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Installing Slackware 12.2 On An Old Dell Laptop - Part II

Posted 08-24-2009 at 04:00 PM by stuartd

It's a week or so since I did anything to that laptop. I've got a working OS on it but I don't have a network connection, not to mention X or any other pretties.

First I want to get the network up and running. I know that the NIC works as I explained before, so that's not a problem. It's a Xircom Credit Card Ethernet 10/100+ Modem 56 CEM56-100

I know that the machine is connected to the pcmcia cardbus:

root@achilles:~# lspcmcia -v
Socket 0 Bridge:   	[yenta_cardbus] 	(bus ID: 0000:00:03.0)
	Configuration:	state: on	ready: no
			Voltage: 5.0V Vcc: 5.0V Vpp: 5.0V
Socket 1 Bridge:   	[yenta_cardbus] 	(bus ID: 0000:00:03.1)
	Configuration:	state: on	ready: no
I don't know what all of that means but I can guess that "ready: no" means that they're not ready to receive communication from the machine.

At time like this I have an image of cotton wool, impenetrable and squashy so that it absorbs all attempts to explore it. I think that's what's in my head.

So I am guessing that there is a configuration problem and I am pretty sure that I'm lacking a kernel module to communicate with that ethernet adaptor.

When I did this I got no indication of there being an ethernet adaptor:
root@achilles:~# ifconfig
lo        Link encap:Local Loopback  
          inet addr:  Mask:
          inet6 addr: ::1/128 Scope:Host
          UP LOOPBACK RUNNING  MTU:16436  Metric:1
          RX packets:0 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
          TX packets:0 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
          collisions:0 txqueuelen:0 
          RX bytes:0 (0.0 B)  TX bytes:0 (0.0 B)
root@achilles:~# ifconfig eth0
eth0: error fetching interface information: Device not found
I hate this. I know what I have to do, I have to install the module that will communicate with the adaptor, but that means messing with the kernel and I've got a machine that runs and I might break it! It took me some time to realise that when computers aren't working the way you want them to, they are effectively broken anyway so doing something to change that and have it not work doesn't leave me any worse off. That feeling still persists though.

So a few days ago I did some searching for information about installing and configuring my adaptor.http://// confirmed that the driver for it is xirc2ps_cs and a quick check of the available modules on the laptop confirmed that I have that module in my library.

I've actually found researching all of this on the internet confusing at times. It's a *very good* idea to check the dates of any information posted on the 'net. Much of it that I have found about installing and configuring modules like xirc2ps_cs is out of date. I nearly went with `insmod` as the way to install it but further reading suggested that `modprobe` is the current choice.

A fairly thorough exploration of `modprobe` revealed `modules.dep` and `depmod` and raised my anxiety levels. Still, I'm here to learn, so: does `modprobe` "know" where xirc2ps_cs is?

root@achilles:~# modprobe -c | grep pcmcia
Being careful I go for a dry-run first:
root@achilles:~# modprobe -nv xirc2ps_cs
insmod /lib/modules/2.6.7-smp/kernel/drivers/net/pcmsia/xirc2ps_cs.ko
and no error messages.

The command `modprobe xirc2ps_cs` didn't get me any error messages or warnings and `lsmod` revealed that now the module xirc2ps_cs is installed.

Just to test my method I rebooted. `lsmod` doesn't show xirc2ps_cs has been installed at boot. So now I have to work out how to make it install at boot.

Well, it's late and I've run out of time. I've been searching for how to make the machine load the xirc2ps_cs module at boot but can't find out yet how to do it. I've a heavy day ahead tomorrow, so have to stop now.

If you read this and know how to make Slackware 12.2 load modules at boot, please post a comment or email me with the answer.
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  1. Old Comment
    Try putting an entry for it in /etc/rc.d/modules:
    /sbin/modprobe xirc2ps_cs
    Posted 08-27-2009 at 07:12 AM by brianL brianL is offline
  2. Old Comment
    Originally Posted by brianL View Comment
    Try putting an entry for it in /etc/rc.d/modules:
    /sbin/modprobe xirc2ps_cs
    Thanks, Brian. I've done that and it's worked. I'll be posting the next episode in the saga shortly.

    Posted 08-27-2009 at 12:10 PM by stuartd stuartd is offline


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