otherwise incorrect'. You're right, they mean exactly the same thing. Answer updated. –  Murali Suriar Sep 10 '11 at 23:04
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