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Having trouble installing a piece of hardware? Want to know if that peripheral is compatible with Linux?

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Old 05-07-2006, 08:42 PM   #1
zorreena
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Unhappy install pci ethernet card


Hi

i recently bought a comstar fast ethernet pci network interface card. the original pci card was hooked to the motherboard and the mac address was cloned by the previous owners router. So I bought a new card and disabled the old one through BIOS. Now I cannot get this card configured and installed. I am using Redhat linux 7.3 and do not have a Microsoft OS as an alternate. I have borrowed a laptop from work to try and get online

The kernel supported is 2.2x and 2.4x and I have
2.4.18-3

The instructions for the installation of the PCI card are as follows: (I logged into root and opened terminal to execute these commands)

1. Create a temporary directory:
mkdir /temp

2. Change to the temporary directory:
cd /temp

3. Copy driver (rhinefet.tgz) from the DOS disk
I dragged and dropped this file using the nautilus file manager

4. untar the archive file:
tar xzvf rhinefet.tgz
cd rhinefet

5. Compile the driver source files and it will generate rhinefet.o and copy it to correct driver installation path (the installation directory is differen in different kernel versions. In 2.4.x kernel, the path is /lib/modules/KERNEL_VERSION/kernel/drivers/net/

6. Check configuration file (/etc/modules.conf or /etc/conf.modules depending on your Linux distribution) for loading kernel modules. Make sure there is the following content in the configuration file, where # is alias eth# rhinefet

7. Reboot now:
shutdown -r now

8. Install your driver module
insmod rhinefet

9. Us ifconfig command to assign the IP address where # is nework interface number:
ifconfig eth# <IP>

10. Check interface works:
ping <remote_host_IP>

So those are the instructions but I cannot get past number 5. I don't understand what compile the driver source files means and I don't get the rhinefet.o file.

Please help I want to get the internet hooked up at my home.

Thanks
Zorreena
 
Old 05-07-2006, 09:27 PM   #2
Simon Bridge
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Quote:
I am using Redhat linux 7.3
An old distro...
Quote:
The kernel supported is 2.2x and 2.4x and I have
2.4.18-3
... and an old kernel. But you have a linux driver:
Quote:
5. Compile the driver source files [snip] I don't understand what compile the driver source files means
Ahhh...

Rule one of linux hardware is to check that it isn't supported before trying to install the supplied drivers. Use "lspci" and post the entry for your card. Use redhats tools to remove the old eth0 and then add another ethernet card. Only if that dosn't work are you to consider compiling the driver.

Rule 2: check out the driver licence. If it GPL you are fine - otherwise you may "taint" your kernel. This may not concern you since your distro isn't supported anyway.

OK - now you can think of installing the driver.

I'll need to see the content of the /tmp/rhinefet
I'm looking for a file called "configure" and/or one called "make", "Makefile" or similar.

Compiling involves invoking the gcc compler to turn those *.c (source) files into *.o (object) files or executables. In this case you want the object file because you are building a module instead of a full-fledged program. This is often a complicated process, so programmers automate it using GNU Make - this runs a script (the makefile) which contains the instructions for gcc. However, in linux, this involves a lot of second guessing of everyone's exact system. Which is what the configure script is for - it autodetects the system features that are needed, returning errors if they are not there, otherwise creating a makefile tailored to the tools you have present.

Compiling usually involves cd-ing into the top-level directory (/tmp/rhinefet in your case) and entering "./configure" followed by "make". There may be a "make install" step that needs to be run as root.

All this should be in a readme or install text file. Check all the documentation.
 
Old 05-07-2006, 09:31 PM   #3
Linux.tar.gz
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If your card is a 10/100 based on rhine chipset, then you don't need drivers, as they are already compiled with your kernel, so type as root:
modprobe via-rhine
It loads the module (driver).

Compile something means build from source code, to produce an executable.
 
Old 05-07-2006, 11:03 PM   #4
zorreena
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Thanks for all the useful info. I typed out ALL the instructions that came in the txt file except for the list of files. I felt maybe some things were missed for someone like me with little experience in linux. If I could only get online then i would be able to get help easier.

What does "Use "lspci" and post the entry for your card" mean? What is lspci? I did try to do it through going through the internet configuration wizard but my card is not listed and I didn't know how to add it. Where do I check the driver license?

The files that show up after I do the tar xzvf rhinefet.tgz are as follows: The instructions list all of these files
rhinefet-4.32/
rhinefet-4.32/kcompat.h
rhinefet-4.32/linux.txt
rhinefet-4.32/Makefile
rhinefet-4.32/rhine_cfg.h
rhinefet-4.32/rhine.h
rhinefet-4.32/rhine_main.c
rhinefet-4.32/rhine_proc.c
rhinefet-4.32/rhine_proc.h
rhinefet-4.32/rhine_vmns.h
rhinefet-4.32/rhine_wol.c
rhinefet-4.32/rhine_wol.h
rhinefet-4.32/vmns_drv.h

The txt file has a different list than above and it explains the function of each file. The list included in the txt file is:
linux.txt
rhinefet.c
Makefile
rhine_vmns.c
rhine_proc.c
rhine_wol.c
rhine.h
rhine_vmns.h
rhine_proc.h
rhine_wol.h
rhine_cfg.h
vmns_drv.h
kcompat.h

The main differences are that when I do tar rhinefet.c and rhine_vmns.c do not show up and one file rhine_main.c is listed which is not listed in the txt file.

I really don't know what to do at this point. should I download an MS operating system and see if it recognizes the ethernet card and then install linux again?

Cheers,
Zorreena
 
Old 05-08-2006, 04:24 AM   #5
Simon Bridge
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zorreena
Thanks for all the useful info. I typed out ALL the instructions that came in the txt file except for the list of files. I felt maybe some things were missed for someone like me with little experience in linux. If I could only get online then i would be able to get help easier.
Yes: getting online is your number one priority.
Quote:
What does "Use "lspci" and post the entry for your card" mean? What is lspci?
lspci is a terminal command. You open a teminal and enter "lspci" after the "$" prompt. Then look for the line where "ethernet" is mentioned. Copy that line to the forum.

This is what it looks like for me:
Code:
~$ lspci
[exess deleted]
0000:00:0a.0 Ethernet controller: Realtek Semiconductor Co., Ltd. RTL-8139/8139C/8139C+ (rev 10)
Quote:
The files that show up after I do the tar xzvf rhinefet.tgz are as follows:
[snip]
rhinefet-4.32/Makefile
[snip]
... this is the file that will compile your driver for you. But - this card is already supported. Do not try to compile just yet.
Quote:
I really don't know what to do at this point. should I download an MS operating system and see if it recognizes the ethernet card and then install linux again?
... you do not need MS anything.

The best advise I can give you is to download a recent distro. May I suggest fedora core or Ubuntu - leaning towards ubuntu.

These are more newbie freindly, they support modern things like hotplugging et al. They are in active development - and are strongly supported. RH7... whatever is very old, legacy and unsupported. many modern hardware devices will not work well in that hoary old kernel neither.

Be aware that your ethernet card is supported out of the box. You do not need to compile the driver.
 
Old 05-08-2006, 07:52 AM   #6
Linux.tar.gz
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modprobe via-rhine
 
Old 05-09-2006, 05:57 AM   #7
Simon Bridge
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This is RH7 we're talking about - 2.4.18 kernel - when was the via-rhine module included?

If RH7's internet configuration wizard dosn't see the card to configure it, it may not show up under lspci (though it could just say "unknown card"). Sure, the module will still load, but there may be nothing to claim it.

Still - lets see
 
Old 05-09-2006, 07:35 AM   #8
Linux.tar.gz
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My bad !
 
Old 05-09-2006, 06:56 PM   #9
Simon Bridge
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Never mind - at least now I don't have to hunt for the name of the driver

zoreena: it's been two days since last we spoke. How did you get on? (No rush.)
 
  


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