Thunderbolt to Ethernet Adapter on Linux

Posted by Alexander Todorov on Mon 04 May 2015

As it seems my Thunderbolt to gigabit Ethernet adapter works with RHEL 7.1 on a MacBook Air despite some reports it may not.

After plugging the device is automatically recognized and the tg3 driver is loaded. Detailed lspci below:

0a:00.0 Ethernet controller: Broadcom Corporation NetXtreme BCM57762 Gigabit Ethernet PCIe
    Subsystem: Apple Inc. Device 00f6
    Physical Slot: 9
    Flags: bus master, fast devsel, latency 0, IRQ 19
    Memory at cd800000 (64-bit, prefetchable) [size=64K]
    Memory at cd810000 (64-bit, prefetchable) [size=64K]
    [virtual] Expansion ROM at cd820000 [disabled] [size=64K]
    Capabilities: [48] Power Management version 3
    Capabilities: [50] Vital Product Data
    Capabilities: [58] MSI: Enable- Count=1/8 Maskable- 64bit+
    Capabilities: [a0] MSI-X: Enable+ Count=6 Masked-
    Capabilities: [ac] Express Endpoint, MSI 00
    Capabilities: [100] Advanced Error Reporting
    Capabilities: [13c] Device Serial Number 00-00-ac-87-a3-25-20-33
    Capabilities: [150] Power Budgeting <?>
    Capabilities: [160] Virtual Channel
    Capabilities: [1b0] Latency Tolerance Reporting
    Kernel driver in use: tg3

Unplugging and pluggin back in the network cable works as expected. I did see my computer freeze 2 out of 10 times when I've unplugged the Thunderbolt adapter but couldn't reproduce it repliably or grab more info.

For the record this is with kernel 3.10.0-229.1.2.el7.x86_64 which is missing this upstream commit. I'm not sure why it works though.

If I remember correctly tg3 is available during installation so you should be able to use the Thunderbolt adapter instead of WiFi as well.

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