SUMMARY: Messages - Giant Packets Received

From: Dan A. Zambon (
Date: Tue Apr 04 1995 - 08:22:52 CDT

Hi Netters!
About March 28th or so I posted the following on a problem we were experiencing with
our network. It came on all of a sudden, with no prior indications of anything being

The original post was:
Hi Netters!
Another problem has raised it's ugly head in our Sun environment.....

I am getting the following messages in the /usr/adm/messages file (and
on the console) of one of our servers. I have noticed them over the last few days:

Mar 27 20:56:22 hawkeye lpd[20396]: protocol screwup
Mar 27 20:59:01 hawkeye lpd[20405]: protocol screwup
Mar 27 21:07:11 hawkeye lpd[20422]: protocol screwup
Mar 28 09:19:49 hawkeye vmunix: le1: Receive: giant packet from 0:0:xx:30:f0:74
Mar 28 09:19:49 hawkeye vmunix: le1: Receive: STP in rmd cleared
Mar 28 09:37:03 hawkeye vmunix: le1: Receive: giant packet from 0:0:xx:25:f0:74
Mar 28 09:37:03 hawkeye vmunix: le1: Receive: STP in rmd cleared
Mar 28 09:40:19 hawkeye vmunix: le1: Receive: giant packet from 0:0:xx:40:65:81
Mar 28 09:40:19 hawkeye vmunix: le1: Receive: STP in rmd cleared

Hawkeye is a 630MP running 4.1.3. It has two ethernet connections to separate networks.
I have traced these addresses to three local 486 machines (the le1 side).

Any clue as to:
1) what they mean?
2) what is causing them?
3) why am I just seeing them now?
4) is it an indication of something of which I should be concerned?
5) will the baseball strike ever end?
6) do the kids ever leave the house when they grow up?

Any information would be appreciated. And thanks for your time and efforts.

I will summarize....


I got quite a few response, all helpful. Some even included past summaries
of similar problems that have shown up on the net.

-Most respondees stated that giant packets mean there are ethernet packets that are
> 1500 bytes on the net. One mentioned if the packets are > 4096 bytes (in SunOS 4.1.3) the
  le driver locks up and ethernet traffic stops. I didn't see this, as the net was still
  functional, but it is noted here for information.

-Many said they have seen similar instances when there was a physical hardware problem with
 the net. Mentioned were items such as a dying hub or a repeater problem, or cabling. I had
 a few that asked if anything had changed in the environment, even simple things like ceiling
 work (installation of lighting or heating fixtures) that could have messed with the existing

-Others suggested patches that would work.

-Some suggested I could unlock the ethernet interface with "snoop" or "etherfind" whose
 utilities initialize the chipset.

Bottom line:
-After some investigating with other system weenies (eh, administrators), we found that none of
 the bootp services were available. This causes some trashy packets to be sent all over the place,
 including through (or to) our Sun server. (Respondee Mike Ryan had seen this problem as well
 when he was not excluding the RAM used by the ethernet card in a PC. Thanks Mike. This gave
 us some direction in which to search).

-I greatly appreciate the support of you folks who took the time and effort to respond.
 All of your information was helpful!
iekey! (Fons Ullings)
Jeremy D. Zawodny" <> ( Andy J. Stefancik) <-thanks for the summary, Andy!! (Cindy Yoho) <-the Pirates ain't a-gonna win, Cindy! (Larry Snyder) <-have some kids, Larry. They're expensive, but fun (sometimes...) (zoltan s. palmai)
Michael Ryan <> <- good job, Mike! (Danny Johnson) (Vikram) <-thanks for the summary, too! (Hal Stern - NE Area Systems Engineer) <-don't you ever sleep, Hal?
     I'll bet I've seen your name on about 25% of the responses on this net! - thanks)

I will email to you a file that contains the reponses I received if you are so interested.
Just let me know.

Thanks again,
Dan A. Zambon email:
Air Force Institute of Technology phone: (513) 255-6565, ext
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering 4280
Wright Patterson AFB, Oh 45433-7765 fax: (513) 476-4055

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.2 : Fri Sep 28 2001 - 23:10:21 CDT