Installing Debian with Attansic L1 Gigabit Ethernet

I’ve just bought myself a new motherboard and was initially quite concerned to find that the latest daily-built Debian-Installer image didn’t support the on-board Ethernet, especially when lspci couldn’t even identify it. But luckily I was able to track down the PCI ID and find a driver and equally as lucky I had another AMD64 system with the exact same kernel used on the Debian-Installer CD on which I could compile it.

Since most people won’t be so lucky, I figured I should share my compiled kernel module so people with the same problem can simply drop it in and load it. You’ll need this module if you want to install Debian Testing (Etch) using the netinst CD on an Asus M2V, P5B-E, P5L-MX or P5L-VM 1394 motherboard. It will work with the current daily built AMD64 images of the Debian Installer which use kernel 2.6.18-4.


To use it, copy it to a floppy or USB drive as preferred, then boot the Debian installer. Switch to a console (Alt+F2), mount your floppy or USB device and copy the file to /tmp. Then simply ‘insmod /tmp/atl1.ko’. Now switch back to the installer (Alt+F1) and continue the install normally.

The module won’t get installed by the installer, so once your system is installed and running you’ll need to copy it into /lib/modules/2.6.18-4-amd64/kernel/drivers/net/. With any luck newer releases of the Debian kernel will include the driver, so this process won’t be necessary.

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  • By joe, Thursday, 12th April 2007 @ 12:19

    Wow! Thankyou VERY much you’ve just saved me a whole heap of time!



  • By TDS, Monday, 16th April 2007 @ 18:38

    Thanks! Saved me the hassle….!

    – T

  • By jaims, Sunday, 6th May 2007 @ 15:26


    I’ve been into that with my ubuntu (debian after all); I compiled the souces provided by the vendor (Asus), took the atl1.ko file and put it into the /lib/modules/$(uname -r)/kernel/drivers/net directory and since then, I’ve been using my pc normally. Great.

    The question is… Samba and ssh aren’t working properly; too slow. Do u think it could be due to these drivers?

  • By David, Sunday, 6th May 2007 @ 16:04

    Possibly – people have reported such issues in the past. The way to check is to add another Ethernet card to the system (if you don’t have one, you can buy 100Mbit PCI cards very cheaply) and see if the issues remain when using that.

  • By Sarah, Sunday, 27th May 2007 @ 03:20

    Thank you for this driver module. Saved me a great deal of time and headache!

  • By Pista, Tuesday, 12th June 2007 @ 05:24

    YES, the driver obtained by the vendor is buggy, and causes performance degradation (in the outward direction). But ther is a simple solution which I have found at :

    “IMPORTANT NOTE: The Attansic vendor version of drivers have a problem: TSO is broken, and that results in horrible transmit performance. The workaround is simple: turn off TSO. You can do this two ways. First, you can run this command as root, but it won’t survive a reboot: ethtool -K eth0 tso off.

    A more permanent solution is to disable the TSO feature in the driver source itself. You do this by commenting out a line in one of the driver source files. Let’s say you install the driver files at $HOME/atl1. You need to edit $HOME/atl1/src/at_main.c and comment out the line that contains netdev->features |= NETIF_F_TSO, then (re)build the driver.”

    Hope this helps!

Other Links to this Post

  1. Attansic L1 Gigabit Ethernet driver for Debian » javier arturo rodríguez » Blog Archive — Friday, 20th July 2007 @ 22:15

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