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Old 05-11-2012, 09:35 AM   #1
gkasica
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Location: Jackson WI
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Seeking 1GB PCI Network Card for FC-16 and Linux 3.3.1 source kernel and W2K3


Hello:

I'm hoping to locate a good 1GB PCI Network Card that will work with the following systems here:

W2K3 Server
Fedora Core 16 running the latest kernel released as 3.3.1-3.fc16.i686
Generic Linux Build running compiled Kernel 3.3.1 also

I'm hoping to use the same card for all 3 boxes back to a D-Link 24-Port Rack mountable Gigabyte Switch DGS-1024D so that rather than buying 3 cards I'd probably buy 4 to have a spare on the shelf here at these need to be up 24/7 for some weather forecasting and watch and warning processing.

Right now the systems are all 10/100 3oom 3C509 cards at 100MB Full Duplex and they are working well.

I'd rather not try to guess at what works here as time is a factor in doing this - can't tolerate a ton of downtime to fiddle with these to make them work, they need to go in and with minor compile or config changes just work.

Any suggestions on what to go with??

Thanks,

George
 
Old 05-11-2012, 10:05 AM   #2
Ser Olmy
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Anything Realtek-based should work nicely under both Windows and Linux. RTL chips like the 8111C are inexpensive and can be found in equipment from a large number of OEMs. Consequently, they are very well supported under a multitude of operating systems.

These NICs are sold under a multitude of names you've probably never heard of, like "StarTech", or sometimes under the RealTek name (even though RealTek just makes the chips). A gigabit PCI or PCIe NIC can be had for a little as $12-$15. The very cheapest chips may lack advanced features such as TCP offloading, so you may want to check the specs against the products section on RealTek's web site.

If performance is an issue, Broadcom-based NICs could be what you want. Also very well supported under Windows and Linux, these chips are frequently used by server board manufactures. Companies like Intel, HP, IBM and Dell provide branded drivers for Windows, while the Linux drivers are part of the stock kernel. Windows drivers for high-end Broadcom chips often support link aggregation (bonding) and virtual NICs for VLANs. Linux, of course, has native VLAN support.
 
Old 05-11-2012, 10:43 AM   #3
gkasica
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OK - Was looking at the StarTech ST1000BT32 PCI Network Adapter and it seems like it would work with both Linux and W2K3 as its based on the Realtek - RTL8110SC chipset and you can get them from Tiger Direct for about $15 each.

Does this sound like the way to go to get an inexpensive 1GB NIC and what drivers would I be compiling into the manually built kernel looking at my current .config I see

CONFIG_NET_VENDOR_REALTEK=y
# CONFIG_REALTEK_PHY is not set
# CONFIG_USB_STORAGE_REALTEK is not set

Looking at menuconfig I see already selected:
[*] Realtek devices x x
x x < > AT-LAN-TEC/RealTek pocket adapter support x x
x x <*> RealTek RTL-8139 C+ PCI Fast Ethernet Adapter support (EXPERIMENTx x
x x <*> RealTek RTL-8129/8130/8139 PCI Fast Ethernet Adapter support x x
x x[*] Use PIO instead of MMIO x x
x x[*] Support for uncommon RTL-8139 rev. K (automatic channel equalizx x
x x[*] Support for older RTL-8129/8130 boards x x
x x[*] Use older RX-reset method x x
x x < > Realtek 8169 gigabit ethernet support x x



So I'm hoping few/no changes to the menu interface would get me what I need to make it work there with just a kernel rebuild or possibly shutdown, card swap and reboot.

For the Fedora-Code 16, I'm hoping dropping the card in will get it to just pop up?? At worst reconfiguring the Network settings.

Windows it appears that its either native to the OS or on a drivers disk or download from StarTech.

Am I correct on this assumption list before go and get 4 of these??

Thanks,
George

Last edited by gkasica; 05-11-2012 at 11:00 AM.
 
Old 05-11-2012, 11:00 AM   #4
Ser Olmy
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That would be "yes" on all counts, assuming that the Fedora kernel contains the r8169 driver. I'm very much not an authority on Fedora, but this thread seems to indicate that anything newer than FC5 should work.

You will have to reconfigure the network settings in Fedora.

Edit: The text from menuconfig indicates that the r8169 driver is not selected, which is slightly odd. If that is indeed the case, you'll have to either download the driver and build it as a module, or rebuild the kernel.

Last edited by Ser Olmy; 05-11-2012 at 11:04 AM.
 
Old 05-11-2012, 11:06 AM   #5
gkasica
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Excellent. I can do that easily here and recompile.

4 Cards at $14 each from Amazon.com and will see them Tuesday.

Thank you very much!

George

Last edited by gkasica; 05-11-2012 at 11:10 AM.
 
  


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