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Old 11-11-2008, 01:14 PM   #1
linuznewbie
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Unhappy Newbie - Struggling with application and driver installs


Hi, I've been start learning linux with online materials for about 6 weeks but still struggling with some basic linux issues. I tried my best but just couldn't find answers for these basic questions anywhere:

1) Can any device (e.g. NIC, scsi controller) be installed to any linux as long as they came with a Linux driver even though such hardware are not listed on official HCL of a distro? If not, what's the rule?

2) I'd like to learn more on CLI then just using GUI. Is there actually a utility to install third party application/driver or deal with dependencies on RHEL 3 more easier? I tried downloading and installing rpm packages from 'www.rpmfind.net' onto my RH. It got lots of complains about missing dependencies. For some reason, I can't make "yum" work on my RH. By the way, can I use yum to install third party apps?

To be more specific, I had a bad experience installing a SMC NIC driver. Here's what happened:

a) It came with a *.tar.gz, I extracted and compiled it with 'make' command, it starts complaining about kernel source not found.

b) I then tried to install the kernel source, and it complained about some missing dependencies.

c) I then tried uprading the gcc (one of the missing dependencies complained), it complained some other missing dependencies (e.g. glibc-devel, glibc-headers, glibc-kernheaders)

d) And then I installed and upgraded all that but still, I ended up with an error "make: *** [skdim.o] Error 1" when compiling the driver.

That would be really really appreciated if anyone could help me out of these frustration.

Thanks in advance.
 
Old 11-11-2008, 01:21 PM   #2
AlphaSigmaOne
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If you're sincerely interested in learning and not just looking for a "quick-fix" I'd suggest first reading through the Rute User's book and working through the examples. After doing so, you'll have a solid grasp of the fundamentals and you'll have a clear understanding of what people are suggesting.
 
Old 11-11-2008, 02:03 PM   #3
linuznewbie
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Thanks for your info and advice, AlphaSigmaOne.

I'll be more than happy to read through the details. However, since the one and only one linux guy in my company has just quit unexpectedly, I need to be familiar with Linux asap to maintain our existing servers. So to me, my starting point is to be able to install new hardware along with appropriate driver and install software on my own testing linux box to get familiar with my routine(e.g. software for backing up the system data). Could you or anyone pleeeease give me some help with the questions I got?

Thanks again!!
 
Old 11-11-2008, 02:45 PM   #4
Quakeboy02
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Quote:
Originally Posted by linuznewbie View Post
Hi, I've been start learning linux with online materials for about 6 weeks but still struggling with some basic linux issues. I tried my best but just couldn't find answers for these basic questions anywhere:

1) Can any device (e.g. NIC, scsi controller) be installed to any linux as long as they came with a Linux driver even though such hardware are not listed on official HCL of a distro? If not, what's the rule?
Assuming there is a driver available for the kernel, then yes. But, kernels do advance, and old stuff does get left behind if no-one yells loudly enough about it. It is also the case that some drivers simply need a newer kernel than you're prepared to go to.

Quote:
2) I'd like to learn more on CLI then just using GUI. Is there actually a utility to install third party application/driver or deal with dependencies on RHEL 3 more easier? I tried downloading and installing rpm packages from 'www.rpmfind.net' onto my RH. It got lots of complains about missing dependencies. For some reason, I can't make "yum" work on my RH. By the way, can I use yum to install third party apps?
If you want to learn cli, then you have to do it. I know squat about RHEL, so you're going to have to look to someone other than me. You might cruise around in the Red Hat forum, down in the distro area.

Quote:
To be more specific, I had a bad experience installing a SMC NIC driver. Here's what happened:
This is where this thread probably should have started to get you the most bang for the buck, as it's your most urgent concern.

Quote:
a) It came with a *.tar.gz, I extracted and compiled it with 'make' command, it starts complaining about kernel source not found.

b) I then tried to install the kernel source, and it complained about some missing dependencies.

c) I then tried uprading the gcc (one of the missing dependencies complained), it complained some other missing dependencies (e.g. glibc-devel, glibc-headers, glibc-kernheaders)

d) And then I installed and upgraded all that but still, I ended up with an error "make: *** [skdim.o] Error 1" when compiling the driver.
This can sometimes be a real problem. As you have learned, the dependencies must be met before you can make progress. I'm not sure I can help you with your problem, but I'm sure that we need more information about the error than you've given us. Everything in the make output from where it first started hinting things were a problem would be a good start.

Having said all that, I'd be extremely surprised if an SMC NIC wasn't already supported by your OS, unless it's some new bleeding edge device. SMC has been around like forever. Which model NIC is this?

Last edited by Quakeboy02; 11-11-2008 at 02:46 PM.
 
Old 11-11-2008, 03:16 PM   #5
linuznewbie
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Thanks Quakeboy02.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Quakeboy02 View Post
Assuming there is a driver available for the kernel, then yes. But, kernels do advance, and old stuff does get left behind if no-one yells loudly enough about it. It is also the case that some drivers simply need a newer kernel than you're prepared to go to.
So if the driver requires a 2.6 kernel, and I have a RHEL 3 running kernel 2.4, could it be possible that I do not upgrade the OS but just upgrade the kernel to 2.6?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Quakeboy02 View Post
I'm not sure I can help you with your problem, but I'm sure that we need more information about the error than you've given us. Everything in the make output from where it first started hinting things were a problem would be a good start.
This is the exact error I got:

[root@localhost sk98lin]# make
gcc -DLINUX -D__KERNEL__ -DMODULE -DEXPORT_SYMTAB -D__NO_VERSION__ -O2 -pipe -I/lib/modules/2.4.21-4.EL/build/include -I. -Wall -Wstrict-prototypes -Wno-trigraphs -DSK_USE_CSUM -DGENESIS -DYUKON -DMODVERSIONS -include /lib/modules/2.4.21-4.EL/build/include/linux/modversions.h -c -o skdim.o skdim.c
skdim.c: In function `GetCurrentSystemLoad':
skdim.c:315: `kstat' undeclared (first use in this function)
skdim.c:315: (Each undeclared identifier is reported only once
skdim.c:315: for each function it appears in.)
make: *** [skdim.o] Error 1



My NIC model is SMC9452TX. The system didn't show this ethX after I install the card so I assumed the linux has no driver for it.
 
Old 11-11-2008, 03:17 PM   #6
claudius753
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What command have you been using to try to use yum? What errors are you getting?
 
Old 11-11-2008, 03:42 PM   #7
Quakeboy02
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Quote:
Originally Posted by linuznewbie View Post
Thanks Quakeboy02.

So if the driver requires a 2.6 kernel, and I have a RHEL 3 running kernel 2.4, could it be possible that I do not upgrade the OS but just upgrade the kernel to 2.6?
I just looked at smc.com and it appears that there is a 2.4 driver available. Is this the driver that you downloaded or did you get a driver from your repo or some random website?

Added:
My mistake, I see that you got a tar.gz with the device. The question is whether it's for 2.4. I'd go looking at smc.com in their driver downloads at this point.

Last edited by Quakeboy02; 11-11-2008 at 03:46 PM.
 
Old 11-11-2008, 03:48 PM   #8
Quakeboy02
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There is one more issue that needs to be addressed. Is this a critical server? I'm guessing not since you have probably powered it off to install the card, and they are turning a newbie loose on it.

Added:

Actually, there's another issue. If you're using RHEL, don't you have paid support that you can lean on for help with this?

Last edited by Quakeboy02; 11-11-2008 at 04:02 PM.
 
Old 11-11-2008, 06:08 PM   #9
linuznewbie
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Hi Quakeboy02,

I've just verified that the driver (original CD along with the NIC) was for kernel 2.4 , and I do have a kernel 2.4.21-4.EL but the driver just didn't compile correctly somehow.

BTW, just curious, can a linux with kernel 2.4 be upgraded to 2.6 without upgrading the OS anyway? (e.g. RHEL 3 remains to RHEL 3 but with kernel 2.6)

Thanks.


Hi Nathan,

I tried to use it to install some dependencies to avoid keep having asked to install further dependencies. I used command:
# yum install package_name.rpm
But it complained with an error: "failover: out of servers to try. HTTP Error 404: Not Found". I know that may be fixed with editing /etc/yum.conf but I just don't know what alternative path should I put there. Any good place to learn more on yum quick? Thanks.
 
Old 11-11-2008, 07:02 PM   #10
chrism01
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If you are using RHEL, that's a commercial distro, you need to register it (the machine) with RedHat, so you can get support AND UPDATES through RH Network.
If you don't want to pay, but want the same functionality, use the CENTOS ( http://www.centos.org/) version (RH code without the RH logos and free, but no support).
Always use the built-in pkg mgr tools eg yum to avoid dependency issues on any distro.
RHEL 3 is very old, they're up to v5 now. I'd recommend getting up to date if you want a better range of HW.
 
  


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