The Debian Reference
has a whole chapter
Long story made short: You need to load the driver module for your card. If it's an Intel EtherExpress PRO/100 card you need the eepro driver, if it's a RealTek card you need the 8139too driver, etc.
To load the driver, do modprobe <modulename
, like modprobe 8139too
or whatever your driver is.
Then you need to check your configuration in /etc/network/interfaces and make sure eth0 is there and configured correctly. Here's a simple config for automatic (DHCP) configuration:
# The loopback interface
iface lo inet loopback
# The first network card
# auto means bring it online automatically
iface eth0 inet dhcp
When done, try ifup eth0
to bring the card online. If you then do a ifconfig
you should see an "eth0" part. The "lo" part in the ifconfig output is the loopback device. That's what you use when you ping localhost - you actually never use your real network card when accessing localhost, that's local loopback networking at work. If ifconfig shows eth0 having an "inet addr" set you should be online. ping any host you want to test it.