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Old 03-26-2004, 10:01 AM   #1
pwaring
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Debian not detecting my network card


I've been trying to get Debian up and running on one of my laptops recently using both the Woody distribution CDs and the Sarge netinstall ISO (burnt to a separate CD). However, Debian refuses to setup my network card automatically. I don't know why, but instead it forces me to go through a huge list of network card drivers for my NIC (which I presume is built onto the motherboard, since it's not on a PCMCIA card and it's a laptop), of which I have tried a few but they all refuse to work. Without support for my network card, I can't do a network install, so it's not something I can just overlook.

Does anyone know if there's a way to get Debian to automatically detect my network hardware? It must be able to do it somehow because every other distribution I've used (including Slackware, which is targetted at the same type of people who are likely to use Debian) has found my network card without fail on various machines, but Debian always chokes on this point no matter which options I select.
 
Old 03-26-2004, 11:05 AM   #2
souljah
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when you get into the portion of the installation when it asks you which network adapter you have, type "alt+F2" this will allow you to open and terminal, where you can use the "lscpi" command to find the name of your network adapter. From that information you can google the module which you should use. Then voila you can pick it from the list and continue with your installation. Good luck amigo.
 
Old 03-26-2004, 11:49 AM   #3
johnMG
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I haven't tried it yet, but the new debian-installer
http://www.debian.org/devel/debian-installer/
does hardware detection. I think there's a Sarge netinst image
up on that page that you can get.

Also, a short review/walk-through of the new installer
http://www.thiesen.org/d-i/index.html

Let us know how you fare.
 
Old 03-26-2004, 12:28 PM   #4
pwaring
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The lscpi command doesn't seem to exist - I get the error 'lscpi: not found' when I try to run it at the terminal prompt.

I am actually using the Sarge netinstall (as I mentioned in my first post) but it keeps moaning about my CD-ROM not being detected (which is completely stupid, since the installer is running from it) and it won't let me manually partition my disks, even if I try to launch cfdisk from the console.
 
Old 03-26-2004, 12:48 PM   #5
mrcheeks
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if it doesn't detect it configure it after by building a brand new kernel and including the driver for your network card.
ps: You must know the family of your network card to enable it
 
Old 03-26-2004, 01:51 PM   #6
pwaring
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Well, I eventually managed to find out that it was a generic VIA technologies card (as is everything else, because it's nearly all motherboard-based being a laptop). I was surprised that Debian didn't configure it automatically though, seeing as every other distribution I've used (which is most of the well-known ones) managed to, and also it said I should remove PCMCIA support which is a stupid thing to do on a laptop.
 
Old 03-26-2004, 03:22 PM   #7
mrcheeks
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for pcmcia some use it for network cards, some like you don't.. You could have loaded the module for your network card at install when it offered you do do so.
 
Old 03-26-2004, 04:46 PM   #8
Genesee
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it's still beta, so hopefully these things will get worked out -- don't forget to send an install report on the probs you encountered:

http://www.debian.org/devel/debian-installer/
 
Old 03-28-2004, 07:21 AM   #9
pwaring
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Quote:
Originally posted by mrcheeks
for pcmcia some use it for network cards, some like you don't.. You could have loaded the module for your network card at install when it offered you do do so.
That's what I ended up doing. My question was why didn't Debian detect my network card automatically when every other distro seems capable of doing this? Also, disabling PCMCIA support is a pretty daft thing to do on a laptop - even if you don't use it for network support you might have wireless cards, extra USB ports etc.

Anyway, when it finally got installed X didn't work - probably because there was no /etc/X11/XFree86Config file present.

I really wish the Debian team would put a bit more effort into making the installer work. Slackware has an easy-to-follow text-based install that has always detected most, if not all, of my hardware without any problems, so why not Debian?
 
Old 03-28-2004, 03:31 PM   #10
mrcheeks
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For network cards, sometimes debian detect it and sometimes it doesn't anyway most people use a custom kernel... At installation at just only modprobe the network card to be able to upgrade to testing and install almost nothing. if you installed xserver-xfree86 it should have shown you a dialog to configure XFree and to create XF86Config-4 file...

I really wish the Debian team would put a bit more effort into making the installer work
it workS...some don't know how to use it and are used to have everything done, like most mandrake users.

EXEMPLES OF WHAT PEOPLE COULD SAY ABOUT SLACKWARE FOR EXAMPLE(MOST NEWBIES)

I am running slackware current right now and it is almost the same than debian, in terms of configurations, but no real apt-get. Swaret is cool but apt is great.

some could say for example, why do i don't have a update-rc.d command in slack :-)
i am used to it even if i can do the job myself.

A newbie would say also why do i have to edit inittab. Mandrake doesn't offer this option. Why doesn't XFree configure correctly at first try , i had to do it manually(just an exemple, i didn't really care as i am used to configure it).

Why do we have to modprobe at slackware installation?
Mandrake configures it without asking any question. Should we wish thant slack do it and why isn't all distro having a graphical installation...

When you use slackware or debian that means you don't expect everything to happen and wait for it like most desktop distros.
 
Old 03-29-2004, 07:43 AM   #11
pwaring
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Quote:
Originally posted by mrcheeks
For network cards, sometimes debian detect it and sometimes it doesn't anyway most people use a custom kernel... At installation at just only modprobe the network card to be able to upgrade to testing and install almost nothing. if you installed xserver-xfree86 it should have shown you a dialog to configure XFree and to create XF86Config-4 file...
I selected the "desktop environment" option in tasksel, so I presumed X would be installed (especially since gdm and kdm were installed). Obviously Debian didn't think that X was a required dependancy for me to have a graphical desktop...

Quote:
it workS...some don't know how to use it and are used to have everything done, like most mandrake users.
It only works if you either know how to use it in advance or just happen to choose the correct options. I have only once managed to get Debian installed properly and even then it broke X when I tried apt-get. However, every other distro I have ever used (and that's most of them, from Red Hat and Mandrake to Slackware and even FreeBSD) has installed without problems or just requiring one or two minor edits.

Quote:
I am running slackware current right now and it is almost the same than debian, in terms of configurations, but no real apt-get. Swaret is cool but apt is great.
In my experience, swaret is both easier to install and much better/flexible at upgrading packages than apt-get is.

Quote:
A newbie would say also why do i have to edit inittab. Mandrake doesn't offer this option. Why doesn't XFree configure correctly at first try , i had to do it manually(just an exemple, i didn't really care as i am used to configure it).
Those are exactly the same problems on Debian though - but at least I can get Slackware up and running to the point where I can actually edit those files (and Slackware has always configured XFree correctly, with the exception of choosing a US keyboard instead of the UK layout, but that was trivial to fix).

Quote:
Why do we have to modprobe at slackware installation?
Mandrake configures it without asking any question. Should we wish thant slack do it and why isn't all distro having a graphical installation...
Erm, I've installed Slackware on various pieces of kit, from an old Pentium 100 to a brand new Centrino laptop, and I've never had to manually configure anything using modprobe or any other tools. In fact, Slackware has only stumbled on my sound card I think, but it's partially broken in my PC (even Windows has problems with it sometimes) so that's not really Slackware's fault. As for the text-based installation, it is somewhat overwhelming for a newbie perhaps, but it offers far better flow than what Debian offers and guides you through every step of the way. Ok so it's not anaconda, but it works.

Quote:
When you use slackware or debian that means you don't expect everything to happen and wait for it like most desktop distros.
I don't expect everything to happen for me on Slackware or Debian, but I expect them to at least be capable of detecting the majority of my hardware (especially more simple stuff like network cards) without problems.
 
Old 03-29-2004, 03:10 PM   #12
siddhesh
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Quote:
Originally posted by pwaring
The lscpi command doesn't seem to exist - I get the error 'lscpi: not found' when I try to run it at the terminal prompt.

I am actually using the Sarge netinstall (as I mentioned in my first post) but it keeps moaning about my CD-ROM not being detected (which is completely stupid, since the installer is running from it) and it won't let me manually partition my disks, even if I try to launch cfdisk from the console.
Its 'lspci', not lscpi.

Siddhesh
 
Old 03-29-2004, 04:48 PM   #13
pwaring
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I thought it was lspci as well, but I got the same error message for that so it doesn't make any difference...
 
Old 03-29-2004, 07:36 PM   #14
mrcheeks
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read a little bit on debian site, even if you come from slackware it doesn't mean you've seen lots of stuff ... Work it like a newbie would. You might get nice and bad suprises...but you already know about the existence of man command.

good luck
 
Old 03-29-2004, 09:44 PM   #15
siddhesh
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I think you must use lspci as root. This is to determine the different pci cards/chips on your system. If you do not know your card type (checking your laptop manual might help you get some info), you may try to install kudzu.

I think you should get kudzu on one of debian distribution cds, though i do recommend you actually doing some R&D about your system if you're trying to learn.

Siddhesh
 
  


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