It started out simple. I got DSL at home. I built a little
Linux router out of used parts. Then I wanted to put an
ethernet card in my old Linux tower/peripheral farm. "Old"
in this case means about 4 years old (and has never run
anything but Linux in its life :-)).
I put 2 PCI NE2000 clones in the router, which is an ATX
board with P2 233. This worked fine, once I got past
PROBLEM 1: driver loadable modules ne.o and ne2k-pci.o
do not load. cannot be insmod'd.
This is true under RH 5.1, 5.2, and 6.1 -- if you insmod -v
either of these drivers, you get undef syms and failure.
However, when I rebuilt the 5.2 kernel with this driver configured
in statically, it worked. I could see the ne2ks and they worked.
So far so good, I could talk to my DSL provider.
The card for the older machine was an ISA ne2k clone. This
was because the older machine is full of cards, no free slots.
The card I could most easily sacrifice was the modem card
(if you have DSL you don't need dialup, right?) which was ISA.
The cheap ISA ne2k clone card I got was a new kind of ISA, with
no dip switches! ISA PnP, or so it claimed. Of course there
was some floppy disk with WinDope configuration software on it,
but I'm a linux purist. I don't permit the MicroSloth virus on
any machine I own.
PROBLEM 2: new ISA cards software configurable only,
requiring M$ software! what happened to DIP
switches and real doco?
I cannot get 5.2 or 6.1 to see that ethernet card. I've tried
scanport. I've tried isapnptools. isapnptools can see that
the card is there, and correctly id its vendor, model, etc.
It claims the card is at x0200 (len 32) irq 3. I believe this
is in conflict with the default game port location. scanport
says there is something at x0200, len 8 (ouch) that it thinks
is a game port.
Now, isapnptools (from my quick reading of the doco) can
set the addr and irq on the card, but the author says you
must use loadable drivers with it, so you can load the driver
AFTER configuring the card. Since the loadable drivers
for en2k clones won't insmod, I can't do this. Another
And I can't set the address on the card otherwise, without
going out and buying WinDope (fate worse than death!).
PROBLEM 3: RH 6.1 doesn't help and in fact seems more
broken than 5.2
I tried installing 6.1 to see if it would be any happier.
The result of installing 6.1 was that I still could not
see the ISA PnP enet card; but, to make matters worse,
I could no longer see my parallel port card! So now my
printer is gone as well! 6.1 also did not recognize my
No. 9 video card, but misidentified it as some 800x600 VGA
Overall, 6.1 was not a happy experience -- have you ever
run Gnome on a P133 :-) ? I will put it on the router
to get ipchains latest version, but I am not thrilled
with it for a sit-down workstation. Ever noticed how
in the "graphical" install program, the mouse ptr
disappears near the end, on the screen where you make
the boot diskette? Cute, RH.
Anyway, I am at wits' end what to do with this stupid
PnP ISA card. Any clues, strategic suggestions, etc.
will be gratefully received. At present I'm thinking of
bailing on the ISA card & putting a PCI card in the
tower (sacrificing a PCI slot ouch!), and restoring the
modem card (in case DSL gear fails :-)).
What a PITA. I just wanted to connect an older linux box
to a standard 10bT home ethernet, and I've gone through hell
and high water trying to do it... building an entire
router from junk parts turned out to be a simpler project
than putting one card into an existing, perfectly functional
help... help... in need of bright ideas
:De Clarke, Software Engineer UCO/Lick Observatory, UCSC:
:Web: www.ucolick.org | ones people hate, and the ones people don't use.--JO: