configuring ISA NIC

Issues related to configuring your network
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AlanBartlett
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Re: configuring ISA NIC

Post by AlanBartlett » 2008/04/15 16:05:25

[quote]I do not see /etc/sysconfig/modules in any of the CentOS-4 systems I have. While this does not mean it won't work, another place to try is /etc/rc.d/rc.local (in case the former fails).[/quote]

Well, if the directory isn't there for [b]CentOS 4[/b], we'll just have to do it by putting the appropriate lines of code into [b]/etc/rc.d/rc.local[/b]. This will result in the module being loaded very late - after all other services have started, etc.

So, having put those lines into [b]rc.local[/b], perform a [b]modprobe ne[/b] by hand, delete [b]/etc/sysconfig/firstboot[/b] and issue a [b]service firstboot start[/b].

Alan.

EDIT:

I have just had a look at the kernel configuration help for the ne2000 driver and this is what it says

[quote] CONFIG_NE2000:

If you have a network (Ethernet) card of this type, say Y and read
the Ethernet-HOWTO, available from
. Many Ethernet cards
without a specific driver are compatible with NE2000.

[i][/i]

To compile this driver as a module, choose M here. The module
will be called ne.

[i][/i][/quote]

Reading the above and the [i]User's Manual[/i] I cannot see any reason why the [b]NE2000[/b] driver shouldn't work with your card. :-?

michaelnel
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configuring ISA NIC

Post by michaelnel » 2008/04/15 17:37:25

I have a suggestion. Rather than wasting any more time on this ISA nic, if the machine has a PCI bus go get a supported card for ten bucks. Then if you still want to simulate the fun of getting an antique working, pick up a cheap ball peen hammer and start repeatedly striking yourself in the forehead with it.

weslowsk
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Re: configuring ISA NIC

Post by weslowsk » 2008/04/15 21:59:38

well, hopefully I can safely say this thread is nearing its end with this post...

I appreciate everyone's help...

First, I don't have firstboot installed, so I tried to install it via yum and found it's dependent on X/Gnome, so I didn't install it.

I put the check for ne module and modprobe sh script into /etc/rc.d/rc.local
I tried a reboot and the only thing that changed was that lsmod showed that ne was loaded.

The real only problem left was that I needed to configure the device (as eth1) that was being detected during boot and its drivers were being loaded fine.

system-config-network text version didn't seem to be giving me an option to configure eth1...this is what it should look like, I think:

http://www.cyberciti.biz/faq/wp-content/uploads/2007/04/network-sysconfig-tui-0.jpg

but it was only giving me the configuration for eth0. Maybe the GUI system-config-network works better?

so, I used the manual file editing way to configure a NIC shown here:

http://www.cyberciti.biz/faq/rhel-centos-fedoracore-linux-network-card-configuration/

I added ifcfg-eth1 and put the right parameters in it (I used the same IP address I previously assigned to eth0). Note: the hw address I found from dmesg:

NE*000 ethercard probe at 0x240: 00 00 b4 8f 31 47

I renamed ifcfg-eth0 to ifcfg-eth0.bak so that when the network starts up, it won't try to start up eth0 and conflict the IPs.

Reboot, and it works.

Again, thanks for the comments added for this thread...I may have some followup comments but I may leave that for another thread...or this one...not sure yet.

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Re: configuring ISA NIC

Post by weslowsk » 2008/04/16 05:07:35

I didn't want to start a new thread to ask a few last questions, so here they are:

1) Now that I'm running a PLUS kernel, is doing a kernel update using yum going to break the system (i.e. because it will revert back to the latest kernel from the UPDATE repo)? Can I safely uninstall (using yum or rpm) the old kernel? Should I turn on centosplus repo in the yum repo file (i.e. set enabled=1), to get updates on the PLUS kernel? Anything else I should consider when using yum and planning for updates (i.e. exclude=kernel*)?

2) How does one know that centosplus had the ne driver? Where could I go to find that out for myself? How did you get all of that neat info spit out about the ne.ko filename and its contents? i.e. this stuff:
filename: ne.ko
parm: io:I/O base address(es),required
parm: irq:IRQ number(s)
parm: bad:Accept card(s) with bad signatures
description: NE1000/NE2000 ISA/PnP Ethernet driver
license: GPL
vermagic: 2.6.9-67.0.7.plus.c4 686 REGPARM 4KSTACKS gcc-3.4
depends: 8390

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Re: configuring ISA NIC

Post by toracat » 2008/04/16 08:22:43

1) I was going to tell you about this. Please read the CentOS wiki article:

http://wiki.centos.org/Repositories/CentOSPlus

All the details are written in there.

2) I have a few CentOS-4 systems and checked the network driver section:

/lib/modules/`uname -r`/kernel/drivers/net/

and found the ne.ko in the centosplus kernel. The command to get the info is:

/sbin/modinfo ne.ko

in the above directory.

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Re: configuring ISA NIC

Post by AlanBartlett » 2008/04/16 16:55:35

So, late in the day, I have just read some excellent news!

Both [b]toracat[/b] and I knew it should work - it was just a question of getting things set up correctly. In my case, blind to the [b]OS[/b] & without the hardware. In [b]toracat's[/b] case, without the hardware.

[b]Michael's[/b] suggestion is another valid way of resolving the issue.

Now that it [b]is[/b] resolved, I'll say what [i]I think[/i] the OP should have done. Should have built a custom [b]CentOS 5[/b] kernel with ISA bus support. Time to build <= 3.5 hours. A few posts from [b]toracat[/b] and myself concerning the card configuration (software) and the job would have been done.

Alan.
:-D

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Re: configuring ISA NIC

Post by weslowsk » 2008/04/16 17:14:53

I've never tried to build a custom kernel. It does sound a bit daunting. I thought that once I built the kernel, I would need to rebuild the kernel the next time a necessary change to the kernel comes out...but then again, I doubt that I would find a need to update the kernel even once? Comments?

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Re: configuring ISA NIC

Post by AlanBartlett » 2008/04/16 17:34:20

[quote]I've never tried to build a custom kernel. It does sound a bit daunting.[/quote]

Agreed, it is at first sight. However the two current editors of that Wiki article would have guided you (no prize if you guess who they are . . .) either publicly on a forum or privately by e-mail.

[quote]I thought that once I built the kernel, I would need to rebuild the kernel the next time a necessary change to the kernel comes out[/quote]

You are absolutely right. As a [b]CentOS 5[/b] user who requires ISA bus support, this is something I have to do - but as I mentioned, it's a <= 3.5 hour job and can be put in the background or run overnight.

[quote]I doubt that I would find a need to update the kernel even once?[/quote]

[b]Upstream[/b] occasionally release a security or bug fixed kernel, so our [b]CentOS developers[/b] do likewise. For example, the -53.1.13.el5 kernel was released earlier this year as a security fix for a potential local root exploit. This was fairly quickly succeeded by -53.1.14.el5, the current kernel. So you would have to follow likewise with your custom kernel to keep up to date.

Going a bit off topic now - you could, of course, go to http://www.kernel.org and download the latest stable vanilla source, 2.6.24.4 IIRC, then build & install that. :-D

Regards,
Alan.

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Re: configuring ISA NIC

Post by toracat » 2008/04/16 17:48:29

As Alan explained in great details, if you build your own kernel, you need to build it for each kernel update (for security fixes). My suggestion is to stick with the CentOS-4 kernel until its support ends (2012). If your hardware is still alive at that time, you'd either do a custom kernel or buy a PCI card. :-D

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