Mailing List Archive

Firewire & USB 2.0 on O2 [Was LiveCD RC6]
Well, I can report some successes here with the ADS Technologies combo
firewire and USB 2.0 PCI card in an SGI O2.

For the record, this card is on the shelf at most Circuit City stores for
about $69 + tax. You can also web order as I did at "" for
about $38 + 9.99 shipping + tax. They have 3 left. The vendor part
number is DLX-180. Search on that or on ADS Technologies. Although there
are other combo cards out there, I picked this one because I could see the
ALI logo on the main chip through the plastic bubble case at the store.

The card actually comes in two formats that I have seen so far for the
same manufacturer part number. The Circuit City in my locale has one with
3 external USB 2.0, 2 external Firewire, and one internal Firewire port.
The one that I received from "" has 2 external USB 2.0 and 2
external Firewire. Internally it has one Firewire and one USB 2.0.
All formats have 3 ports of each - they just differ on how many are
exposed externally verses internally.

I finally received the dual feature card and stuffed it in the O2 over the
weekend. When booted up, the kernel automagically modprobed the firewire
and USB stuff on it's own.

In regards to USB, I seem to have a thumb drive working perfectly at this
point. Here's the details:

* The kernel loaded the USB core, and loaded 3 instances of the USB OHCI
driver, and 1 instance of the EHCI driver. This didn't seem quite right
to me, but what the heck. Let's smoke test something anyway.

* I stuck my flash stick and voila - sdb and sdb1 magically instantiated.
I mounted, read some files under VFAT, and unmounted.

* I pulled the stick out, and ......ew... black screen, dead box.
Perhaps time to examine why there's so many USB drivers loaded?

* If I recall correctly, the EHCI driver is the right one for a USB 2.0
chipset. I tried turning off the USB OHCI driver in the various
/etc/*mod* files but the kernel was still loading multiple USB OHCI and
one EHCI. So, being quite determined, I moved usb_ohci.ko to where the
kernel loader couldn't find it and reran depmod. I rebooted, and
now I have USB core and USB EHCI only.

* SUCCESS! I was now able to plug, mount, read/write, unmount, and unplug
the thumb drive several times without any problems.

In regards to the firewire, as I had indicated, the firewire OHCI
modprobed fine and identified the host controller. I plugged a firewire
DVD-burnitall and received an attatchment event and some device table
info, but the process stopped there - no sr1 or other driver popped into

* I plugged and unplugged several times and received event notifications
and no crashes or other faults. I consider this promissing.

* It's been quite a while since I tried firewire on a linux box, but I
beleive there is more to the process to get this working that what I
have done thus far. I just need to go through some docs and make sure I
have all the required kernel pieces and userland pieces in place. The
suspicion is that it will "just work" when everything is set up.

TODO's. I would like to exercize the USB and firewire more thorougly.

* The DVD-burnitall drive I have has both firewire and USB 2.0 jacks. It
would be a really good test to plug in the USB side and show that we can
read and burn CD/DVD. Honestly though, I'm just tickled to death that
my thumb drives seem to function so that I can move files back and forth
between work and home easily.

* After disk burning, I would like to try USB bluetooth. I have all the
kernel side modules built. It would be another good exercise to show
that a bluetooth adaptor works. From there we got phone and pda sync,
BT networking, etc. It would be educational to see just how far one can
get with all that.

* Firewire testing. If I can get firewire support installed correctly, it
would be neat to see just how far we can push that with DVD burning,
external disks, or DV downloads.

I'll try and get my kernel config posted over at Stuart's hardware page

Happy hacking guys,


On Fri, 9 Feb 2007, Kumba wrote:

>> [3] Has anyone tried Firewire in the O2 PCI slot? I have an ADS
>> Technologies combo Firewire/USB 2.0 PCI card comming soon. This uses an
>> ALI chipset. I pulled the USB config from the RC6 CD kernel. I suspect
>> it won't be much to make the USB portion work. It will be interesting to
>> see about the firewire. Fortunately Firewire chipsets are more
>> standardized than USB. I'll report back when I know something here.
> I haven't, but given that USB2 sometimes works better than the onboard scsi
> (w/ flash drives), it might work. Give it a shot with some common firewire
> device that hopefully isn't too complicated, and let us know what happens.
> --Kumba
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