I recently installed debian on an old G4 iMac, and everything is working fine except that the console is constantly spammed with alternating

eth0: switching to forced 10bt
eth0: switching to forced 100bt

messages. eth0 isn't configured at all in /etc/network/interfaces; I'm using the wireless interface on eth1 (which works fine). sudo ifconfig eth0 down doesn't give any message; the alternating messages just keep coming. Is there any way to get rid of them?

2 Answers 2


Try unloading the sungem kernel module (after ifconfig eth0 down to release the interface).

If that works you can blacklist it to avoid it being loaded on next reboot.


If you're on a system with more than one ethernet port (say, a server such as a Netra), and unloading the sungem module is inappropriate, I found that I could silence the debug messages by forcing eth1 into 100mbps full duplex by running

ethtool -s eth0 speed 100 duplex full

and then plugging in a loopback adaptor into the spare ethernet port. The results? Driver thinks theres a cable plugged in, then shuts up.

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