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OK, sorry, it's /etc/modules.conf in the RH 7.x series, and you can do man modules.conf to get some sense of the syntax. I think what you'd have to do is add a line to /etc/modules.conf as follows:
alias eth2 ne
options ne irq=5
options ne io=0x300
although to be honest, I'm not sure about this, since it's been awhile since I had to do this on a Red Hat box. You'll also want to make sure you have an /etc/sysconfig/network-script/ifcfg-eth2 file with the setup params for the device. Based on my quick read, the ifup script modprobes the device based on the /etc/modules.conf entry when it sets up the device.
At any rate, hopefully this will get you pointed in the right direction.
Distribution: RedHat from 5 -9, Fedora, Ubuntu, Centos 3 - 7, Puppy Linux
Sadly, it didn't work.
I changed the modules.conf and included:
alias eth2 ne
options ne io=0x300 irq=5
I then added the config file for eth2 to the /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/
It all boots up OK and it makes no mention of any problem with the modules.conf. It sets up all three nic's - but when it is finished all it has done is assign eth2's settings to eth1 and eth2 does not exist in the route.
Perhaps I have done something wrong, but I don't know what. It's like it sets eth2 but hasn't recognised that there is actually a card for it.
Just a thought, but is there another place I could put the original lines from rc.local that would be actioned much earlier in the startup?
I would prefer to do the modules.conf way if poss as it is much neater.