I have deleted the MD completely. Using http://wiki.linuxmce.org/index.php/Realtek_8168
I had already built the new 8168 driver and hacked the existing 8169 driver. I thought through what we are doing, Andrew can you confirm if my understanding is correct?
It seems that the 8169 driver is trying to provide for the 8168 chip (as well as the 8169 and others) but apparently this doesn't work. So the editing and recompiling done for the 8169 driver is to remove the 8168's PCI product ID from it so that the kernel doesn't consider the 8169 driver appropriate for the 8168 chip. We then compile and insert the real 8168 driver module so that the kernel picks that one instead. True?
So I made the initial changes http://wiki.linuxmce.org/index.php/Unrecognized_NIC
to include the correct driver in the default initramfs and that works fine to get the MD booted first time and start building its diskless image. Once that was complete, I went into the web admin and changed it to i386 and rebuilt again.
Then I copied both the r8168.ko and r8169.ko modules into the diskless image in the same location, added r8168 to the diskless /etc/modules and /etc/initramfs-tools/modules files, and finally ran the mkinitramfs command to create a new initramfs that presumably would then include the new/updated driver modules and the modules files telling it which driver to use.
But I still get a kernel panic! It doesn't seem to be finding any ethernet hardware now. Message:
ipconfig: eth0: SIOCGIFINDEX: No such device
ipconfig: no devices to configure
/init: .: 1: Can't open /tmp/net-eth0.conf
Kernel panic - not syncing: Attempting to kill init!
I feel like I am SO close, but I really need a hand in getting past this point.... Andrew/Niz/anyone??