[etherlab-users] Intel I210 + RTAI

Tillman, Scott Scott.Tillman at bhemail.com
Wed May 20 17:06:54 CEST 2015

We have a large-ish codebase of real-time components based on Linux with RTAI.  I am attempting to add EtherCAT support on various hardware including the Beckhoff CX5020/30/40.  This hardware contains the Intel I210 (82575), which is supported by the igb.ko driver under Linux.  This driver seems to be related to the e1000e driver, but etherlab currently doesn't have a native replacement for the igb driver.

So I'm looking for suggestions on how to proceed:

Figure out how to modify the igb driver:
Most obvious, but I have no familiarity with Linux network hardware drivers so I'm uncomfortable doing this myself from scratch.  This seems like a fairly common piece of hardware, so maybe someone is already working on this.  I'd happily test & help debug if so.

Figure out how to remove the RTAI dependency:
The RT-Preempt patches are eroding support for RTAI, but I'm kind of stuck with existing code.  Perhaps there exist wrappers/libraries for emulating the RTAI services using only the RT-Preempt kernel?  This seems unlikely, but not impossible.  I'd prefer this, since I believe RTAI support will only continue to decline.  Anyone know of something like this?

Support both RTAI and RT-Preempt:
This would allow existing, legacy RTAI code and use of the generic driver via RT-Preempt.  However, I've not seen anyone actually talking about doing this.  I've not tried applying both the RTAI patches and the RT-preempt patches, but I strongly suspect they will have conflicts.   Also, I'm using 3.16 currently but the RT-Preempt patches are only available for 3.14 and 3.18 (naturally).  The basic idea here is worrying, but I guess it might work...


-Scott Tillman
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