View Full Version : Old windows vet with Fedora/NIC woes
12th April 2004, 06:39 AM
I am brand new to Linux. I am not a total idiot...in fact rather versed in the world of NT......it pays the bills round here :)
Just wanted to venture out and learn something new so grabbed the Core 1 from linuxiso.org.........and here we are. The machine is old as dirt.....but its an extra box I can play with. Little 500mhz k6-2 512 megs of ram and 7.5 gigs of storage with a tnt2 video card, and the ellusive 3Com 3c905b tx NIC. I figured I'd knock the dust of the ole box and see what happens.
Now I tried an older mandrake 9.0 install and no problems with the NIC pulling an address from the router and hopping right on the internet......but it is an older distro, I have no clue how to upgrade the kernal or OS for that matter as of yet, so I DLed Core 1. In Fedora it saw the NIC initially as a 3c905 but lists the driver as a 3c590...it is not a 3c590. needless to say I can't initialize it or anything of the sort. Now the system doesnt even see the NIC. I stabbed the NIC in a win2k server box....NIC fired right up...so its not the NIC. I have downloaded an rpm from 3coms site ref this nic......I just don't know what to do with the rpm once I have it, or am I missing or overlooking someting else. I just want a functioning Linux desktop with Internet and email along with a couple of books.....so I can embark on this adventure learning what this OS is all about, and what makes it Tick.
Thanks in Advance
12th April 2004, 12:03 PM
Open a terminal, then change directory to where the RPM you downloaded is: cd /home/gareth/ For example. Then perform the following to install the package:su
rpm -Uvh <packagename>
12th April 2004, 10:03 PM
With me it's hardware that pays the bills, so I may be able to help here.
1) Firstly, with the NIC in either a windows or linux machine note down your known working settings. If you don't know these and your card doesn't have jumpers you may have to download the DOS config program from 3Com and run that first.
2) VERY IMPORTANT. Make sure that the card is NOT set for Plug & Play operation or when it comes to linux you will have problems.
3) Boot with the card in your system and see if you get any mention of eth0 in your startup messages. If they scroll too fast look in your boot logs.
4) If you do see mention of eth0 you're winning. Open up your network config in KDE and check that it sees the card. You may need to enter some of the IRQ and DMA settings manually.
5) If you don't see any mention of eth0 in your startup let the system continue anyway and then open up an X Windows Terminal screen. Enter the command
and see what happens (you may need to do this as root).
if you only see entries for 127.0.0.1 then linux is not seeing the card and we may need to dig further.
Let me know how you get on.
14th April 2004, 01:12 AM
The 3c905b cards are classics -- and are supported by modules included with the kernel for years. The mention to the 3c590 series is because a whole set of 3com cards use the same kernel module: 3c95x (note that module is in most places aka a driver).
You don't need anything from 3com's site to get it to work, what they provide will give probably more advanced configurability (which is probably won back in the generic tool ethtool). In the end, screwing with 3com's own drivers will just complicate matters.
You're pretty vague about it "not seeing" the nic now. The GUI network config tools are just a python script interpretting configuration files, and often enough won't accurately reflect installed nics (in my experience).
The most simplistic test is to see if the driver is loaded in the kernel. If it is, then Fedora seems to think the nic is still there. If it isn't, then indeed it is MIA.
Check to see if it's loaded by typing this into the console as root:
lsmod | grep 3c95x
If it returns results, the nic is installed and working. It's the network configuration, and not the hardware configuration that the problem lies.
If it doesn't return anything, try this:
If that gives you errors about it not finding the device, then it implies there's a hardware malfunction of some sort. Try a different pci slot, or a different card in the same slot. (If it does load the module, type "kudzu" and it should, hopefully, do the job).
unstable linux distributions often aren't for the faint of heart. Everything will either work great, or it'll be one nightmare after another -- much like Windows, at times.
You might be better off with something like RH9...
14th April 2004, 07:56 PM
Just to try an eliminate some confusion. The 3Com DOS configuration program is used to setup the card if there are no jumpers. This program only works under DOS and there is no linux version. Using this utility you can set the card address, DMA, IRQ etc.
I've used 3Com cards under linux a few times and found that if Plug & Play is enabled then the card may not work even if the driver loads without error.
16th April 2004, 04:46 AM
Sorry if I was vague......what I should have said was eth0 appears in the post...I guess that is what you call it...so Linux recognizes that an ethernet card exists....I just have no connectivity....and dhcp is a lost cause at this point.
I am familiar with the dos config program....will give the plug and play thing a try. Sorry for being vague....but yes the initial post does show eth0 fails. The NIC just doesnt grab an address from dhcp.....provided by my little Netgear FVS318 router. I have tried a Static address outside of the DHCP scope I have configured in the DHCP router....and the Ip address, mask and gateway are correct and within the same network as all my other nodes participating in a little 5 node Active Directory domain....central control for the kids machine....you understand I am sure.
The Static settings do not work either......in fact the router interface doesnt even show this MAC as a connected device. Cable and NIC are healty....at least according to my FLUKE.
Hope that clears things up a little.
16th April 2004, 06:29 AM
It clears it up a little bit.
For some reason it is failing...
Assuming you are sure that network connectivity exists (do you see a network light?), then it is somethin software.
Sometimes the best way to detect the problem is simply bypass all of the redhat helper scripts. Type this into a console (all on 1 line), replacing values for your own configuration:
ifconfig eth0 192.168.1.2 broadcast 192.168.1.255 netmask 255.255.255.0 up
You should now be able to ping your gateway (but you won't be able to talk to anyone outside your lan).
Typing "ifconfig eth0" should verify everything was entered in correctly.
If that works, then...
For some reason your dhcp is failing, and you likely improperly configured your static address before.
if it still doesn't work, then you've got something weird going on or someone screwed up somewhere.
Might want to check iptables, could be somehow you blocking the INPUT chain or something...
iptables -P INPUT ACCEPT
iptables -P OUTPUT ACCEPT
iptables -F INPUT
iptables -F OUTPUT
Will leave your computer wide open... Of course you're on a lan, so needn't worry. Those changes won't survive a reboot, either.
Oh, and as a note... the post screen is your BIOS outputting information as it detects your cpu/ram/etc. You just say as linux boots... no specific terminology to describe the general boot process.
19th April 2004, 05:44 AM
I am aware what a post typically means..............but you are correct .... I was indeed referring to the Linux boot up sequence that appears on my screen. Thanks for the tips.....just don't know any nomenclature in the Unix/Linux world so wasnt sure what to call it. Take into account I have never played with Linux......just wanted to finally take the time to figure it out. Lastly the NIC is now working. I have connectivity.
I used the 3com dos utility booted into a dos shell and exectued it......I then disabled flow control, and plug and play and voila we have connectivity.
Thanks for eveyones help.
20th April 2004, 03:33 AM
Isn't that ironic, that disabling plug n play makes it work? That happened to me with an old 3c509 isa card.
Glad you got it working.
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