We have been building/running Python based test stations on Raspberry Pi4's but because we had an issue programming old PIC micro-processor's we needed to move over to a i386 based Linux build. Loaded up Ubuntu Mate desktop on a old Optiplex 390 and everything went well until we started having issues accessing our shared Windows drives via autofs. Manually changing the directory to the /mnt/test_station was hit or miss with long stalls on the command line or even failures reading files. After digging in a little we could see that the built in Realtek RTL8111 controller was dropping RX packets(2-3 every second). After a lot of searching we saw that this issue had been seen in the past and that the suggestion was to use a slightly older driver:
We changed the Ethernet driver from r8169 to r8168 by using the link's "sudo apt-get install r8168-dkms" command. Verified that the Realtek was using the newly installed kernel driver by checking with the "lspi -v" command. Unfortunately we are still seeing packets dropping and accessing the shared network drives is very unstable. We also noted that we are not the only ones having seen this issue continue after installing the r8168 kernel drivers:
Currently we are purchasing a Ethernet card to install on the PC in hopes it will resolve this issue. Anyone have a miracle fix or should you make sure you buy a Intel Ethernet card if you want to load Ubuntu on a old Optiplex PC with a Realtek chip onboard?