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Old 03-05-2003, 04:17 AM   #1
LinuxNOOB100
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Question newbie's linux cant find pcmcia network card!


Hi everyone, this is my first post on this message board so please be gentle!

I'm an extreme linux noobie, and unfortunately i've chosen a rather daunting first linux task - maybe you can help me. Here's the situation.

I'm running a 75 mhz 486 Laptop with 8 megs of ram. It has no CD rom drive. My overall goal is to install a floppy disk distro of linux (monkey linux, tiny linux, Mulinux, etc), get it to recognize my network card (a plain-jane 3com ethernet card...), and then use the newfound internet connection to perhaps upgrade my distro with either more features, or a different distro altogether. So far, I've gotten various distros on the computer, but I haven't been able to get any GUIs to load. (Maybe there's a better distro for my purpose?) I'm a real newbie so I don't quite know how to tinker very well, and I am totally lost as to how to point the computer to my ethernet card, which is then plugged into a DSL LAN with DHCP. Any attempt to help would be much appreciated, as would humorous (yet gentle) mocking of my ridiculously outdated and underpowered laptop. I call him Roby. Thank you.

--Hrc1920
 
Old 03-05-2003, 12:15 PM   #2
johan the olive
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well, to make this easy on you, quit wasting your time. firstly, you have no cd drive. big problem there. that means you can't install a "decent" distro - any "real" distro (mandrake, redhat) would be able to set up your network card, probably. But, you can't do that . so, i would say it's not worth it but that's me. good luck...
 
Old 03-05-2003, 05:56 PM   #3
Texicle
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Firstly, you can run a "real distro" off your laptop. You have obviously done your homework on what would run with your system (although I didn't see Slackware in there anywhere).

After you install your distro make sure you can get to a command line. If you can, then you're well on your way. You need to find out what module your 3Comm NIC will need to use. Once you've got this information, type:

modprobe <modulename>

without <> and with the correct module name. This should tell your system what module (driver) to use to recognize your NIC. Then, you'll want to edit your /etc/rc.d/rc.modules file to reflect your NIC's module by either adding "modprobe <modulename>" or by uncommenting (removing the # from the beginning of) the line that has your module there. You will also want to add your alias in your /etc/modules.conf file by adding "alias eth0 <modulename>". A reboot will not hurt anything at this point.

After you've got the NIC installed and it is detected, you might want to run netconfig if your distribution has it. This will allow you to configure your DHCP information and all that good stuff. Hope this helps.
 
Old 03-05-2003, 07:52 PM   #4
LinuxNOOB100
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Thanks for your help, Texicle - I think your steps will lead me to the promised land, but unfortunately I have a few questions regarding your steps, maybe you can help me through them:

I can get to a command line, and I am about to look up the module name I need for my particular card, however, does this require me loading a driver onto the computer via floppy? or is the module something I should already have on the system?

Also, editing those files to to add the required lines seems easy enough, unfortunately I really am a newbie, and I'm not sure how to edit those files. Is there a program on the system for editing files? I know that must sound stupid, and I'm sure there is a program, i'm just that new.

Also, about slackware - I was very interested in getting my hands on it, but the web page (with all the different packages) kind of intimidated me, and I heard that it was considered an 'expert' distro. That was enough to turn me away... at least for now.

Thanks again for your help

--LinuxNoob
 
Old 03-05-2003, 08:01 PM   #5
LinuxNOOB100
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By the way

By the way, my ethernet card is a 3com Ethernet III card.
 
Old 03-05-2003, 09:34 PM   #6
Texicle
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Quote:
Originally posted by LinuxNOOB100
Thanks for your help, Texicle - I think your steps will lead me to the promised land, but unfortunately I have a few questions regarding your steps, maybe you can help me through them:
You're welcome, and I'll certainly try to help you further.

Quote:
I can get to a command line, and I am about to look up the module name I need for my particular card, however, does this require me loading a driver onto the computer via floppy? or is the module something I should already have on the system?
I'm not sure if it's already on your system or not. However, most distributions have several modules that come along with them. What distribution are you using at the moment? As per your NIC information below, and according to www.google.com/linux it seems as though the correct module is 3c509. To check to see if you've already got it on your system, but not installed, do the following as root:

modprobe 3c509

If you get no errors, type:

lsmod

just to make sure that it's installed. If you get errors after modprobe stating that there's no module found, then you'll need to download it. If you have to do this on another machine, and then save it to disk, then so be it. However, if you're doing it on a Windows machine and saving to disk, I don't know how well this is going to work. Hopefully someone else will have the solution for this part.

Quote:
Also, editing those files to to add the required lines seems easy enough, unfortunately I really am a newbie, and I'm not sure how to edit those files. Is there a program on the system for editing files? I know that must sound stupid, and I'm sure there is a program, i'm just that new.
Okay, to edit the file from command line, I would use vi--but that's only because I've never used anything else. I kind of learned vi by stumbling through it. Now, to edit any file with vi you'd type the following:

vi <filename>

Of course, you'd use the correct file name (for example: /etc/rc.d/rc.modules) and you would get rid of the <>. Now, once you're in the file, you can use your arrow keys to move around or your PgUp and PgDn keys. You would want to get your cursor where you need it, then press the i key for "insert". You then add or delete your text as needed. When you are ready to save the file you would have to hit your ESC key (escape), then type :wq. You MUST hit the escape key, and you MUST put the colon ( in front of wq (write quit). Now, if you make a mistake or are unsure about it, you can type :q! which will force a quit without saving (very handy). Once you get to this step and if you are having any problems, let me know.

Quote:
Also, about slackware - I was very interested in getting my hands on it, but the web page (with all the different packages) kind of intimidated me, and I heard that it was considered an 'expert' distro. That was enough to turn me away... at least for now.

Thanks again for your help

--LinuxNoob
Slackware isn't necessarily an "expert" distro, but it is certainly not a distro that does anything for you. You control everything, and you set up everything yourself.

Anyway, I hope this helps you out, post back if you need any further info.
 
Old 03-05-2003, 09:51 PM   #7
LinuxNOOB100
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Hi again --

I'm running Monkey Linux (Mini Linux). I edited the files according to your instructions, however upon typing modprobe 3c509 I get this message:

3c509: WARNING! Module load-time probing works reliably only for EISA bus!!
loading device 'eth0' ...
Initialization of 3c509 failed.

Not sure if it matters, but i should also mention that commented lines concerning 3c509 already existed - i Just removed the # sign from the beginning. Also, running netconfig does nothing, so I guess I don't have it.
 
Old 03-05-2003, 10:32 PM   #8
Texicle
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Quote:
Originally posted by LinuxNOOB100
Hi again --

I'm running Monkey Linux (Mini Linux). I edited the files according to your instructions, however upon typing modprobe 3c509 I get this message:

3c509: WARNING! Module load-time probing works reliably only for EISA bus!!
loading device 'eth0' ...
Initialization of 3c509 failed.

Not sure if it matters, but i should also mention that commented lines concerning 3c509 already existed - i Just removed the # sign from the beginning. Also, running netconfig does nothing, so I guess I don't have it.
I did some searching on Monkey Linux. I found the website for it, however, every link I click other than "English" returns a 404 error. Oh, BTW, according to the Monkey Linux site, it's based on Slackware

I did however, put a copy of your error message in Google for Linux (G4L) and you can view the results right here.

I visited a couple of the pages and apparently you need to give the modprobe command some parameters. 2 parameters are suggested as follows from 2 different websites on the search results:

modprobe 3c509 io=0x300 irq=5 xcvr=0
modprobe 3c509 io=0x300 irq=10 xcvr=0

You would actually type the whole line at the bash prompt. Now, you might have to do some checking to make sure that you've got no IRQ or I/O conflicts first by using the parameters. Note: you don't have to use io=0x300 or irq=5 or 10, you will need to enter what you need to enter.

I'm not 100% certain on how to find this information correctly, but you could try lspci -v to list your IRQs and/or I/Os in use. It might also detect your NIC as well and tell you where it is. If it does, then great, just use that information when you type the modprobe command. Let's just say it does rest on io=0x300 but you can use IRQ 11. You'd type:

modprobe 3c509 io=0x300 irq=11 xcvr=0

If this works out, then you need to go back to the files that you uncommented and add the rest of the info to then end of the line for the 3c509 module as well.

As for the netconfig, we'll have to figure something out. I haven't met anyone who uses Monkey Linux, but hopefully there's someone out there who's been able to set up the internet connection without the use of a tool like netconfig that can help us out here. Hope this helps you out some.
 
Old 03-06-2003, 03:58 AM   #9
LinuxNOOB100
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Unfortunately, the command to find the IQ and I/O numbers doesn't work. I'm not sure how to find the IRQ of the card, now. Any ideas? Would just trying a bunch of values be useful/safe? Thanks for the continued help,

Noob
 
Old 03-06-2003, 06:13 PM   #10
Texicle
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Well, you can always try some IRQs out. If it doesn't work, you'll know.

The worst thing that can happen is that you'll have to reinstall. Additionally, you might want to try another Linux out that will be compatible with your system. I'm pretty sure that Vector Linux (also Slackware based) will run on your system as well. I don't know how many Monkey Linux users are out there that can provide you with the help you need.

Anyway, I'd give a few IRQ numbers a go and find out if it works. It shouldn't hurt anything. Keep me posted.
 
  


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