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Archive for the ‘Server’ Category

“failed; no link present. Check cable?” in VMWare

Posted by grigsby on June 12, 2008

I had to get a RHEL 3 system up to test one or two things for a customer. I already have VMWare Server 1.0.5 setup to I just created a new VM and installed from my Stored ISO images. Install went as expected and I got the system up in under 10 mins (gotta love Linux. Full server running in under 10 mins, soup to nuts).

Once I was logged in I went to ftp the need software to the system. Can’t find the host. ???
Is DNS working?….

[root@RHEL-V3-ga root]# dig servername

; <<>> DiG 9.2.2 <<>> servername
;; global options: printcmd
;; connection timed out; no servers could be reached
[root@RHEL-V3-ga root]#

Server could not be reached. ???

Ok, so what IP do I have…

[root@RHEL-V3-ga root]# ifconfig eth0
eth0 Link encap:Ethernet HWaddr 00:0C:29:21:BA:00
RX packets:1 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
TX packets:0 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
collisions:0 txqueuelen:1000
RX bytes:206 (206.0 b) TX bytes:0 (0.0 b)
Interrupt:11 Base address:0x1400


[root@RHEL-V3-ga root]# ifup eth0

Determining IP information for eth0... failed; no link present. Check cable?

Okay, so now what. I checked the VMWare config and yes the network card is enabled and the VMNet driver is running and other VMs on the same server are working… WTF?!? Time for Google. Dug around a bit and found a post on VMWare’s forum regarding a similar problem with Redhat 9 and ESX. Here it is.

Getting a DHCP Address in a Red Hat Linux 9.0 Virtual Machine

When a Red Hat Linux 9.0 guest operating system tries to get a DHCP address, the attempt may fail with an error message that states the link is down. On ESX Server, this happens only if you are using the vlance driver for your network connection.

To work around this problem, become root (su -) and use a text editor to edit the following files in the guest operating system. If only one of these files exist, make the change for that file only.



In both cases, [n] is the number of the Ethernet adapter — for example, eth0.

Add the following section to each of these two files:

check_link_down () {

return 1;


Then run the command ifup eth[n] (where [n] is the number of the Ethernet adapter) or restart the guest operating system.

Since the symptoms were close enough and the fix is simple I gave it a shot. Well, I’m here to report the exact same fix works for RHEL3. Hope this saves somebody else the hour or so of hunting about.