Download your favorite Linux distribution at LQ ISO.
Go Back > Forums > Linux Forums > Linux - Hardware
User Name
Linux - Hardware This forum is for Hardware issues.
Having trouble installing a piece of hardware? Want to know if that peripheral is compatible with Linux?


  Search this Thread
Old 10-23-2005, 08:23 PM   #1
LQ Newbie
Registered: Oct 2005
Posts: 3

Rep: Reputation: 0
Not able to get my Realtek 8139 to work in Debian 3.1

Hi, I am very new to the linux system and have recently installed Debian 3.1. During the installation i had trouble getting a network connection to be established via dhcp. because of this i tried installing another ethernet card in a pci slot only to have that not be able to connect with dhcp as well. So i installed it through the cd's. I have a Realtek RTL8139/810x Family fast ethernet NIC #2 and this is located on my motherboard which is a Soyo P4X400 DRAGON Ultra Platinum Edition. I have been trying to figure this thing out and it has been a real pain in the neck. Any help will be greatly appreciated.
Thanks Jason
Old 10-23-2005, 08:30 PM   #2
Senior Member
Registered: Oct 2005
Location: Denver
Distribution: Sabayon 3.5Loop2
Posts: 1,150

Rep: Reputation: 45
My advice? Don't DHCP. DHCP just doesn't seem to work nearly as well as it should in the dozen or so distros I tried before settling on the one I use now. None of them really liked DHCP, and worked constantly, so in every case I was forced to hardset IP address, and DNS servers. That could be my routing equiptment not playing well with linux, or maybe it is just how some version work, I don't really know. Also in linux the DHCP and DNS, when they worked right, still seemed to take far longer than in Windows, so it never seemed worth it to me. Again, could just be my experience, but, that is my recommendation.
Old 10-24-2005, 12:18 AM   #3
Registered: Apr 2001
Location: Ottawa, Canada
Distribution: Mint Cinnamon AMD64
Posts: 155

Rep: Reputation: 18
I have the same RealTek 8139 card as you, and am using Debian Sarge as well. Eveything installed well for me using DHCP. I am, however, using a router, which means the IP address doesn't change every time I reboot the system. Not sure how you would get around NOT using DHCP unless you have one, since most ISPs don't give you a static IP.

Maybe there is a hardware conflict. I know some PCI cards do not share resources with others. The simplest way to isolate the problem is to remove cards until it works. Hope this helps,


Last edited by harrygraham; 10-24-2005 at 12:25 AM.
Old 10-24-2005, 03:05 AM   #4
Senior Member
Registered: Aug 2003
Location: Sydney
Distribution: debian
Posts: 1,495

Rep: Reputation: 48
You should post the file /etc/network/interfaces and the output of '/sbin/ifconfig'. Also check what drivers are loaded using 'lsmod' command. The 8139 driver is probably called '8139too'. If it is not loaded try loading it manually with 'modprobe 8139too' and check /sbin/ifconfig again.

Also check the output of dmesg for possible network/DHCP/driver errors (and of course make sure the cables are properly pushed home).

To give the add-on NIC its best chance you should probably also disable the on-board NIC in the BIOS.

Not sure what driver the on-board NIC needs. You could run 'lspci -v' and check the output for details (need to have the NIC enabled for this I expect).
Old 10-25-2005, 12:21 AM   #5
LQ Newbie
Registered: Oct 2005
Posts: 3

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 0
ok I ran some of the commands and this is what comes up

# This file describes the network interfaces available on your system
# and how to activate them. For more information, see interfaces(5).

# The loopback network interface
auto lo
iface lo inet loopback

iface eth0 inet static
name Ethernet LAN card

auto eth0

debian:/home/jay# /sbin/ifconfig
eth0 Link encap:Ethernet HWaddr 00:10:B5:58:7C:E6
inet addr: Bcast: Mask:
EtherTalk Phase 2 addr:65280/38
RX packets:0 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
TX packets:0 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
RX bytes:0 (0.0 b) TX bytes:0 (0.0 b)

lo Link encap:Local Loopback
inet addr: Mask:
EtherTalk Phase 2 addr:0/0
RX packets:7155 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
TX packets:7155 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
RX bytes:596732 (582.7 KiB) TX bytes:596732 (582.7 KiB)

Module Size Used by Not tainted
input 3040 0 (autoclean)
radeon 94176 0
apm 8428 1 (autoclean)
appletalk 17796 12 (autoclean)
parport_pc 19432 1 (autoclean)
lp 5540 0 (autoclean)
parport 21608 1 (autoclean) [parport_pc lp]
ehci-hcd 14764 0 (unused)
usb-uhci 19504 0 (unused)
usbcore 52268 1 [ehci-hcd usb-uhci]
cmpci 25164 1
soundcore 3268 2 [cmpci]
gameport 1388 0 [cmpci]
ide-scsi 8272 0
scsi_mod 86052 1 [ide-scsi]
8139too 12328 1
mii 1952 0 [8139too]
crc32 2848 0 [8139too]
ide-cd 27072 0
cdrom 26212 0 [ide-cd]
rtc 5768 0 (autoclean)
ext3 65388 5 (autoclean)
jbd 34628 5 (autoclean) [ext3]
ide-detect 288 0 (autoclean) (unused)
via82cxxx 9256 1 (autoclean)
ide-disk 12448 6 (autoclean)
ide-core 91832 6 (autoclean) [ide-scsi ide-cd ide-detect via82cxxx ide-disk]
unix 12752 225 (autoclean)

When i Run lspci -v i get

0000:00:09.0 Ethernet controller: Accton Technology Corporation SMC2-1211TX (rev 10)
Subsystem: Accton Technology Corporation EN-1207D Fast Ethernet Adapter
Flags: bus master, medium devsel, latency 32, IRQ 17
I/O ports at d000 [size=256]
Memory at ec100000 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=256]
Capabilities: <available only to root>

0000:00:0d.0 Ethernet controller: Realtek Semiconductor Co., Ltd. RTL-8139/8139C/8139C+ (rev 10)
Subsystem: Realtek Semiconductor Co., Ltd. RT8139
Flags: bus master, medium devsel, latency 32, IRQ 18
I/O ports at d400 [size=256]
Memory at ec101000 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=256]
Capabilities: <available only to root>

Any help with this will greatly be appreciated.
Thanks Jason
Old 10-25-2005, 03:26 AM   #6
Senior Member
Registered: Aug 2003
Location: Sydney
Distribution: debian
Posts: 1,495

Rep: Reputation: 48
The hardware and configuration looks OK to me. From the lspci lisiting the onboard NIC most likely uses the same 8139too driver as the card NIC. Since the card did not fix the problem it seems likely the onboard NIC is OK and the problem elsewhere.

You are not using DHCP. You have a static address at

How do you know the network is not working? What have you tried to do? Are there any other machines or a router on your LAN?

Your system expects to find a router of some sort at Do you have a router configured at that address? If you think you are using DHCP and you are not that could certainly give some problems.
Old 10-25-2005, 05:54 AM   #7
LQ Newbie
Registered: Oct 2005
Posts: 2

Rep: Reputation: 0
I've had the same problem. Not only with Debian 3.1, but also Slackware 10.1, SuSe 10 and Mandrake 2005 edition. I get the same outputs as thread-starter, except that I've tried with both DHCP and Static.
Setting DNS in resolv.conf won't help either, since a ping to the router yields nothing more than "Destination host unreachable".
My box is configured as, Subnet, GW/DNS I've tried using mii-tool to force Half Duplex, but it's of no use.
If anyone has any idea what could be wrong, It'd be appreciated. According to symptoms/outputs written earler in the thread, I think it's the exact same problem we're talking about here.
Old 10-25-2005, 09:59 AM   #8
Senior Member
Registered: Aug 2003
Location: Sydney
Distribution: debian
Posts: 1,495

Rep: Reputation: 48
I've used several different NICs with 8139too driver and all worked fine (except once when the cable plug was not fully clicked in, giving similar problems). If network config is correct and driver loads without problems, it's hard to know what to suggest.

Someone fixed something similar on LQ a while ago:

which I guess is worth a try.
Old 10-25-2005, 11:47 AM   #9
Registered: Oct 2004
Location: France, Provence
Distribution: Debian
Posts: 848

Rep: Reputation: 30
In my experience, trouble getting dhcp working in Debian at install
comes from the fact that your network hasn't got a proper driver
in the list debian use when configuring the network.
I had to wait almost a year to get my Broadcom card supported,
you know why ? Because I didn't even think of burning a newer
netinstall cd, which are updated WEEKLY.
My advice, burn a newer one, chances are that your card is supported
by now.
Try that, you never know..

Old 10-25-2005, 06:23 PM   #10
LQ Newbie
Registered: Oct 2005
Posts: 3

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 0
Ok let me help narrow it down a bit. The network i am sure is working cause this computer double boots win xp and debian 3.1. I have no problems with both cards in Win Xp. I also am connecting to a router. The other computer on it works fine as well. The onboard is the realtek 8139. The install cds are brand new i burned them the day of the first post. I really have no idea what to do. This is so frustrating. Everytime i want to try something i have to reboot into debian and then when it doesnt work i have to come back here cause i have no internet hehe hopefully i can get this thing up and running. The only thing i really did was install 8139too thats about all i tried.
Thanks Jason
Old 10-25-2005, 07:42 PM   #11
Senior Member
Registered: Aug 2003
Location: Sydney
Distribution: debian
Posts: 1,495

Rep: Reputation: 48
So have you tried turning off APIC as suggested in the old LQ link above?

Googling for rtl8139

gives many reports of similar problems, and including success with turning off APIC.

The same site also contains some suggestions that Windows XP security patches were messing with the EEPROM on some network cards, making them stop working with linux. Not sure what became of that rumour.


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Realtek 8139 not working on debian Ben136 Linux - Hardware 16 12-15-2005 10:37 AM
Realtek 8139 not recognized on debian bwaters Linux - Hardware 0 11-13-2004 11:30 AM
Realtek 8139 and Debian Sarge turbulence Linux - Networking 1 10-25-2004 09:42 AM
Network with Debian Woody and Realtek 8139 grcbheax Linux - Networking 2 08-09-2004 11:10 AM
Can't get NIC (Realtek 8139) to work in 2.6.5 kernel snufferz Linux - Newbie 25 06-09-2004 01:19 AM > Forums > Linux Forums > Linux - Hardware

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:36 PM.

Main Menu
Write for LQ is looking for people interested in writing Editorials, Articles, Reviews, and more. If you'd like to contribute content, let us know.
Main Menu
RSS1  Latest Threads
RSS1  LQ News
Twitter: @linuxquestions
Facebook: linuxquestions Google+: linuxquestions
Open Source Consulting | Domain Registration