Linux Ethernet-Howto

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction

     1.1 New Versions of this Document
     1.2 Using the Ethernet-Howto
     1.3 What do I need to to get ethernet working?
     1.4 HELP - It doesn't work!
     1.5 Type of cable that your card should support

  2. Frequently Asked Questions

     2.1 How do I tell Linux what driver to use?
     2.2 What card should I buy for Linux?
     2.3 Alpha Drivers -- Getting and Using them
     2.4 Using More than one Ethernet Card per Machine
        2.4.1 With the Driver as a Module
        2.4.2 With the Driver Compiled into the Kernel
     2.5 The ether= thing didn't do anything for me. Why?
     2.6 Problems with NE1000 / NE2000 cards (and clones)
     2.7 Problems with SMC Ultra/EtherEZ and WD80*3 cards
     2.8 Problems with 3Com cards
     2.9 FAQs Not Specific to Any Card.
        2.9.1 Linux and ISA Plug and Play Ethernet Cards
        2.9.2 PCI machine detects card but driver fails probe (PnP OS).
        2.9.3 All cards detected but two fail to work in PCI machine
        2.9.4 I have /etc/conf.modules and not /etc/modules.conf.
        2.9.5 Ethercard is Not Detected at Boot.
        2.9.6 Driver reports unresolved symbol ei_open and won't load.
        2.9.7 ifconfig reports the wrong I/O address for the card.
        2.9.8 Shared Memory ISA cards in PCI Machine do not work (0xffff)
        2.9.9 Card seems to send data but never receives anything.
        2.9.10 Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) Support
        2.9.11 Gigabit Ethernet Support
        2.9.12 FDDI Support
        2.9.13 Full Duplex Support
        2.9.14 Ethernet Cards for Linux on SMP Machines
        2.9.15 Ethernet Cards for Linux on Alpha/AXP PCI Boards
        2.9.16 Ethernet for Linux on SUN/Sparc Hardware.
        2.9.17 Ethernet for Linux on Other Hardware.
        2.9.18 Linking 10 or 100 BaseT without a Hub
        2.9.19 SIOCSIFxxx: No such device
        2.9.20 SIOCSFFLAGS: Try again
        2.9.21 Using `ifconfig' and Link UNSPEC with HW-addr of 00:00:00:00:00:00
        2.9.22 Huge Number of RX and TX Errors
        2.9.23 Entries in /dev/ for Ethercards
        2.9.24 Access to the raw Ethernet Device

  3. Performance Tips

     3.1 General Concepts
     3.2 ISA Cards and ISA Bus Speed
     3.3 Setting the TCP Rx Window
     3.4 Increasing NFS performance

  4. Vendor/Manufacturer/Model Specific Information

     4.1 3Com
        4.1.1 3c501
        4.1.2 EtherLink II, 3c503, 3c503/16
        4.1.3 Etherlink Plus 3c505
        4.1.4 Etherlink-16 3c507
        4.1.5 Etherlink III, 3c509 / 3c509B
        4.1.6 3c515
        4.1.7 3c523
        4.1.8 3c527 Etherlink MC/32
        4.1.9 3c529
        4.1.10 3c339 Token Ring PCI Velocity XL
        4.1.11 3c556
        4.1.12 3c562
        4.1.13 3c575
        4.1.14 3c579
        4.1.15 3c589 / 3c589B
        4.1.16 3c590 / 3c595
        4.1.17 3c592 / 3c597
        4.1.18 3c900 / 3c905 / 3c905B / 3c905C / 3c905CX
        4.1.19 3c985 (Gigabit acenic, aka Tigon2)
        4.1.20 3c996 (Gigabit broadcom, aka Tigon3)
     4.2 Accton
        4.2.1 Accton MPX
        4.2.2 Accton EN1203, EN1207, EtherDuo-PCI
        4.2.3 Accton EN2209 Parallel Port Adaptor (EtherPocket)
        4.2.4 Accton EN2212 PCMCIA Card
     4.3 Adaptec
        4.3.1 Adaptec DuraLAN/Starfire, 64bit ANA-6922
     4.4 Allied Telesyn/Telesis
        4.4.1 AT1500
        4.4.2 AT1700
        4.4.3 AT2400
        4.4.4 AT2450
        4.4.5 AT2500
        4.4.6 AT2540FX
     4.5 AMD / Advanced Micro Devices
        4.5.1 AMD LANCE (7990, 79C960/961/961A, PCnet-ISA)
        4.5.2 AMD 79C901 (Home PNA PHY)
        4.5.3 AMD 79C965 (PCnet-32)
        4.5.4 AMD 79C970/970A (PCnet-PCI)
        4.5.5 AMD 79C971 (PCnet-FAST)
        4.5.6 AMD 79C972 (PCnet-FAST+)
        4.5.7 AMD 79C974 (PCnet-SCSI)
     4.6 Ansel Communications
        4.6.1 AC3200 EISA
     4.7 Apricot
        4.7.1 Apricot Xen-II On Board Ethernet
     4.8 Arcnet
     4.9 Boca Research
        4.9.1 Boca BEN400
        4.9.2 Boca BEN (ISA, VLB, PCI)
     4.10 Broadcom
        4.10.1 Broadcom Tigon2
        4.10.2 Broadcom Tigon3
     4.11 Cabletron
        4.11.1 E10**, E10**-x, E20**, E20**-x
        4.11.2 E2100
        4.11.3 E22**
     4.12 Cogent
        4.12.1 EM100-ISA/EISA
        4.12.2 Cogent eMASTER+, EM100-PCI, EM400, EM960, EM964
     4.13 Compaq
        4.13.1 Compaq Deskpro / Compaq XL (Embedded AMD Chip)
        4.13.2 Compaq Nettelligent/NetFlex (Embedded ThunderLAN Chip)
        4.13.3 Compaq PCI card
     4.14 Danpex
        4.14.1 Danpex EN9400
     4.15 Davicom
        4.15.1 Davicom DM9102
     4.16 D-Link
        4.16.1 DE-100, DE-200, DE-220-T, DE-250
        4.16.2 DE-520
        4.16.3 DE-528
        4.16.4 DE-530
        4.16.5 DE-600
        4.16.6 DE-620
        4.16.7 DE-650
        4.16.8 DFE-530TX
        4.16.9 DFE-530TX+, DFE-538TX
        4.16.10 DFE-550TX
        4.16.11 DFE-570TX
        4.16.12 DFE-580TX
        4.16.13 DGE-500T
        4.16.14 DGE-550T
     4.17 DFI
        4.17.1 DFINET-300 and DFINET-400
     4.18 Digital / DEC
        4.18.1 DEPCA, DE100/1, DE200/1/2, DE210, DE422
        4.18.2 Digital EtherWorks 3 (DE203, DE204, DE205)
        4.18.3 DE425 EISA, DE434, DE435, DE500
        4.18.4 DEC 21040, 21041, 2114x, Tulip
     4.19 Farallon
        4.19.1 Farallon Etherwave
        4.19.2 Farallon PCI 593
     4.20 Fujitsu
        4.20.1 Fujitsu FMV-181/182/183/184
     4.21 Hewlett Packard
        4.21.1 HP Night Director+ 10/100
        4.21.2 27245A
        4.21.3 HP EtherTwist, PC Lan+ (27247, 27248, 27252A, 27269B)
        4.21.4 HP-J2405A
        4.21.5 HP-Vectra On Board Ethernet
        4.21.6 HP 10/100 VG Any Lan Cards (27248B, J2573, J2577, J2585, J970, J973)
        4.21.7 HP NetServer 10/100TX PCI (D5013A)
     4.22 IBM / International Business Machines
        4.22.1 IBM Thinkpad 300
        4.22.2 IBM Credit Card Adaptor for Ethernet
        4.22.3 IBM 10/100 EtherJet PCI
        4.22.4 IBM Token Ring
     4.23 ICL Ethernet Cards
        4.23.1 ICL EtherTeam 16i/32
     4.24 Intel Ethernet Cards
        4.24.1 Ether Express
        4.24.2 Ether Express PRO/10 (PRO/10+)
        4.24.3 Ether Express PRO/10 PCI (EISA)
        4.24.4 Ether Express PRO 10/100B
        4.24.5 E1000 Gigabit
     4.25 Kingston
     4.26 LinkSys
        4.26.1 LinkSys Etherfast 10/100 Cards.
        4.26.2 LinkSys Pocket Ethernet Adapter Plus (PEAEPP)
        4.26.3 LinkSys PCMCIA Adaptor
     4.27 Microdyne (Eagle)
        4.27.1 Microdyne Exos 205T
     4.28 Mylex
        4.28.1 Mylex LNE390A, LNE390B
        4.28.2 Mylex LNP101
        4.28.3 Mylex LNP104
     4.29 Myson
        4.29.1 Myson MTD-8xx 10/100 PCI
     4.30 National Semiconductor
        4.30.1 NS8390, DP8390, DP83905 etc.
        4.30.2 DP83800 with DP83840
        4.30.3 DP83815/83816
        4.30.4 NS83820, DP83820
     4.31 Novell Ethernet, NExxxx and associated clones.
        4.31.1 NE1000, NE2000
        4.31.2 NE2000-PCI (RealTek/Winbond/Compex)
        4.31.3 NE-10/100
        4.31.4 NE1500, NE2100
        4.31.5 NE/2 MCA
        4.31.6 NE3200
        4.31.7 NE3210
        4.31.8 NE4100
        4.31.9 NE5500
     4.32 Netgear
        4.32.1 Netgear FA-311
        4.32.2 Netgear GA-620
        4.32.3 Netgear GA-621
     4.33 Proteon
        4.33.1 Proteon P1370-EA
        4.33.2 Proteon P1670-EA
     4.34 Pure Data
        4.34.1 PDUC8028, PDI8023
     4.35 Racal-Interlan
        4.35.1 ES3210
        4.35.2 NI5010
        4.35.3 NI5210
        4.35.4 NI6510 (not EB)
        4.35.5 EtherBlaster (aka NI6510EB)
     4.36 RealTek
        4.36.1 RealTek RTL8002/8012 (AT-Lan-Tec) Pocket adaptor
        4.36.2 RealTek 8008
        4.36.3 RealTek 8009
        4.36.4 RealTek 8019
        4.36.5 RealTek 8029
        4.36.6 RealTek 8129/8139
     4.37 Sager
        4.37.1 Sager NP943
     4.38 Schneider & Koch
        4.38.1 SK G16
     4.39 SEEQ
        4.39.1 SEEQ 8005
     4.40 SiS (Silicon Integrated Systems)
        4.40.1 SiS 900 (7016, 630E, 962)
     4.41 SMC (Standard Microsystems Corp.)
        4.41.1 WD8003, SMC Elite
        4.41.2 WD8013, SMC Elite16
        4.41.3 SMC Elite Ultra
        4.41.4 SMC Elite Ultra32 EISA
        4.41.5 SMC EtherEZ (8416)
        4.41.6 SMC EtherPower PCI (8432)
        4.41.7 SMC EtherPower II PCI (9432)
        4.41.8 SMC 1211TX 10/100
        4.41.9 SMC 3008
        4.41.10 SMC 3016
        4.41.11 SMC-9000 / SMC 91c92/4
        4.41.12 SMC 91c100
        4.41.13 SMC 9452TX/9462TX
     4.42 Sundance
        4.42.1 Sundance ST201, Alta
     4.43 SysKonnect
        4.43.1 SysKonnect sk-98xx Gigabit Ethernet
     4.44 Texas Instruments
        4.44.1 ThunderLAN
     4.45 Thomas Conrad
        4.45.1 Thomas Conrad TC-5048
     4.46 VIA
        4.46.1 VIA 86C926 Amazon
        4.46.2 VIA 86C100A Rhine II (and 3043 Rhine I)
     4.47 Western Digital
     4.48 Winbond
        4.48.1 Winbond 89c840
        4.48.2 Winbond 89c904, 89c905, 89c906
        4.48.3 Winbond 89c940
     4.49 Xircom
        4.49.1 Xircom PE1, PE2, PE3-10B*
        4.49.2 Xircom CE, CEM, CE2, CE3
        4.49.3 Xircom CBE-100
     4.50 Zenith
        4.50.1 Z-Note
     4.51 Znyx
        4.51.1 Znyx ZX342 (DEC 21040 based)
     4.52 Identifying an Unknown Card
        4.52.1 Identifying the Network Interface Controller
        4.52.2 Identifying the Ethernet Address
        4.52.3 Identifying the Card by the FCC ID Number
        4.52.4 Tips on Trying to Use an Unknown Card
     4.53 Drivers for Non-Ethernet Devices

  5. Cables, Coax, Twisted Pair

     5.1 Thin Ethernet (thinnet)
     5.2 Twisted Pair

  6. Software Configuration and Card Diagnostics

     6.1 Configuration Programs for Ethernet Cards
        6.1.1 WD80x3 Cards
        6.1.2 Digital / DEC Cards
        6.1.3 NE2000+ or AT/LANTIC Cards
        6.1.4 3Com Cards
     6.2 Diagnostic Programs for Ethernet Cards

  7. Technical Information

     7.1 Programmed I/O vs. Shared Memory vs. DMA
        7.1.1 Programmed I/O (e.g. NE2000, 3c509)
        7.1.2 Shared memory (e.g. WD80x3, SMC-Ultra, 3c503)
        7.1.3 Bus Master Direct Memory Access (e.g. LANCE, DEC 21040)
     7.2 Performance Implications of Bus Width
        7.2.1 ISA Eight bit and ISA 16 bit Cards
        7.2.2 32 Bit PCI (VLB/EISA) Ethernet Cards
     7.3 Performance Implications of Zero Copy
     7.4 Performance Implications of Hardware Checksums
     7.5 Performance Implications of NAPI (Rx interrupt mitigation)

  8. Miscellaneous.

     8.1 Transmit FIFO Buffers and Underrun Errors
     8.2 Passing Ethernet Arguments to the Kernel
        8.2.1 The ether command
        8.2.2 The reserve command
     8.3 Using the Ethernet Drivers as Modules
     8.4 Related Documentation
     8.5 Disclaimer and Copyright
     8.6 Closing


  1.  Introduction

  The Ethernet-Howto contains detailed information on the current level
  of support for most of the common ethernet cards available.  It covers
  common hardware configuration problems, and problems associated with
  choosing the right driver, and then getting that driver loaded and
  functional.  It does not cover the next stages of setup (choosing an
  internet address, routing, etc).  That information can be found in
  various other Linux documentation.

  In the early days of linux, the old ISA type ethernet cards were the
  norm.  The ISA bus had no sane or safe way for linux to determine what
  cards were installed, or what settings each card was to use.  This
  meant that the end user was more involved in supplying this
  information to linux, and they turned to this guide for help on doing

  Fortunately, the newer PCI bus can be found in nearly every computer
  that is out there today, and the ISA bus is left to collect dust with
  the 386 and 486 computers of yesteryear.  The designers of the PCI bus
  recognized the problem with card detection on the old ISA bus, and so
  added support for each card to be able to communicate to the host
  computer their manufacturer and model, and what settings are to be

  This slow demise of the ISA bus has reduced the involvement of the end
  user drastically.  As such, most of today's linux users would not need
  to turn to this guide for help.  However there are always some corner
  cases where things don't work as expected, or some problems that need
  troubleshooting.  And of course there are still some old ISA computers
  out there doing thankless dedicated tasks in the bottom of dark
  closets too.

  This present revision covers ethernet drivers found in kernels up to
  and including version 2.4.21.  Some features pertaining to the
  upcoming 2.6 release are also mentioned.

  The Ethernet-Howto is by:

       Paul Gortmaker, p_gortmaker @

  The primary source of information for the initial ASCII-only version
  of the Ethernet-Howto was:

       Donald J. Becker, becker @

  who we should thank for writing a lot of the ethernet card drivers
  that are presently available for Linux.

  This document is Copyright (c) 1993-2003 by Paul Gortmaker.  Yes, I
  have been maintaing this thing for 10 years now!  Please see the
  Disclaimer and Copying information at the end of this document
  (``copyright'') for information about redistribution of this document
  and the usual `we are not responsible for what you manage to break...'
  type legal stuff.

  1.1.  New Versions of this Document

  New versions of this document can be retrieved from:

  Ethernet-HOWTO <>

  or for those wishing to use FTP and/or get non-HTML formats:

  Sunsite HOWTO Archive <>

  This is the `official' location - it can also be found on various
  Linux WWW/ftp mirror sites. Updates will be made as new information
  and/or drivers becomes available. If this copy that you are reading is
  more than 6 months old, then you should check to see if an updated
  copy is available.

  This document is available in various formats (postscript, dvi, ASCII,
  HTML, etc.).  I would recommend viewing it in HTML (via a WWW browser)
  or the Postscript/dvi format. Both of these contain cross-references
  that are not included in the plain text ASCII format.

  1.2.  Using the Ethernet-Howto

  As this guide is getting bigger and bigger, you probably don't want to
  spend the rest of your afternoon reading the whole thing. And the good
  news is that you don't have to read it all. The HTML and
  Postscript/dvi versions have a table of contents which will really
  help you find what you need a lot faster.

  Chances are you are reading this document beacuse you can't get things
  to work and you don't know what to do or check. The next section
  (``HELP - It doesn't work!'')  is aimed at newcomers to linux and will
  point you in the right direction.

  Typically the same problems and questions are asked over and over
  again by different people. Chances are your specific problem or
  question is one of these Frequently Asked Questions, and is answered
  in the FAQ portion of this document .  (``The FAQ section'').
  Everybody should have a look through this section before posting for

  If you haven't got an ethernet card, then you will want to start with
  deciding on a card.  (``What card should I buy...'')

  If you have already got an ethernet card, but are not sure if you can
  use it with Linux, then you will want to read the section which
  contains specific information on each manufacturer, and their cards.
  (``Vendor Specific...'')

  If you are interested in some of the technical aspects of the Linux
  device drivers, then you can have a browse of the section with this
  type of information.  (``Technical Information'')

  1.3.  What do I need to to get ethernet working?

  As a quick overview, you need to: 1) have a plug in ethernet card or
  motherboard that has ethernet support built in, 2) determine the brand
  or make and model of the ethernet card or on-board ethernet chip, 3)
  determine if a linux driver for this model of card/chip does exist, 4)
  locate and load this driver, 5) check driver output to verify it found
  your card, 6) set or configure network parameters for the newly
  detected network interface.

  1.4.  HELP - It doesn't work!

  Okay, don't panic. This will lead you through the process of getting
  things working, even if you have no prior background in linux or
  ethernet hardware.

  First thing you need to do is figure out what model your card is so
  you can determine if Linux has a driver for that particular card.
  Different cards typically have different ways of being controlled by
  the host computer, and the linux driver (if there is one) contains
  this control information in a format that allows linux to use the

  If you don't have any manuals or anything of the sort that tell you
  anything about the card model, then you can try using the lspci
  utility for obtaining information on the PCI devices in your computer.
  Doing a cat /proc/pci gives similar (but less) information.  For ISA
  cards, see the section on helping with mystery cards (reference
  section: ``Identifying an Unknown Card'').

  Now that you know what type of card you have, read through the details
  of your particular card in the card specific section (reference
  section: ``Vendor Specific...'')  which lists in alphabetical order,
  card manufacturers, individual model numbers and whether it has a
  linux driver or not. If it lists it as `Not Supported' you can pretty
  much give up here. If you can't find your card in that list, then
  check to see if your card manual lists it as being `compatible' with
  another known card type. For example there are hundreds, if not
  thousands of different cards made to be compatible with the original
  Novell NE2000 design.

  Assuming you have found out that a linux driver exists for your card,
  you now have to find it and make use of it.  Just because linux has a
  driver for your card does not mean that it is built into every kernel.
  (The kernel is the core operating system that is first loaded at boot,
  and contains drivers for various pieces of hardware, among other
  things.)  Depending on who made the particular linux distribution you
  are using, there may be only a few pre-built kernels, and a whole
  bunch of drivers as smaller separate modules, or there may be a whole
  lot of kernels, covering a vast combination of built-in driver

  Most linux distributions now ship with a bunch of small modules that
  are the various drivers.  The required modules are typically loaded
  late in the boot process, or on-demand as a driver is needed to access
  a particualr device.  You will need to attach this module to the
  kernel after it has booted up. See the information that came with your
  distribution on installing and using modules, along with the module
  section in this document.  (``Using the Ethernet Drivers as Modules'')

  If you didn't find either a pre-built kernel with your driver, or a
  module form of the driver, chances are you have a typically uncommon
  card, and you will have to build your own kernel with that driver
  included. Once you have linux installed, building a custom kernel is
  not difficult at all. You essentially answer yes or no to what you
  want the kernel to contain, and then tell it to build it. There is a
  Kernel-HowTo that will help you along.

  At this point you should have somehow managed to be booting a kernel
  with your driver built in, or be loading it as a module.  About half
  of the problems people have are related to not having driver loaded
  one way or another, so you may find things work now.

  If it still doesn't work, then you need to verify that the kernel is
  indeed detecting the card. To do this, you need to type dmesg | more
  when  logged in after the system has booted and all modules have been
  loaded.  This will allow you to review the boot messages that the
  kernel scrolled up the screen during the boot process.  If the card
  has been detected, you should see somewhere in that list a message
  from your card's driver that starts with eth0, mentions the driver
  name and the hardware parameters (interrupt setting, input/output port
  address, etc) that the card is set for. (Note: At boot, linux lists
  all the PCI cards installed in the system, regardless of what drivers
  are available - do not mistake this for the driver detection which
  comes later!)

  If you don't see a driver indentification message like this, then the
  driver didn't detect your card, and that is why things aren't working.
  See the FAQ (``The FAQ Section'') for what to do if your card is not
  detected. If you have a NE2000 compatible, there is also some NE2000
  specific tips on getting a card detected in the FAQ section as well.

  If the card is detected, but the detection message reports some sort
  of error, like a resource conflict, then the driver probably won't
  have initialized properly and the card still wont be useable. Most
  common error messages of this sort are also listed in the FAQ section,
  along with a solution.

  If the detection message seems okay, then double check the card
  resources reported by the driver against those that the card is
  physically set for (either by little black jumpers on the card, or by
  a software utility supplied by the card manufacturer.)  These must
  match exactly. For example, if you have the card jumpered or
  configured to IRQ 15 and the driver reports IRQ 10 in the boot
  messages, things will not work. The FAQ section discusses the most
  common cases of drivers incorrectly detecting the configuration
  information of various cards.

  At this point, you have managed to get you card detected with all the
  correct parameters, and hopefully everything is working.  If not, then
  you either have a software configuration error, or a hardware
  configuration error. A software configuration error is not setting up
  the right network addresses for the ifconfig and route commands, and
  details of how to do that are fully described in the Network HowTo and
  the `Network Administrator's Guide' which both probably came on the
  CD-ROM you installed from.

  A hardware configuration error is when some sort of resource conflict
  or mis-configuration (that the driver didn't detect at boot) stops the
  card from working properly. This typically can be observed in several
  different ways. (1) You get an error message when ifconfig tries to
  open the device for use, such as ``SIOCSFFLAGS: Try again''. (2) The
  driver reports eth0 error messages (viewed by dmesg | more) or strange
  inconsistencies for each time it tries to send or receive data. (3)
  Typing cat /proc/net/dev shows non-zero numbers in one of the errs,
  drop, fifo, frame or carrier columns for eth0. (4) Typing cat
  /proc/interrupts shows a zero interrupt count for the card.  Most of
  the typical hardware configuration errors are also discussed in the
  FAQ section.

  Well, if you have got to this point and things still aren't working,
  read the FAQ section of this document, read the vendor specific
  section detailing your particular card, and if it still doesn't work
  then you may have to resort to posting to an appropriate newsgroup for
  help. If you do post, please detail all relevant information in that
  post, such as the card brand, the kernel version, the driver boot
  messages, the output from cat /proc/net/dev, a clear description of
  the problem, and of course what you have already tried to do in an
  effort to get things to work.

  You would be surprised at how many people post useless things like
  ``Can someone help me? My ethernet doesn't work.'' and nothing else.
  Readers of the newsgroups tend to ignore such silly posts, whereas a
  detailed and informational problem description may allow a `linux-
  guru' to spot your problem right away.  Of course the same holds true
  when e-mailing a problem report - always provide as much information
  as possible.

  1.5.  Type of cable that your card should support

  The twisted pair cables, with the RJ-45 (giant phone jack) connectors
  is technically called 10BaseT. You may also hear it called UTP
  (Unsheilded Twisted Pair).

  The thinnet, or thin ethernet cabling, (RG-58 coaxial cable) with the
  BNC (metal push and turn-to-lock) connectors is technically called

  The older thick ethernet (10mm coaxial cable) which is only found in
  older installations is called 10Base5. The 15 pin D-shaped plug found
  on some ethernet cards (the AUI connector) is used to connect to thick
  ethernet and external transcievers.

  Most ethercards also come in a `Combo' version for only $10-$20 more.
  These have both twisted pair and thinnet transceiver built-in,
  allowing you to change your mind later.

  Most installations will use 10BaseT/100BaseT 10Base2 does not offer
  any upgrade path to 100Base-whatever.  10Base2 is fine for hobbyists
  setting up a home network when purchasing a hub is not desireable for
  some reason or another.

  See ``Cables, Coax...''  for other concerns with different types of
  ethernet cable.

  2.  Frequently Asked Questions

  Here are some of the more frequently asked questions about using Linux
  with an Ethernet connection. Some of the more specific questions are
  sorted on a `per manufacturer basis'.  Chances are the question you
  want an answer for has already been asked (and answered!) by someone
  else, so even if you don't find your answer here, you probably can
  find what you want from a news archive such as Dejanews

  2.1.  How do I tell Linux what driver to use?

  With most Linux distributions, the drivers exist as loadable modules,
  which are small binary files that are merged with the operating system
  at run time. A module gives the operating system (kernel) the
  information on how to control that particular ethernet card.  The name
  of each module is listed in the heading of the section for each card
  in this document.  Once you know the name of the module, you have to
  add it to the file /etc/modules.conf so Linux will know what module to
  load for your card. The syntax is typically as follows.

          alias eth0 module_name
          options module_name option1=value1 option2=value2 ...

  The options line is typically only needed for older ISA hardware.  For
  multiple card systems, additional lines with eth1, eth2 and so on are
  usually required.

  The module files typically live in the directory /lib/modules/ which
  is further subdivided by kernel version (use uname -r) and subsystem
  (in this case net).  These are put there by the distribution builder,
  or by the individual user when they run make modules_install after
  building their own kernel and modules (see the kernel howto for more
  details on building your own stuff).

  If you build your own kernel, you have the option of having all the
  drivers merged with the kernel right then and there, rather than
  existing as separate files.  When this is done, the drivers will
  detect the hardware at boot up.  Options to the drivers are supplied
  by the kernel command line prior to boot (see BootPrompt Howto for
  more details).  The user chooses what drivers are used during the make
  config step of building the kernel (again see the kernel howto).

  2.2.  What card should I buy for Linux?

  The answer to this question depends heavily on exactly what you intend
  on doing with your net connection, and how much traffic it will see.

  If you only expect a single user to be doing the occasional ftp
  session or WWW connection, then even an old ISA card will probably
  keep you happy (assuming 10Mbps, not 100).

  If you intend to set up a server, and you require the CPU overhead of
  moving data over the network to be kept to a minimum, you probably
  want to look at one of the PCI cards that uses a chip with bus-
  mastering capapbility.  In addition, some cards now can actually do
  some of the processing overhead of data checksums right on the card,
  giving the CPU even more of a break.  For more details please see:

  Hardware Checksum/Zerocopy Page

  If you fall somewhere in the middle of the above, then any one of the
  low cost PCI cards with a stable driver will do the job for you.

  2.3.  Alpha Drivers -- Getting and Using them

  I heard that there is an updated or preliminary/alpha driver available
  for my card. Where can I get it?

  The newest of the `new' drivers can be found on Donald's WWW site:  - things change here quite frequently, so just look
  around for it.  Alternatively, it may be easier to use a WWW browser

  Don's Linux Network Home Page <>

  to locate the driver that you are looking for. (Watch out for WWW
  browsers that silently munge the source by replacing TABs with spaces
  and so on - use ftp, or at least an FTP URL for downloading if

  Now, if it really is an alpha, or pre-alpha driver, then please treat
  it as such. In other words, don't complain because you can't figure
  out what to do with it. If you can't figure out how to install it,
  then you probably shouldn't be testing it.  Also, if it brings your
  machine down, don't complain. Instead, send us a well documented bug
  report, or even better, a patch!

  Note that some of the `useable' experimental/alpha drivers have been
  included in the standard kernel source tree. When running make config
  one of the first things you will be asked is whether to ``Prompt for
  development and/or incomplete code/drivers''.  You will have to answer
  `Y' here to get asked about including any alpha/experiemntal drivers.

  2.4.  Using More than one Ethernet Card per Machine

  What needs to be done so that Linux can run two or more ethernet

  The answer to this question depends on whether the driver(s) is/are
  being used as a loadable module or are compiled directly into the
  kernel.  Most linux distributions use modular drivers now.  This saves
  distributing lots of kernels, each with a different driver set built
  in. Instead a single basic kernel is used and the individual drivers
  that are need for a particular user's system are loaded once the
  system has booted far enough to access the driver module files
  (usually stored in /lib/modules/).

  In the case of PCI cards, the PCI drivers/modules should detect all of
  the installed cards that it supports automatically.  The user should
  not supply any I/O base or IRQ information, unless specifically
  instructed to do so by the individual driver documentation in order to
  support some non-standard machine.

  Some earlier kernels had a limit of 16 ethercards that could be
  detected at boot, and some ISA modules have a limit of four cards per
  loaded module. You can always load another copy of the same module
  under a different name to support another four cards if this is a
  limitation, or recompile the module with support for as many as you

  2.4.1.  With the Driver as a Module

  For ISA cards, probing for a card is not a safe operation, and hence
  you typically need to supply the I/O base address of the card so the
  module knows where to look. This information is stored in the file

  As an example, consider a user that has two ISA NE2000 cards, one at
  0x300 and one at 0x240 and what lines they would have in their
  /etc/modules.conf file:

          alias eth0 ne
          alias eth1 ne
          options ne io=0x240,0x300

  What this does: This says that if the administrator (or the kernel)
  does a modprobe eth0 or a modprobe eth1 then the ne.o driver should be
  loaded for either eth0 or eth1.  Furthermore, when the ne.o module is
  loaded, it should be loaded with the options io=0x240,0x300 so that
  the driver knows where to look for the cards. Note that the 0x is
  important - things like 300h as commonly used in the DOS world won't
  work.  Switching the order of the 0x240 and the 0x300 will switch
  which physical card ends up as eth0 and eth1.

  Most of the ISA module drivers can take multiple comma separated I/O
  values like this example to handle multiple cards.  However, some
  (older?) drivers, such as the 3c501.o module are currently only able
  to handle one card per module load. In this case you can load the
  module twice to get both cards detected. The /etc/modules.conf file in
  this case would look like:

          alias eth0 3c501
          alias eth1 3c501
          options eth0 -o 3c501-0 io=0x280 irq=5
          options eth1 -o 3c501-1 io=0x300 irq=7

  In this example the -o option has been used to give each instance of
  the module a unique name, since you can't have two modules loaded with
  the same name.  The irq= option has also been used to to specify the
  hardware IRQ setting of the card.  (This method can also be used with
  modules that accept comma separated I/O values, but it is less
  efficient since the module ends up being loaded twice when it doesn't
  really need to be.)

  As a final example, consider a user with one 3c503 card at 0x350 and
  one SMC Elite16 (wd8013) card at 0x280.  They would have:

          alias eth0 wd
          alias eth1 3c503
          options wd io=0x280
          options 3c503 io=0x350

  For PCI cards, you typically only need the alias lines to correlate
  the ethN interfaces with the appropriate driver name, since the I/O
  base of a PCI card can be safely detected.

  The available modules are typically stored in /lib/modules/`uname
  -r`/net where the uname -r command gives the kernel version (e.g.
  2.0.34).  You can look in there to see which one matches your card.
  Once you have the correct settings in your modules.conf file, you can
  test things out with:

          modprobe eth0
          modprobe eth1
          modprobe ethN-1

  where `N' is the number of ethernet interfaces you have.  Note that
  the interface name (ethX) assigned to the driver by the kernel is
  independent of the name used on the alias line.  For further details
  on this, see: ``Using the Ethernet Drivers as Modules''

  2.4.2.  With the Driver Compiled into the Kernel

  Since some ISA card probes can hang the machine, kernels up to and
  including 2.4 only autoprobe for one ISA ethercard by default. As
  there aren't any distribution kernels with lots of ISA drivers built
  in anymore, this restriction is no longer in 2.6 and newer.

  As of 2.2 and newer kernels, the boot probes have been sorted into
  safe and unsafe, so that all safe (e.g. PCI and EISA) probes will find
  all related cards automatically. Systems with more than one ethernet
  card with at least one of them being an ISA card will still need to do
  one of the following.)

  There are two ways that you can enable auto-probing for the second
  (and third, and...) card. The easiest method is to pass boot-time
  arguments to the kernel, which is usually done by LILO. Probing for
  the second card can be achieved by using a boot-time argument as
  simple as ether=0,0,eth1. In this case eth0 and eth1 will be assigned
  in the order that the cards are found at boot.  Say if you want the
  card at 0x300 to be eth0 and the card at 0x280 to be eth1 then you
  could use

       LILO: linux ether=5,0x300,eth0 ether=15,0x280,eth1

  The ether= command accepts more than the IRQ + I/O + name shown above.
  Please have a look at ``Passing Ethernet Arguments...''  for the full
  syntax, card specific parameters, and LILO tips.

  The second way (not recommended) is to edit the file Space.c and
  replace the 0xffe0 entry for the I/O address with a zero. The 0xffe0
  entry tells it not to probe for that device -- replacing it with a
  zero will enable autoprobing for that device.

  2.5.  The ether=  thing didn't do anything for me. Why?

  As described above, the ether= command only works for drivers that are
  compiled into the kernel. Now most distributions use the drivers in a
  modular form, and so the ether= command is rarely used anymore. (Some
  older documentation has yet to be updated to reflect this change.)  If
  you want to apply options for a modular ethernet driver you must make
  changes to the /etc/modules.conf file.

  If you are using a compiled in driver, and have added an ether= to
  your LILO configuration file, note that it won't take effect until you
  re-run lilo to process the updated configuration file.

  2.6.  Problems with NE1000 / NE2000 cards (and clones)

  Problem: PCI NE2000 clone card is not detected at boot with v2.0.x.

  Reason: The ne.c driver up to v2.0.30 only knows about the PCI ID
  number of RealTek 8029 based clone cards. Since then, several others
  have also released PCI NE2000 clone cards, with different PCI ID
  numbers, and hence the driver doesn't detect them.

  Solution: The easiest solution is to upgrade to a v2.0.31 (or newer)
  version of the linux kernel. It knows the ID numbers of about five
  different NE2000-PCI chips, and will detect them automatically at boot
  or at module loading time. If you upgrade to 2.0.34 (or newer) there
  is a PCI-only specific NE2000 driver that is slightly smaller and more
  efficient than the original ISA/PCI driver.

  Problem: PCI NE2000 clone card is reported as an ne1000 (8 bit card!)
  at boot or when I load the ne.o module for v2.0.x, and hence doesn't

  Reason: Some PCI clones don't implement byte wide access (and hence
  are not truly 100% NE2000 compatible). This causes the probe to think
  they are NE1000 cards.

  Solution: You need to upgrade to v2.0.31 (or newer) as described
  above.  The driver(s) now check for this hardware bug.

  Problem: PCI NE2000 card gets terrible performance, even when reducing
  the window size as described in the Performance Tips section.

  Reason: The spec sheets for the original 8390 chip,  desgined and sold
  over ten years ago, noted that a dummy read from the chip was required
  before each write operation for maximum reliablity.  The driver has
  the facility to do this but it has been disabled by default since the
  v1.2 kernel days.  One user has reported that re-enabling this `mis-
  feature' helped their performance with a cheap PCI NE2000 clone card.

  Solution: Since it has only been reported as a solution by one person,
  don't get your hopes up. Re-enabling the read before write fix is done
  by simply editing the driver file in linux/drivers/net/, uncommenting
  the line containing NE_RW_BUGFIX and then rebuilding the kernel or
  module as appropriate. Please send an e-mail describing the
  performance difference and type of card/chip you have if this helps
  you. (The same can be done for the ne2k-pci.c driver as well).

  Problem: The ne2k-pci.c driver reports error messages like timeout
  waiting for Tx RDC with a PCI NE2000 card and doesn't work right.

  Reason: Your card and/or the card to PCI bus link can't handle the
  long word I/O optimization used in this driver.

  Solution: Firstly, check the settings available in the BIOS/CMOS setup
  to see if any related to PCI bus timing are too aggressive for
  reliable operation. Otherwise using the ISA/PCI ne.c driver (or
  removing the #define USE_LONGIO from ne2k-pci.c) should let you use
  the card.

  Probem: ISA Plug and Play NE2000 (such as RealTek 8019) is not

  Reason: The original NE2000 specification (and hence the linux NE2000
  driver in older kernels) did not have support for Plug and Play.

  Solution: Either use a 2.4 or newer kernel that has a NE2000 driver
  with PnP, or use the DOS configuration disk that came with the card to
  disable PnP, and to set the card to a specified I/O address and IRQ.
  Add a line to /etc/modules.conf  like options ne io=0xNNN where 0xNNN
  is the hex I/O address you set the card to. (This assumes you are
  using a modular driver; if not then use an ether=0,0xNNN,eth0 argument
  at boot).  You may also have to enter the BIOS/CMOS setup and mark the
  IRQ as Legacy-ISA instead of PnP.

  Problem: NE*000 driver reports `not found (no reset ack)' during boot

  Reason: This is related to the above change. After the initial
  verification that an 8390 is at the probed I/O address, the reset is
  performed. When the card has completed the reset, it is supposed to
  acknowedge that the reset has completed.  Your card doesn't, and so
  the driver assumes that no NE card is present.

  Solution: You can tell the driver that you have a bad card by using an
  otherwise unused mem_end hexidecimal value of 0xbad at boot time. You
  have to also supply a non-zero I/O base for the card when using the
  0xbad override. For example, a card that is at 0x340 that doesn't ack
  the reset would use something like:

       LILO: linux ether=0,0x340,0,0xbad,eth0

  This will allow the card detection to continue, even if your card
  doesn't ACK the reset. If you are using the driver as a module, then
  you can supply the option bad=0xbad just like you supply the I/O

  Problem: NE*000 card hangs machine at first network access.

  Reason: This problem has been reported for kernels as old as 1.1.57 to
  the present. It appears confined to a few software configurable clone
  cards. It appears that they expect to be initialized in some special

  Solution: Several people have reported that running the supplied DOS
  software config program and/or the supplied DOS driver prior to warm
  booting (i.e. loadlin or the `three-finger-salute') into linux allowed
  the card to work. This would indicate that these cards need to be
  initialized in a particular fashion, slightly different than what the
  present Linux driver does.

  Problem: NE*000 ethercard at 0x360 doesn't get detected.

  Reason: Your NE2000 card is 0x20 wide in I/O space, which makes it hit
  the parallel port at 0x378.  Other devices that could be there are the
  second floppy controller (if equipped) at 0x370 and the secondary IDE
  controller at 0x376--0x377.  If the port(s) are already registered by
  another driver, the kernel will not let the probe happen.

  Solution: Either move your card to an address like 0x280, 0x340, 0x320
  or compile without parallel printer support.

  Problem: Network `goes away' every time I print something (NE2000)

  Reason: Same problem as above, but you have an older kernel that
  doesn't check for overlapping I/O regions. Use the same fix as above,
  and get a new kernel while you are at it.

  Problem: NE*000 ethercard probe at 0xNNN: 00 00 C5 ... not found.
  (invalid signature yy zz)

  Reason: First off, do you have a NE1000 or NE2000 card at the addr.
  0xNNN?  And if so, does the hardware address reported look like a
  valid one? If so, then you have a poor NE*000 clone. All NE*000 clones
  are supposed to have the value 0x57 in bytes 14 and 15 of the SA PROM
  on the card. Yours doesn't -- it has `yy zz' instead.

  Solution: There are two ways to get around this. The easiest is to use
  an 0xbad mem_end value as described above for the `no reset ack'
  problem. This will bypass the signature check, as long as a non-zero
  I/O base is also given. This way no recompilation of the kernel is

  The second method (for hackers) involves changing the driver itself,
  and then recompiling your kernel (or module).  The driver
  (/usr/src/linux/drivers/net/ne.c) has a "Hall of Shame" list at about
  line 42. This list is used to detect poor clones.  For example, the
  DFI cards use `DFI' in the first 3 bytes of the PROM, instead of using
  0x57 in bytes 14 and 15, like they are supposed to.

  Problem: The machine hangs during boot right after the `8390...'  or
  `WD....' message. Removing the NE2000 fixes the problem.

  Solution: Change your NE2000 base address to something like 0x340.
  Alternatively, you can use the ``reserve='' boot argument in
  conjunction with the ``ether='' argument to protect the card from
  other device driver probes.

  Reason: Your NE2000 clone isn't a good enough clone. An active NE2000
  is a bottomless pit that will trap any driver autoprobing in its
  space.  Changing the NE2000 to a less-popular address will move it out
  of the way of other autoprobes, allowing your machine to boot.

  Problem: The machine hangs during the SCSI probe at boot.

  Reason: It's the same problem as above, change the ethercard's
  address, or use the reserve/ether boot arguments.

  Problem: The machine hangs during the soundcard probe at boot.

  Reason: No, that's really during the silent SCSI probe, and it's the
  same problem as above.

  Problem: NE2000 not detected at boot - no boot messages at all

  Solution: There is no `magic solution' as there can be a number of
  reasons why it wasn't detected. The following list should help you
  walk through the possible problems.

  1) Build a new kernel with only the device drivers that you need.
  Verify that you are indeed booting the fresh kernel. Forgetting to run
  lilo, etc. can result in booting the old one. (Look closely at the
  build time/date reported at boot.) Sounds obvious, but we have all
  done it before. Make sure the driver is in fact included in the new
  kernel, by checking the file for names like ne_probe.

  2) Look at the boot messages carefully. Does it ever even mention
  doing a ne2k probe such as `NE*000 probe at 0xNNN: not found (blah
  blah)' or does it just fail silently. There is a big difference.  Use
  dmesg|more to review the boot messages after logging in, or hit Shift-
  PgUp to scroll the screen up after the boot has completed and the
  login prompt appears.

  3) After booting, do a cat /proc/ioports and verify that the full
  iospace that the card will require is vacant. If you are at 0x300 then
  the ne2k driver will ask for 0x300-0x31f. If any other device driver
  has registered even one port anywhere in that range, the probe will
  not take place at that address and will silently continue to the next
  of the probed addresses. A common case is having the lp driver reserve
  0x378 or the second IDE channel reserve 0x376 which stops the ne
  driver from probing 0x360-0x380.

  4) Same as above for cat /proc/interrupts. Make sure no other device
  has registered the interrupt that you set the ethercard for. In this
  case, the probe will happen, and the ether driver will complain loudly
  at boot about not being able to get the desired IRQ line.

  5) If you are still stumped by the silent failure of the driver, then
  edit it and add some printk() to the probe. For example, with the ne2k
  you could add/remove lines (marked with a `+' or `-') in
  linux/drivers/net/ne.c like:

      int reg0 = inb_p(ioaddr);

  +    printk("NE2k probe - now checking %x\n",ioaddr);
  -    if (reg0 == 0xFF)
  +    if (reg0 == 0xFF) {
  +       printk("NE2k probe - got 0xFF (vacant I/O port)\n");
          return ENODEV;
  +    }

  Then it will output messages for each port address that it checks, and
  you will see if your card's address is being probed or not.

  6) You can also get the ne2k diagnostic from Don's ftp site (mentioned
  in the howto as well) and see if it is able to detect your card after
  you have booted into linux. Use the `-p 0xNNN' option to tell it where
  to look for the card. (The default is 0x300 and it doesn't go looking
  elsewhere, unlike the boot-time probe.)  The output from when it finds
  a card will look something like:

  Checking the ethercard at 0x300.
    Register 0x0d (0x30d) is 00
    Passed initial NE2000 probe, value 00.
  8390 registers: 0a 00 00 00 63 00 00 00 01 00 30 01 00 00 00 00
  SA PROM  0: 00 00 00 00 c0 c0 b0 b0 05 05 65 65 05 05 20 20
  SA PROM 0x10: 00 00 07 07 0d 0d 01 01 14 14 02 02 57 57 57 57

          NE2000 found at 0x300, using start page 0x40 and end page 0x80.

  Your register values and PROM values will probably be different.  Note
  that all the PROM values are doubled for a 16 bit card, and that the
  ethernet address (00:00:c0:b0:05:65) appears in the first row, and the
  double 0x57 signature appears at the end of the PROM.

  The output from when there is no card installed at 0x300 will look
  something like this:

  Checking the ethercard at 0x300.
    Register 0x0d (0x30d) is ff
    Failed initial NE2000 probe, value ff.
  8390 registers: ff ff ff ff ff ff ff ff ff ff ff ff ff ff ff ff
  SA PROM        0: ff ff ff ff ff ff ff ff ff ff ff ff ff ff ff ff
  SA PROM 0x10: ff ff ff ff ff ff ff ff ff ff ff ff ff ff ff ff

   Invalid signature found, wordlength 2.

  The 0xff values  arise because that is the value that is returned when
  one reads a vacant I/O port. If you happen to have some other hardware
  in the region that is probed, you may see some non 0xff values as

  7) Try warm booting into linux from a DOS boot floppy (via loadlin)
  after running the supplied DOS driver or config program. It may be
  doing some extra (i.e. non-standard) "magic" to initialize the card.

  8) Try Russ Nelson's packet driver to see if even it can
  see your card -- if not, then things do not look good. Example:

       A:> ne2000 0x60 10 0x300

  The arguments are software interrupt vector, hardware IRQ, and  I/O
  base.  You can get it from any msdos archive in -- The
  current version may be newer than 11.

  2.7.  Problems with SMC Ultra/EtherEZ and WD80*3 cards

  Problem: You get messages such as the following:

          eth0: bogus packet size: 65531, status=0xff, nxpg=0xff

  Reason: There is a shared memory problem.

  Solution: The most common reason for this is PCI machines that are not
  configured to map in ISA memory devices. Hence you end up reading the
  PC's RAM (all 0xff values) instead of the RAM on the card that
  contains the data from the received packet.

  Other typical problems that are easy to fix are board conflicts,
  having cache or `shadow ROM' enabled for that region, or running your
  ISA bus faster than 8Mhz. There are also a surprising number of memory
  failures on ethernet cards, so run a diagnostic program if you have
  one for your ethercard.

  Problem: SMC EtherEZ doesn't work in non-shared memory (PIO) mode.

  Reason: Older versions of the Ultra driver only supported the card in
  the shared memory mode of operation.

  Solution: The driver in kernel version 2.0 and above also supports the
  programmed I/O mode of operation. Upgrade to v2.0 or newer.

  Problem: Old wd8003 and/or jumper-settable wd8013 always get the IRQ

  Reason: The old wd8003 cards and jumper-settable wd8013 clones don't
  have the EEPROM that the driver can read the IRQ setting from.  If the
  driver can't read the IRQ, then it tries to auto-IRQ to find out what
  it is. And if auto-IRQ returns zero, then the driver just assigns IRQ
  5 for an 8 bit card or IRQ 10 for a 16 bit card.

  Solution: Avoid the auto-IRQ code, and tell the kernel what the IRQ
  that you have jumpered the card to in your module configuration file
  (or via a boot time argument for in-kernel drivers).

  Problem: SMC Ultra card is detected as wd8013, but the IRQ and shared
  memory base is wrong.

  Reason: The Ultra card looks a lot like a wd8013, and if the Ultra
  driver is not present in the kernel, the wd driver may mistake the
  ultra as a wd8013. The ultra probe comes before the wd probe, so this
  usually shouldn't happen. The ultra stores the IRQ and mem base in the
  EEPROM differently than a wd8013, hence the bogus values reported.

  Solution: Recompile with only the drivers you need in the kernel. If
  you have a mix of wd and ultra cards in one machine, and are using
  modules, then load the ultra module first.

  2.8.  Problems with 3Com cards

  Problem: The 3c503 picks IRQ N, but this is needed for some other
  device which needs IRQ N. (eg. CD ROM driver, modem, etc.)  Can this
  be fixed without compiling this into the kernel?

  Solution: The 3c503 driver probes for a free IRQ line in the order {5,
  9/2, 3, 4}, and it should pick a line which isn't being used. The
  driver chooses when the card is ifconfig'ed into operation.

  If you are using a modular driver, you can use module parameters to
  set various things, including the IRQ value.

  The following selects IRQ9, base location 0x300, <ignored value>, and
  if_port #1 (the external transceiver).

       io=0x300 irq=9 xcvr=1

  Alternately, if the driver is compiled into the kernel, you can set
  the same values at boot by passing parameters via LILO.

       LILO: linux ether=9,0x300,0,1,eth0

  The following selects IRQ3, probes for the base location, <ignored
  value>, and the default if_port #0 (the internal transceiver)

       LILO: linux ether=3,0,0,0,eth0

  Problem: 3c503: configured interrupt X invalid, will use autoIRQ.

  Reason: The 3c503 card can only use one of IRQ{5, 2/9, 3, 4} (These
  are the only lines that are connected to the card.)  If you pass in an
  IRQ value that is not in the above set, you will get the above
  message.  Usually, specifying an interrupt value for the 3c503 is not
  necessary. The 3c503 will autoIRQ when it gets ifconfig'ed, and pick
  one of IRQ{5, 2/9, 3, 4}.

  Solution: Use one of the valid IRQs listed above, or enable autoIRQ by
  not specifying the IRQ line at all.

  Problem: The supplied 3c503 drivers don't use the AUI (thicknet) port.
  How does one choose it over the default thinnet port?

  Solution: The 3c503 AUI port can be selected at boot-time for in-
  kernel drivers, and at module insertion for modular drivers.  The
  selection is overloaded onto the low bit of the currently-unused
  dev->rmem_start variable, so a boot-time parameter of:

       LILO: linux ether=0,0,0,1,eth0

  should work for in-kernel drivers.

  To specify the AUI port when loading as a module, just append xcvr=1
  to the module options line along with your I/O and IRQ values.

  2.9.  FAQs Not Specific to Any Card.

  2.9.1.  Linux and ISA Plug and Play Ethernet Cards

  For best results (and minimum aggravation) it is recommended that you
  use the (usually DOS) program that came with your card to disable the
  ISA-PnP mechanism and set it to a fixed I/O address and IRQ.  Make
  sure the I/O address you use is probed by the driver at boot, or if
  using modules then supply the address as an io= option in
  /etc/modules.conf.  You may also have to enter the BIOS/CMOS setup and
  mark the IRQ as Legacy-ISA instead of ISA-PnP (if your computer has
  this option).

  Note that you typically don't need DOS installed to run a DOS based
  configuration program. You can usually just boot a DOS floppy disk and
  run them from the supplied floppy disk.  You can also download OpenDOS
  and FreeDOS for free.

  If you require ISA-PnP enabled for compatibility with some other
  operating system then what you will have to do depends on what kernel
  version you are using. For 2.2.x and older kernels, you will have to
  use the isapnptools package with linux to configure the card(s) each
  time at boot.  You will still have to make sure the I/O address chosen
  for the card is probed by the driver or supplied as an io= option.
  For 2.4.x and newer kernels, there is ISA-PnP support available built
  right into the kernel (if selected at build time) and if your
  particular driver makes use of this support, then your card will be
  configured to an available I/O address and IRQ all without any user
  supplied option values.  You do not want to be trying to use the user-
  space isapnptools and the in kernel ISA-PnP support at the same time.

  Some systems have an `enable PnP OS' (or similar named) option in the
  BIOS/CMOS  setup menu which does not really have anything to do with
  ISA-PnP hardware.  See below for more details on this option.

  2.9.2.  PCI machine detects card but driver fails probe (PnP OS).

  Some PCI BIOSes may not enable all PCI cards at power-up, especially
  if the BIOS option `PnP OS' is enabled. This mis-feature is to support
  the current release of Windows which still uses some real-mode
  drivers. Either disable this option, or try and upgrade to a newer
  driver which has the code to enable a disabled card.

  Note that kernel version 2.4.x has better support to deal with this
  option - in particular you should be able to enable this option, and
  the kernel/drivers should be able to set up and/or enable the cards on
  its own.

  2.9.3.  All cards detected but two fail to work in PCI machine

  Version 1 of the PCI spec allowed for some slots to be bus master and
  some slots to be slave (non-bus master) slots.  To avoid the problems
  associated with people putting BM cards into slave slots, the v2 of
  the PCI spec said that all slots should be BM capable.  Hovever most
  PCI chipsets only have four BM pins, and so if you have a five slot
  board, chances are that two slots share one of the BM pins! This
  allows the board to meet the requirements of the v2 spec (but not the
  intent).  So if you have a bunch of cards, and two of them fail to
  work, they may be in slots that share a BM pin.

  2.9.4.  I have /etc/conf.modules  and not /etc/modules.conf .

  Older distributions will have conf.modules and not modules.conf which
  is the more sensible name of the two.  Newer module utility programs
  expect the new name, so keep that in mind if you upgrade an older

  2.9.5.  Ethercard is Not Detected at Boot.

  The usual reason for this is that people are using a kernel that does
  not have support for their particular card built in. For a modular
  kernel, it usually means that the required module has not been
  requested for loading.

  If you are using a modular based kernel, such as those installed by
  most of the linux distributions, then try and use the configuration
  utility for the distribution to select the module for your card. For
  ISA cards, it is a good idea to determine the I/O address of the card
  and add it as an option (e.g. io=0x340) if the configuration utility
  asks for any options. If there is no configuration utility, then you
  will have to add the correct module name (and options) to
  /etc/modules.conf -- see man modprobe for more details.

  The next main cause is having another device using part of the I/O
  space that your card needs. Most cards are 16 or 32 bytes wide in I/O
  space. If your card is set at 0x300 and 32 bytes wide, then the driver
  will ask for 0x300-0x31f. If any other device driver has registered
  even one port anywhere in that range, the probe will not take place at
  that address and  the driver will silently continue to the next of the
  probed addresses. So, after booting, do a cat /proc/ioports and verify
  that the full I/O space that the card will require is vacant.

  Another problem is having your card jumpered to an I/O address that
  isn't probed by default.  The list of probed addresses for each driver
  is easily found just after the text comments in the driver source.
  Even if the I/O setting of your card is not in the list of probed
  addresses, you can supply it at boot (for in-kernel drivers) with the
  ether= command as described in ``Passing Ethernet Arguments...''
  Modular drivers can make use of the io= option in /etc/modules.conf to
  specify an address that isn't probed by default.

  2.9.6.  Driver reports unresolved symbol ei_open  and won't load.

  You are using one of the many ethernet cards that have an 8390 chip
  (or clone) on board.  For such cards, the driver comes in two parts -
  the part which you unsuccessfully tried to load (e.g. ne2k-pci.o,
  ne.o, wd.o, smc-ultra.o etc.) and the 8390 part.  These drivers have
  (+8390) listed right beside their module name in the vendor specific
  information listing.  (``Vendor Specific...'')

  You have to make sure that the 8390.o module gets loaded before
  loading the second half of the driver so that the second half of the
  driver can find the functions in 8390.o that it needs.

  Possible causes: (1)Forgetting to run depmod after installing a new
  kernel and modules, so that module dependencies like this are handled
  automatically. (2)Using insmod instead of modprobe, as insmod doesn't
  check for any module ordering constraints. (3)The module 8390.o is not
  in the directory beside the other half of the driver where it should

  2.9.7.  ifconfig  reports the wrong I/O address for the card.

  No it doesn't. You are just interpreting it incorrectly.  This is not
  a bug, and the numbers reported are correct. It just happens that some
  8390 based cards (wd80x3, smc-ultra, etc) have the actual 8390 chip
  living at an offset from the first assigned I/O port.  This is the
  value stored in dev->base_addr, and is what ifconfig reports. If you
  want to see the full range of ports that your card uses, then try cat
  /proc/ioports which will give the numbers you expect.

  2.9.8.  Shared Memory ISA cards in PCI Machine do not work ( 0xffff )

  This will usually show up as reads of lots of 0xffff values.  No
  shared memory cards of any type will work in a PCI machine unless you
  have the PCI ROM BIOS/CMOS SETUP configuration set properly. You have
  to set it to allow shared memory access from the ISA bus for the
  memory region that your card is trying to use. If you can't figure out
  which settings are applicable then ask your supplier or local computer
  guru. For AMI BIOS, there is usually a "Plug and Play" section where
  there will be an ``ISA Shared Memory Size'' and ``ISA Shared Memory
  Base'' settings. For cards like the wd8013 and SMC Ultra, change the
  size from the default of `Disabled' to 16kB, and change the base to
  the shared memory address of your card.

  2.9.9.  Card seems to send data but never receives anything.

  Do a cat /proc/interrupts.  A running total of the number of interrupt
  events your card generates will be in the list given from the above.
  If it is zero and/or doesn't increase when you try to use the card
  then there is probably a physical interrupt conflict with another
  device installed in the computer (regardless of whether or not the
  other device has a driver installed/available).  Change the IRQ of one
  of the two devices to a free IRQ.

  2.9.10.  Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) Support

  Werner Almesberger has been working on ATM support for linux.  He has
  been working with the Efficient Networks ENI155p board (Efficient
  Networks <>) and the Zeitnet ZN1221 board
  (Zeitnet <>).

  Werner says that the driver for the ENI155p is rather stable, while
  the driver for the ZN1221 is presently unfinished.

  Check the latest/updated status at the following URL:

  Linux ATM Support <>

  2.9.11.  Gigabit Ethernet Support

  Is there any gigabit ethernet support for Linux?

  Yes, there are currently several. One of the prominent Linux network
  developers rated the performance of the cards with linux drivers as
  follows: 1) Intel E1000, 2) Tigon2/Acenic, 3) SysKonnect sk-98xx, 4)
  Tigon3/bcm57xx.  This was as of March 2002 and subject to change of

  2.9.12.  FDDI Support

  Is there FDDI support for Linux?

  Yes. Larry Stefani has written a driver for v2.0 with Digital's DEFEA
  (FDDI EISA) and DEFPA (FDDI PCI) cards.  This was included into the
  v2.0.24 kernel.  Currently no other cards are supported though.

  2.9.13.  Full Duplex Support

  Will Full Duplex give me 20MBps? Does Linux support it?

  Cameron Spitzer writes the following about full duplex 10Base-T cards:
  ``If you connect it to a full duplex switched hub, and your system is
  fast enough and not doing much else, it can keep the link busy in both
  directions.  There is no such thing as full duplex 10BASE-2 or
  10BASE-5 (thin and thick coax).  Full Duplex works by disabling
  collision detection in the adapter.  That's why you can't do it with
  coax; the LAN won't run that way.  10BASE-T (RJ45 interface) uses
  separate wires for send and receive, so it's possible to run both ways
  at the same time.  The switching hub takes care of the collision
  problem.  The signalling rate is 10 Mbps.''

  So as you can see, you still will only be able to receive or transmit
  at 10Mbps, and hence don't expect a 2x performance increase. As to
  whether it is supported or not, that depends on the card and possibly
  the driver. Some cards may do auto-negotiation, some may need driver
  support, and some may need the user to select an option in a card's
  EEPROM configuration.  Only the serious/heavy user would notice the
  difference between the two modes anyway.

  2.9.14.  Ethernet Cards for Linux on SMP Machines

  If you spent the extra money on a multi processor (MP) computer then
  buy a good ethernet card as well. For v2.0 kernels it wasn't really an
  issue, but it definitely is for v2.2. Most of the older non-
  intelligent (e.g. ISA bus PIO and shared memory design) cards were
  never designed with any consideration for use on a MP machine.  The
  executive summary is to buy an intelligent modern design card and make
  sure the driver has been written (or updated) to handle MP operation.
  (The key words here are `modern design'  - the PCI-NE2000's are just a
  10+ year old design on a modern bus.)  Looking for the text spin_lock
  in the driver source is a good indication that the driver has been
  written to deal with MP operation.  The full details of why you should
  buy a good card for MP use (and what happens if you dont) follow.
  In v2.0 kernels, only one processor was allowed `in kernel' (i.e.
  changing kernel data and/or running device drivers) at any given time.
  So from the point of view of the card (and the associated driver)
  nothing was different from uni processor (UP) operation and things
  just continued to work. (This was the easiest way to get a working MP
  version of Linux - one big lock around the whole kernel only allows
  one processor in at a time. This way you know that you won't have two
  processors trying to change the same thing at the same time!)

  The downside to only allowing one processor in the kernel at a time
  was that you only got MP performance if the running programs were self
  contained and calculation intensive.  If the programs did a lot of
  input/output (I/O) such as reading or writing data to disk or over a
  network, then all but one of the processors would be stalled waiting
  on their I/O requests to be completed while the one processor running
  in kernel frantically tries to run all the device drivers to fill the
  I/O requests. The kernel becomes the bottleneck and since there is
  only one processor running in the kernel, the performance of a MP
  machine in the heavy I/O, single-lock case quickly degrades close to
  that of a single processor machine.

  Since this is clearly less than ideal (esp. for file/WWW servers,
  routers, etc.) the v2.2 kernels have finer grained locking - meaning
  that more than one processor can be in the kernel at a time. Instead
  of one big lock around the whole kernel, there are a lot of smaller
  locks protecting critical data from being manipulated by more than one
  processor at a time - e.g. one processor can be running the driver for
  the network card, while another processor is running the driver for
  the disk drive at the same time.

  Okay, with that all in mind here are the snags:  The finer locking
  means that you can have one processor trying to send data out through
  an ethernet driver while another processor tries to access the same
  driver/card to do something else (such as get the card statistics for
  cat /proc/net/dev). Oops - your card stats just got sent out over the
  wire, while you got data for your stats instead. Yes, the card got
  confused by being asked to do two (or more!) things at once, and
  chances are it crashed your machine in the process.

  So, the driver that worked for UP is no longer good enough - it needs
  to be updated with locks  that control access to the underlying card
  so that the three tasks of receive, transmit and manipulation of
  configuration data are serialized to the degree required by the card
  for stable operation. The scary part here is that a driver not yet
  updated with locks for stable MP operation will probably appear to be
  working in a MP machine under light network load, but will crash the
  machine or at least exhibit strange behaviour when two (or more!)
  processors try to do more than one of these three tasks at the same

  The updated MP aware ethernet driver will (at a minimum) require a
  lock around the driver that limits access at the entry points from the
  kernel into the driver to `one at a time please'.  With this in place,
  things will be serialized so that the underlying hardware should be
  treated just as if it was being used in a UP machine, and so it should
  be stable. The downside is that the one lock around the whole ethernet
  driver has the same negative performance implications that having one
  big lock around the whole kernel had (but on a smaller scale) - i.e.
  you can only have one processor dealing with the card at a time.
  [Technical Note: The performance impact may also include increased
  interrupt latencies if the locks that need to be added are of the
  irqsave type and they are held for a long time.]

  Possible improvements on this situation can be made in two ways. You
  can try to minimize the time between when the lock is taken and when
  it is released, and/or you can implement finer grained locking within
  the driver (e.g. a lock around the whole driver would be overkill if a
  lock or two protecting against simultaneous access to a couple of
  sensitive registers/settings on the card would suffice).

  However, for older non-intelligent cards that were never designed with
  MP use in mind, neither of these improvements may be feasible. Worse
  yet is that the non-intelligent cards typically require the processor
  to move the data between the card and the computer memory, so in a
  worst case scenario the lock will be held the whole time that it takes
  to move each 1.5kB data packet over an ISA bus.

  The more modern intelligent cards typically move network data directly
  to and from the computer memory without any help from a processor.
  This is a big win, since the lock is then only held for the short time
  it takes the processor to tell the card where in memory to get/store
  the next network data packet. More modern card designs are less apt to
  require a single big lock around the whole driver as well.

  2.9.15.  Ethernet Cards for Linux on Alpha/AXP PCI Boards

  As of v2.0, only the 3c509, depca, de4x5, pcnet32, and all the 8390
  drivers (wd, smc-ultra, ne, 3c503, etc.) have been made `architecture
  independent' so as to work on the DEC Alpha CPU based systems.  Other
  updated PCI drivers from Donald's WWW page may also work as these have
  been written with architecture independence in mind.

  Note that the changes that are required to make a driver architecture
  independent aren't that complicated.  You only need to do the

  -multiply all jiffies related values by HZ/100 to account for the
  different HZ value that the Alpha uses.  (i.e timeout=2; becomes

  -replace any I/O memory (640k to 1MB) pointer dereferences with the
  appropriate readb() writeb() readl() writel() calls, as shown in this

  -       int *mem_base = (int *)dev->mem_start;
  -       mem_base[0] = 0xba5eba5e;
  +       unsigned long mem_base = dev->mem_start;
  +       writel(0xba5eba5e, mem_base);

  -replace all memcpy() calls that have I/O memory as source or target
  destinations with the appropriate one of memcpy_fromio() or

  Details on handling memory accesses in an architecture independent
  fashion are documented in the file linux/Documentation/IO-mapping.txt
  that comes with recent kernels.

  2.9.16.  Ethernet for Linux on SUN/Sparc Hardware.

  For the most up to date information on Sparc stuff, try the following

  Linux Sparc <>

  Note that some Sparc ethernet hardware gets its MAC address from the
  host computer, and hence you can end up with multiple interfaces all
  with the same MAC address.  If you need to put more than one interface
  on the same net then use the hw option to ifconfig to assign unique
  MAC address.

  Issues regarding porting PCI drivers to the Sparc platform are similar
  to those mentioned above for the AXP platform.  In addition there may
  be some endian issues, as the Sparc is big endian, and the AXP and
  ix86 are little endian.

  2.9.17.  Ethernet for Linux on Other Hardware.

  There are several other hardware platforms that Linux can run on, such
  as Atari/Amiga (m68k). As in the Sparc case it is best to check with
  the home site of each Linux port to that platform to see what is
  currently supported.  (Links to such sites are welcome here - send
  them in!)

  2.9.18.  Linking 10 or 100 BaseT without a Hub

  Can I link 10/100BaseT (RJ45) based systems together without a hub?

  You can link 2 machines, but no more than that, without extra
  devices/gizmos, by using a crossover cable.  Some newer fancy
  autonegotiaton cards may not work on a crossover cable though.  And
  no, you can't hack together a hub just by crossing a few wires and
  stuff. It's pretty much impossible to do the collision signal right
  without duplicating a hub.

  2.9.19.  SIOCSIFxxx: No such device

  I get a bunch of `SIOCSIFxxx: No such device' messages at boot,
  followed by a `SIOCADDRT: Network is unreachable' What is wrong?

  Your ethernet device was not detected at boot/module insertion time,
  and when ifconfig and route are run, they have no device to work with.
  Use dmesg | more to review the boot messages and see if there are any
  messages about detecting an ethernet card.

  2.9.20.  SIOCSFFLAGS: Try again

  I get `SIOCSFFLAGS: Try again' when I run `ifconfig' -- Huh?

  Some other device has taken the IRQ that your ethercard is trying to
  use, and so the ethercard can't use the IRQ.  You don't necessairly
  need to reboot to resolve this, as some devices only grab the IRQs
  when they need them and then release them when they are done. Examples
  are some sound cards, serial ports, floppy disk driver, etc. You can
  type cat /proc/interrupts to see which interrupts are presently in
  use. Most of the Linux ethercard drivers only grab the IRQ when they
  are opened for use via `ifconfig'. If you can get the other device to
  `let go' of the required IRQ line, then you should be able to `Try
  again' with ifconfig.

  2.9.21.  Using `ifconfig' and Link UNSPEC with HW-addr of

  When I run ifconfig with no arguments, it reports that LINK is UNSPEC
  (instead of 10Mbs Ethernet) and it also says that my hardware address
  is all zeros.

  This is because people are running a newer version of the `ifconfig'
  program than their kernel version. This new version of ifconfig is not
  able to report these properties when used in conjunction with an older
  kernel. You can either upgrade your kernel, `downgrade' ifconfig, or
  simply ignore it. The kernel knows your hardware address, so it really
  doesn't matter if ifconfig can't read it.

  You may also get strange information if the ifconfig program you are
  using is a lot older than the kernel you are using.

  2.9.22.  Huge Number of RX and TX Errors

  When I run ifconfig with no arguments, it reports that I have a huge
  error count in both rec'd and transmitted packets. It all seems to
  work ok -- What is wrong?

  Look again. It says RX packets big number PAUSE errors 0 PAUSE dropped
  0 PAUSE overrun 0.  And the same for the TX column.  Hence the big
  numbers you are seeing are the total number of packets that your
  machine has rec'd and transmitted.  If you still find it confusing,
  try typing cat /proc/net/dev instead.

  2.9.23.  Entries in /dev/  for Ethercards

  I have /dev/eth0 as a link to /dev/xxx. Is this right?

  Contrary to what you have heard, the files in /dev/* are not used.
  You can delete any /dev/wd0, /dev/ne0 and similar entries.

  2.9.24.  Access to the raw Ethernet Device

  How do I get access to the raw ethernet device in linux, without going
  through TCP/IP and friends?

          int s=socket(AF_INET,SOCK_PACKET,htons(ETH_P_ALL));

  This gives you a socket receiving every protocol type.  Do recvfrom()
  calls to it and it will fill the sockaddr with device type in
  sa_family and the device name in the sa_data array. I don't know who
  originally invented SOCK_PACKET for Linux (its been in for ages) but
  its superb stuff.  You can use it to send stuff raw too via sendto()
  calls.  You have to have root access to do either of course.

  3.  Performance Tips

  Here are some tips that you can use if you are suffering from low
  ethernet throughput, or to gain a bit more speed on those ftp

  The ttcp.c program is a good test for measuring raw throughput speed.
  Another common trick is to do a ftp> get large_file /dev/null where
  large_file is > 1MB and residing in the buffer cache on the Tx'ing
  machine. (Do the `get' at least twice, as the first time will be
  priming the buffer cache on the Tx'ing machine.) You want the file in
  the buffer cache because you are not interested in combining the file
  access speed from the disk into your measurement. Which is also why
  you send the incoming data to /dev/null instead of onto the disk.

  3.1.  General Concepts

  Even an 8 bit card is able to receive back-to-back packets without any
  problems. The difficulty arises when the computer doesn't get the Rx'd
  packets off the card quick enough to make room for more incoming
  packets. If the computer does not quickly clear the card's memory of
  the packets already received, the card will have no place to put the
  new packet.

  In this case the card either drops the new packet, or writes over top
  of a previously received packet. Either one seriously interrupts the
  smooth flow of traffic by causing/requesting re-transmissions and can
  seriously degrade performance by up to a factor of 5!

  Cards with more onboard memory are able to ``buffer'' more packets,
  and thus can handle larger bursts of back-to-back packets without
  dropping packets.  This in turn means that the card does not require
  as low a latency from the the host computer with respect to pulling
  the packets out of the buffer to avoid dropping packets.

  Most 8 bit cards have an 8kB buffer, and most 16 bit cards have a 16kB
  buffer. Most Linux drivers will reserve 3kB of that buffer (for two Tx
  buffers), leaving only 5kB of receive space for an 8 bit card. This is
  room enough for only three full sized (1500 bytes) ethernet packets.

  3.2.  ISA Cards and ISA Bus Speed

  As mentioned above, if the packets are removed from the card fast
  enough, then a drop/overrun condition won't occur even when the amount
  of Rx packet buffer memory is small. The factor that sets the rate at
  which packets are removed from the card to the computer's memory is
  the speed of the data path that joins the two -- that being the ISA
  bus speed. (If the CPU is a dog-slow 386sx-16, then this will also
  play a role.)

  The recommended ISA bus clock is about 8MHz, but many motherboards and
  peripheral devices can be run at higher frequencies. The clock
  frequency for the ISA bus can usually be set in the CMOS setup, by
  selecting a divisor of the mainboard/CPU clock frequency. Some ISA and
  PCI/ISA mainboards may not have this option, and so you are stuck with
  the factory default.

  For example, here are some receive speeds as measured by the TTCP
  program on a 40MHz 486, with an  8 bit WD8003EP card, for different
  ISA bus speeds.

          ISA Bus Speed (MHz)     Rx TTCP (kB/s)
          -------------------     --------------
          6.7                     740
          13.4                    970
          20.0                    1030
          26.7                    1075

  You would be hard pressed to do better than 1075kB/s with any 10Mb/s
  ethernet card, using TCP/IP. However, don't expect every system to
  work at fast ISA bus speeds. Most systems will not function properly
  at speeds above 13MHz. (Also, some PCI systems have the ISA bus speed
  fixed at 8MHz, so that the end user does not have the option of
  increasing it.)

  In addition to faster transfer speeds, one will usually also benefit
  from a reduction in CPU usage due to the shorter duration memory and
  I/O cycles. (Note that hard disks and video cards located on the ISA
  bus will also usually experience a performance increase from an
  increased ISA bus speed.)

  Be sure to back up your data prior to experimenting with ISA bus
  speeds in excess of 8MHz, and thouroughly test that all ISA
  peripherals are operating properly after making any speed increases.

  3.3.  Setting the TCP Rx Window

  Once again, cards with small amounts of onboard RAM and relatively
  slow data paths between the card and the computer's memory run into
  trouble. The default TCP Rx window setting is 32kB, which means that a
  fast computer on the same subnet as you can dump 32k of data on you
  without stopping to see if you received any of it okay.

  Recent versions of the route command have the ability to set the size
  of this window on the fly. Usually it is only for the local net that
  this window must be reduced, as computers that are behind a couple of
  routers or gateways are `buffered' enough to not pose a problem. An
  example usage would be:

          route add <whatever> ... window <win_size>

  where win_size is the size of the window you wish to use (in bytes).
  An 8 bit 3c503 card on an ISA bus operating at a speed of 8MHz or less
  would work well with a window size of about 4kB. Too large a window
  will cause overruns and dropped packets, and a drastic reduction in
  ethernet throughput. You can check the operating status by doing a cat
  /proc/net/dev which will display any dropped or overrun conditions
  that occurred.

  3.4.  Increasing NFS performance

  Some people have found that using 8 bit cards in NFS clients causes
  poorer than expected performance, when using 8kB (native Sun) NFS
  packet size.

  The possible reason for this could be due to the difference in on
  board buffer size between the 8 bit and the 16 bit cards.  The maximum
  ethernet packet size is about 1500 bytes. Now that 8kB NFS packet will
  arrive as about 6 back to back maximum size ethernet packets. Both the
  8 and 16 bit cards have no problem Rx'ing back to back packets. The
  problem arises when the machine doesn't remove the packets from the
  cards buffer in time, and the buffer overflows. The fact that 8 bit
  cards take an extra ISA bus cycle per transfer doesn't help either.
  What you can do if you have an 8 bit card is either set the NFS
  transfer size to 2kB (or even 1kB), or try increasing the ISA bus
  speed in order to get the card's buffer cleared out faster.  I have
  found that an old WD8003E card at 8MHz (with no other system load) can
  keep up with a large receive at 2kB NFS size, but not at 4kB, where
  performance was degraded by a factor of three.

  On the other hand, if the default mount option is to use 1kB size and
  you have at least a 16 bit ISA card, you may find a significant
  increase in going to 4kB (or even 8kB).

  4.  Vendor/Manufacturer/Model Specific Information

  The following lists many cards in alphabetical order by vendor name
  and then product identifier. Beside each product ID, you will see
  either `Supported', `Semi-Supported', `Obsolete', `Dropped' or `Not

  Supported means that a driver for that card exists, and many people
  are happily using it and it seems quite reliable.

  Semi-Supported means that a driver exists, but at least one of the
  following descriptions is true: (1) The driver and/or hardware are
  buggy, which may cause poor performance, failing connections or even
  crashes.  (2) The driver is new or the card is fairly uncommon, and
  hence the driver has seen very little use/testing and the driver
  author has had very little feedback. Obviously (2) is preferable to
  (1), and the individual description of the card/driver should make it
  clear which one holds true. In either case, you will probably have to
  answer `Y' when asked ``Prompt for development and/or incomplete
  code/drivers?'' when running make config.

  Obsolete means that a driver exists, and was probably at one time
  considered Semi-Supported. However, due to lack of interest, users,
  and support, it is known to not work anymore.  The driver is still in
  the kernel, but disabled in the configuration option menu.  The
  general plan is that if it does not get updated by the next kernel
  development cycle, it will be dropped entirely.  Usually a driver
  marked obsolete simply needs an update to match changes in the kernel
  to driver interface, or other similar kernel API changes.

  Dropped means that the driver was once obsolete (see above) and since
  there was not enough interest in fixing it, it has been removed from
  the current kernel tree.  There is nothing stopping anyone from
  copying the driver from an older kernel, making the required updates
  and using it.

  Not Supported means there is not a driver currently available for that
  card. This could be due to a lack of interest in hardware that is
  rare/uncommon, or because the vendors won't release the hardware
  documentation required to write a driver.

  Note that the difference between `Supported' and `Semi-Supported' is
  rather subjective, and is based on user feedback.  So be warned that
  you may find a card listed as semi-supported works perfectly for you
  (which is great), or that a card listed as supported gives you no end
  of troubles and problems (which is not so great).

  After the status, the name of the driver given in the linux kernel is
  listed. This will also be the name of the driver module that would be
  used in the alias eth0 driver_name line that is found in the
  /etc/modules.conf module configuration file.

  4.1.  3Com

  If you are not sure what your card is, but you think it is a 3Com
  card, you can probably figure it out from the assembly number. 3Com
  has a document `Identifying 3Com Adapters By Assembly Number' (ref
  24500002) that would most likely clear things up.  Also check out
  their WWW/FTP site with various goodies: that you may
  find useful (including PDFs with technical info for their cards).

  4.1.1.  3c501

  Status: Semi-Supported, Driver Name: 3c501

  This obsolete stone-age 8 bit card is really too brain-damaged to use.
  Avoid it like the plague. Do not purchase this card, even as a joke.
  It's performance is horrible, and it breaks in many ways.

  For those not yet convinced, the 3c501 can only do one thing at a time
  -- while you are removing one packet from the single-packet buffer it
  cannot receive another packet, nor can it receive a packet while
  loading a transmit packet. This was fine for a network between two
  8088-based computers where processing each packet and replying took
  10's of msecs, but modern networks send back-to-back packets for
  almost every transaction.

  AutoIRQ works, DMA isn't used, the autoprobe only looks at 0x280 and
  0x300, and the debug level is set with the third boot-time argument.

  Once again, the use of a 3c501 is strongly discouraged!  Even more so
  with a IP multicast kernel, as you will grind to a halt while
  listening to all multicast packets. See the comments at the top of the
  source code for more details.

  4.1.2.  EtherLink II, 3c503, 3c503/16

  Status: Supported, Driver Name: 3c503 (+8390)

  The 3c503 does not have ``EEPROM setup'', so a diagnostic/setup
  program isn't needed before running the card with Linux. The shared
  memory address of the 3c503 is set using jumpers that are shared with
  the boot PROM address. This is confusing to people familiar with other
  ISA cards, where you always leave the jumper set to ``disable'' unless
  you have a boot PROM.

  These cards should be about the same speed as the same bus width
  WD80x3, but turn out to be actually a bit slower.  These shared-memory
  ethercards also have a programmed I/O mode that doesn't use the 8390
  facilities (their engineers found too many bugs!)  The Linux 3c503
  driver can also work with the 3c503 in programmed-I/O mode, but this
  is slower and less reliable than shared memory mode. Also, programmed-
  I/O mode is not as well tested when updating the drivers.  You
  shouldn't use the programmed-I/O mode unless you need it for
  compatibility with another operating system that is used on the same

  The 3c503's IRQ line is set in software, with no hints from an EEPROM.
  Unlike the MS-DOS drivers, the Linux driver has capability to autoIRQ:
  it uses the first available IRQ line in {5,2/9,3,4}, selected each
  time the card is ifconfig'ed.  Note that `ifconfig' will return EAGAIN
  if no IRQ line is available at that time.

  Some common problems that people have with the 503 are discussed in
  ``Problems with...''.

  If you intend on using this driver as a loadable module you should
  probably see ``Using the Ethernet Drivers as Modules'' for module
  specific information.

  4.1.3.  Etherlink Plus 3c505

  Status: Semi-Supported, Driver Name: 3c505

  These cards use the i82586 chip but are not that many of them about.
  It is included in the standard kernel, but it is classed as an alpha
  driver. See ``Alpha Drivers'' for important information on using
  alpha-test ethernet drivers with Linux.

  There is also the file /usr/src/linux/drivers/net/README.3c505 that
  you should read if you are going to use one of these cards.  It
  contains various options that you can enable/disable.

  4.1.4.  Etherlink-16 3c507

  Status: Semi-Supported, Driver Name: 3c507

  This card uses one of the Intel chips, and the development of the
  driver is closely related to the development of the Intel Ether
  Express driver.  The driver is included in the standard kernel
  release, but as an alpha driver.  See ``Alpha Drivers'' for important
  information on using alpha-test ethernet drivers with Linux.

  4.1.5.  Etherlink III, 3c509 / 3c509B

  Status: Supported, Driver Name: 3c509

  This card was fairly inexpensive and had good performance for an ISA
  non-bus-master design.  The drawbacks were that the original 3c509
  required very low interrupt latency. The 3c509B shouldn't suffer from
  the same problem, due to having a larger buffer. (See below.) These
  cards use PIO transfers, similar to a ne2000 card, and so a shared
  memory card such as a wd8013 will be more efficient in comparison.

  The original 3c509 had a small packet buffer (4kB total, 2kB Rx, 2kB
  Tx), causing the driver to occasionally drop a packet if interrupts
  were masked for too long. To minimize this problem, you can try
  unmasking interrupts during IDE disk transfers (see man hdparm) and/or
  increasing your ISA bus speed so IDE transfers finish sooner.

  The newer model 3c509B has 8kB on board, and the buffer can be split
  4/4, 5/3 or 6/2 for Rx/Tx. This setting is changed with the DOS
  configuration utility, and is stored on the EEPROM. This should
  alleviate the above problem with the original 3c509.

  3c509B users should use either the supplied DOS utility to disable the
  plug and play support, and to set the output media to what they
  require. The linux driver currently does not support the Autodetect
  media setting, so you have to select 10Base-T or 10Base-2 or AUI.
  Note that if you turn off PnP entirely, you should exit the utility
  and  and then follow that with a hard reset to ensure that the new
  settings take effect.

  Some people ask about the ``Server or Workstation'' and ``Highest
  Modem Speed'' settings presented in the DOS configuration utility.
  These settings don't actually change any hardware settings, rather
  they are only tuning hints to the DOS driver.  The linux driver does
  not need or use these hints.   Also, DON'T enable EISA mode on this
  ISA card unless you really have an EISA machine, or you may end up
  needing to find an EISA machine just to get your ISA card back into
  ISA mode!

  The card with the lowest hardware ethernet address will always end up
  being eth0 in a multiple ISA 3c509 configuration.  This shouldn't
  matter to anyone, except for those people who want to assign a 6 byte
  hardware address to a particular interface.  If this really bothers
  you, have a look at Donald's latest driver, as you may be able to use
  a 0x3c509 value in the unused mem address fields to order the
  detection to suit your needs.

  4.1.6.  3c515

  Status: Supported, Driver Name: 3c515

  This is 3Com's ISA 100Mbps offering, codenamed ``CorkScrew''.  Note
  that you will never achieve full 100Mbps on an ISA bus.

  4.1.7.  3c523

  Status: Semi-Supported, Driver Name: 3c523

  This MCA bus card uses the i82586, and  Chris Beauregard has modified
  the ni52 driver to work with these cards.

  4.1.8.  3c527 Etherlink MC/32

  Status: Semi-Supported, Driver Name: 3c527

  Yes, another i82586 MCA card. No, not too much interest in it.  Better
  chances with the 3c529 if you are stuck with MCA, since it uses the
  tried and true 3c509 core.

  4.1.9.  3c529

  Status: Supported, Driver Name: 3c509

  This card actually uses the same chipset as the 3c509.  People have
  actually been using this card in MCA machines.

  4.1.10.  3c339 Token Ring PCI Velocity XL

  Status: Semi-Supported, Driver Name: tmspci

  Token ring driver updates can be found at:

  4.1.11.  3c556

  Status: Supported, Driver Name: 3c59x

  A mini PCI NIC found on various IBM and HP notebooks.  Also knownas a
  `laptop tornado'.
  4.1.12.  3c562

  Status: Supported, Driver Name: 3c589_cs

  This PCMCIA card is the combination of a 3c589B ethernet card with a
  modem. The modem appears as a standard modem to the end user. The only
  difficulty is getting the two separate linux drivers to share one
  interrupt. There are a couple of new registers and some hardware
  interrupt sharing support.  Thanks again to Cameron for getting a
  sample unit and documentation sent off to David Hinds.

  4.1.13.  3c575

  Status: Supported, Driver Name: 3c59x

  Note that to support this Cardbus device in old 2.2 kernels, you had
  to use 3c575_cb.c from the pcmcia_cs package.

  4.1.14.  3c579

  Status: Supported, Driver Name: 3c509

  The EISA version of the 509. The current EISA version uses the same 16
  bit wide chip rather than a 32 bit interface, so the performance
  increase isn't stunning.  Make sure the card is configured for EISA
  addressing mode.  Read the above 3c509 section for info on the driver.

  4.1.15.  3c589 / 3c589B

  Status: Semi-Supported, Driver Name: 3c589_cs

  Many people have been using this PCMCIA card for quite some time now.
  The "B" in the name means the same here as it does for the 3c509 case.

  4.1.16.  3c590 / 3c595

  Status: Supported, Driver Name: 3c59x

  These ``Vortex'' cards are for PCI bus machines, with the '590 being
  10Mbps and the '595 being 3Com's 100Mbs offering.  Also note that you
  can run the '595 as a '590 (i.e. in a 10Mbps mode).  The 3c59x line
  was replaced by the 3c9xx line quite some time ago, and so these cards
  are considered rather old.

  Note that there are two different 3c590 cards out there, early models
  that had 32kB of on-board memory, and later models that only have 8kB
  of memory.  The 3c595 cards have 64kB, as you can't get away with only
  8kB RAM at 100Mbps!

  4.1.17.  3c592 / 3c597

  Status: Supported, Driver Name: 3c59x

  These are  the EISA versions of the 3c59x series of cards. The
  3c592/3c597 (aka Demon) should work with the vortex driver discussed

  4.1.18.  3c900 / 3c905 / 3c905B / 3c905C / 3c905CX

  Status: Supported, Driver Name: 3c59x

  These cards (aka `Boomerang', aka EtherLink III XL) have been released
  to take over the place of the 3c590/3c595 cards, with some additional
  support added to the vortex/3c59x driver.  The driver found in older
  kernels may not support the latest revision(s) of these cards, so you
  may need a driver update.

  Note that the 3c905C has support for TCP/UDP/IP checksumming in
  hardware support - meaning less work for the computer CPU to do!

  4.1.19.  3c985 (Gigabit acenic, aka Tigon2)

  Status: Supported, Driver Name: acenic

  This driver supports several other Gigabit cards in addition to the
  3Com model.

  4.1.20.  3c996 (Gigabit broadcom, aka Tigon3)

  Status: Supported, Driver Name: tg3, bcm5700(old)

  This driver supports several other Gigabit cards in addition to the
  3Com model.  The tg3 driver is a complete rewrite by several linux
  developers in an effort to improve on the vendor supplied bcm5700

  4.2.  Accton

  4.2.1.  Accton MPX

  Status: Supported, Driver Name: ne (+8390)

  Don't let the name fool you. This is still supposed to be a NE2000
  compatible card, and should work with the ne2000 driver.

  4.2.2.  Accton EN1203, EN1207, EtherDuo-PCI

  Status: Supported, Driver Name: de4x5, tulip, OR 8139too

  Apparently there have been several revisions of the EN1207 (A through
  D) with A, B, and C being tulip based and the D revision being RealTek
  8139 based (different driver).  So as with all purchases, you should
  try and make sure you can return it if it doesn't work for you.

  4.2.3.  Accton EN2209 Parallel Port Adaptor (EtherPocket)

  Status: Semi-Supported, Driver Name: ?

  A driver for these parallel port adapters was available around the
  time of the 2.0 or 2.1 kernel. It's last known location was:

  4.2.4.  Accton EN2212 PCMCIA Card

  Status: Supported, Driver Name: pcnet_cs

  4.3.  Adaptec

  Note that some of the older Adaptec 32 bit boards used a tulip clone.

  4.3.1.  Adaptec DuraLAN/Starfire, 64bit ANA-6922

  Status: Supported, Driver Name: starfire

  4.4.  Allied Telesyn/Telesis

  4.4.1.  AT1500

  Status: Supported, Driver Name: lance

  These are a series of low-cost ethercards using the 79C960 version of
  the AMD LANCE. These are bus-master cards, and hence one of the faster
  ISA bus ethercards available.

  DMA selection and chip numbering information can be found in ``AMD

  4.4.2.  AT1700

  Status: Supported, Driver Name: at1700

  Note that to access this driver during make config you still have to
  answer `Y' when asked ``Prompt for development and/or incomplete
  code/drivers?'' at the first. This is simply due to lack of feedback
  on the driver stability due to it being a relatively rare card.  If
  you have problems with the driver that ships with the kernel then you
  may be interested in the alternative driver available at:

  The Allied Telesis AT1700 series ethercards are based on the Fujitsu
  MB86965. This chip uses a programmed I/O interface, and a pair of
  fixed-size transmit buffers. This allows small groups of packets to be
  sent back-to-back, with a short pause while switching buffers.

  The Fujitsu chip used on the AT1700 has a design flaw: it can only be
  fully reset by doing a power cycle of the machine.  Pressing the reset
  button doesn't reset the bus interface. This wouldn't be so bad,
  except that it can only be reliably detected when it has been freshly
  reset. The solution/work-around is to power-cycle the machine if the
  kernel has a problem detecting the AT1700.

  4.4.3.  AT2400

  Status: Supported, Driver Name: ne, ne2k-pci (+8390)

  Yet another PCI NE2000 clone card. This one is based on the RealTek
  8029 chip.

  4.4.4.  AT2450

  Status: Supported, Driver Name: pcnet32

  This is the PCI version of the AT1500, and it doesn't suffer from the
  problems that the Boca 79c970 PCI card does.  DMA selection and chip
  numbering information can be found in ``AMD LANCE''.

  4.4.5.  AT2500

  Status: Supported, Driver Name: 8139too, rtl8139(old)

  This card uses the RealTek 8139 chip - see the section ``RealTek

  4.4.6.  AT2540FX

  Status: Semi-Supported, Driver Name: eepro100

  This card uses the i82557 chip, and hence may/should work with the
  eepro100 driver. If you try this please send in a report so this
  information can be updated.

  4.5.  AMD / Advanced Micro Devices

  Carl Ching of AMD was kind enough to provide a very detailed
  description of all the relevant AMD ethernet products which helped
  clear up this section.

  4.5.1.  AMD LANCE (7990, 79C960/961/961A, PCnet-ISA)

  Status: Supported, Driver Name: lance

  There really is no AMD ethernet card. You are probably reading this
  because the only markings you could find on your card said AMD and the
  above number. The 7990 is the original `LANCE' chip, but most stuff
  (including this document) refer to all these similar chips as `LANCE'
  chips. (...incorrectly, I might add.)

  These above numbers refer to chips from AMD that are the heart of many
  ethernet cards.  For example, the Allied Telesis AT1500 (see
  ``AT1500'') and the NE1500/2100 (see ``NE1500'')  use these chips.

  The 7990/79c90 have long been replaced by newer versions.  The 79C960
  (a.k.a. PCnet-ISA) essentially contains the 79c90 core, along with all
  the other hardware support required, which allows a single-chip
  ethernet solution. The 79c961 (PCnet-ISA+) is a jumperless Plug and
  Play version of the '960. The final chip in the ISA series is the
  79c961A (PCnet-ISA II), which adds full duplex capabilities.  All
  cards with one of these chips should work with the lance.c driver,
  with the exception of very old cards that used the original 7990 in a
  shared memory configuration. These old cards can be spotted by the
  lack of jumpers for a DMA channel.

  One common problem people have is the `busmaster arbitration failure'
  message. This is printed out when the LANCE driver can't get access to
  the bus after a reasonable amount of time has elapsed (50us). This
  usually indicates that the motherboard implementation of bus-mastering
  DMA is broken, or some other device is hogging the bus, or there is a
  DMA channel conflict. If your BIOS setup has the `GAT option' (for
  Guaranteed Access Time) then try toggling/altering that setting to see
  if it helps.

  Also note that the driver only looks at the addresses: 0x300, 0x320,
  0x340, 0x360 for a valid card, and any address supplied by an ether=
  boot argument is silently ignored (this will be fixed) so make sure
  your card is configured for one of the above I/O addresses for now.

  The driver will still work fine, even if more than 16MB of memory is
  installed, since low-memory `bounce-buffers' are used when needed
  (i.e. any data from above 16MB is copied into a buffer below 16MB
  before being given to the card to transmit.)

  The DMA channel can be set with the low bits of the otherwise-unused
  dev->mem_start value (a.k.a. PARAM_1).  (see ``PARAM_1'') If unset it
  is probed for by enabling each free DMA channel in turn and checking
  if initialization succeeds.

  The HP-J2405A board is an exception: with this board it's easy to read
  the EEPROM-set values for the IRQ, and DMA.

  4.5.2.  AMD 79C901 (Home PNA PHY)

  Status: Supported, Driver Name: sis900

  The sis900.txt file in 2.4 kernels states that "AM79C901 HomePNA PHY
  is not thoroughly tested, there may be some bugs in the "on the fly"
  change of transceiver." so you may want to check that if using a newer

  4.5.3.  AMD 79C965 (PCnet-32)

  Status: Supported, Driver Name: pcnet32

  This is the PCnet-32 -- a 32 bit bus-master version of the original
  LANCE chip for VL-bus and local bus systems.  chip.  While these chips
  can be operated with the standard lance.c driver, a 32 bit version
  (pcnet32.c) is also available that does not have to concern itself
  with any 16MB limitations associated with the ISA bus.

  4.5.4.  AMD 79C970/970A (PCnet-PCI)

  Status: Supported, Driver Name: pcnet32

  This is the PCnet-PCI -- similar to the PCnet-32, but designed for PCI
  bus based systems. Please see the above PCnet-32 information.  This
  means that you need to build a kernel with PCI BIOS support enabled.
  The '970A adds full duplex support along with some other features to
  the original '970 design.

  Note that the Boca implementation of the 79C970 fails on fast Pentium
  machines. This is a hardware problem, as it affects DOS users as well.
  See the Boca section for more details.

  4.5.5.  AMD 79C971 (PCnet-FAST)

  Status: Supported, Driver Name: pcnet32

  This is AMD's 100Mbit chip for PCI systems, which also supports full
  duplex operation. It was introduced in June 1996.

  4.5.6.  AMD 79C972 (PCnet-FAST+)

  Status: Supported, Driver Name: pcnet32

  This has been confirmed to work just like the '971.

  4.5.7.  AMD 79C974 (PCnet-SCSI)

  Status: Supported, Driver Name: pcnet32

  This is the PCnet-SCSI --  which is basically treated like a '970 from
  an Ethernet point of view.  Also see the above information. Don't ask
  how well the SCSI half of the chip is supported -- this is the
  Ethernet-HowTo, not the SCSI-HowTo.

  4.6.  Ansel Communications

  4.6.1.  AC3200 EISA

  Status: Semi-Supported, Driver Name: ac3200

  This EISA bus card is based on the common 8390 chip used in the ne2000
  and wd80x3 cards.  Note that to access this driver during make config
  you still have to answer `Y' when asked ``Prompt for development
  and/or incomplete code/drivers?'' at the first. This is simply due to
  lack of feedback on the driver stability due to it being a relatively
  rare card.  Feedback has been low even though the driver has been in
  the kernel since v1.1.25.

  4.7.  Apricot

  4.7.1.  Apricot Xen-II On Board Ethernet

  Status: Semi-Supported, Driver Name: apricot

  This on board ethernet uses an i82596 bus-master chip.  It can only be
  at I/O address 0x300.  By looking at the driver source, it appears
  that the IRQ is also hardwired to 10.

  Earlier versions of the driver had a tendency to think that anything
  living at 0x300 was an apricot NIC.  Since then the hardware address
  is checked to avoid these false detections.

  4.8.  Arcnet

  Status: Supported, Driver Name: arcnet (arc-rimi, com90xx, com20020)

  With the very low cost and better performance of ethernet, chances are
  that most places will be giving away their Arcnet hardware for free,
  resulting in a lot of home systems with Arcnet.

  An advantage of Arcnet is that all of the cards have identical
  interfaces, so one driver will work for everyone. It also has built in
  error handling so that it supposedly never loses a packet.  (Great for
  UDP traffic!) Note that the arcnet driver uses `arc0' as its name
  instead of the usual `eth0' for ethernet devices.

  There are information files contained in the standard kernel for
  setting jumpers, general hints and where to mail bug reports.

  Supposedly the driver also works with the 100Mbs ARCnet cards as well!

  4.9.  Boca Research

  Yes, they make more than just multi-port serial cards.

  4.9.1.  Boca BEN400

  Status: Supported, Driver Name: ne (+8390)

  Apparently this is a NE2000 clone, using a VIA VT86C916 chip.

  4.9.2.  Boca BEN (ISA, VLB, PCI)

  Status: Supported, Driver Name: lance, pcnet32

  These cards are based on AMD's PCnet chips.  Many people reported
  endless problems with these VLB/PCI cards.  The problem was supposedly
  due to Boca not installing some capacitors that AMD recommended.  (The
  older ISA cards don't appear to suffer the same problems.)  Boca was
  offering a `warranty repair' for affected owners, which involved
  adding one of the missing capacitors, but it appears that this fix
  didn't work 100 percent for most people, although it helped some.  The
  cards are so old now that it wouldn't be worth pursuing.

  More general information on the AMD chips can be found in ``AMD

  4.10.  Broadcom

  4.10.1.  Broadcom Tigon2

  Status: Supported, Driver Name: acenic

  4.10.2.  Broadcom Tigon3

  Status: Supported, Driver Name: tg3

  4.11.  Cabletron

  Lack of programming information from Cabletron at the time drivers
  were being developed for these cards meant that the drivers were not
  supported as well as they could have been.

  Apparently Cabletron has since changed their policy with respect to
  programming information (like Xircom).  However, at this point in
  time, there is little demand for modified/updated drivers for the old
  E20xx and E21xx cards.

  4.11.1.  E10**, E10**-x, E20**, E20**-x

  Status: Semi-Supported, Driver Name: ne (+8390)

  These are NEx000 almost-clones that are reported to work with the
  standard NEx000 drivers, thanks to a ctron-specific check during the

  4.11.2.  E2100

  Status: Semi-Supported, Driver Name: e2100 (+8390)

  The E2100 is a poor design. Whenever it maps its shared memory in
  during a packet transfer, it maps it into the whole 128K region! That
  means you can't safely use another interrupt-driven shared memory
  device in that region, including another E2100.  It will work most of
  the time, but every once in a while it will bite you. (Yes, this
  problem can be avoided by turning off interrupts while transferring
  packets, but that will almost certainly lose clock ticks.) Also, if
  you mis-program the board, or halt the machine at just the wrong
  moment, even the reset button won't bring it back. You will have to
  turn it off and leave it off for about 30 seconds.

  Media selection is automatic, but you can override this with the low
  bits of the dev->mem_end parameter.  See ``PARAM_2''. Module users can
  specify an xcvr=N value as an option in the /etc/modules.conf file.

  Also, don't confuse the E2100 for a NE2100 clone.  The E2100 is a
  shared memory NatSemi DP8390 design, roughly similar to a brain-
  damaged WD8013, whereas the NE2100 (and NE1500) use a bus-mastering
  AMD LANCE design.

  If you intend on using this driver as a loadable module you should
  probably see ``Using the Ethernet Drivers as Modules'' for module
  specific information.

  4.11.3.  E22**

  Status: Semi-Supported, Driver Name: lance

  According to information in a Cabletron Tech Bulletin, these cards use
  the standard AMD PC-Net chipset (see ``AMD PC-Net'') and should work
  with the generic lance driver.

  4.12.  Cogent

  4.12.1.  EM100-ISA/EISA

  Status: Semi-Supported, Driver Name: smc9194

  These cards use the SMC 91c100 chip and may work with the SMC 91c92
  driver, but this has yet to be verified.

  4.12.2.  Cogent eMASTER+, EM100-PCI, EM400, EM960, EM964

  Status: Supported, Driver Name: de4x5, tulip

  These are yet another DEC 21040 implementation that should hopefully
  work fine with the standard 21040 driver.
  The EM400 and the EM964 are four port cards using a DEC 21050 bridge
  and 4 21040 chips.

  See ``DEC 21040'' for more information on these cards, and the present
  driver situation.

  4.13.  Compaq

  Compaq aren't really in the business of making ethernet cards, but a
  lot of their systems have embedded ethernet controllers on the

  4.13.1.  Compaq Deskpro / Compaq XL (Embedded AMD Chip)

  Status: Supported, Driver Name: pcnet32

  Machines such as the XL series have an AMD 79c97x PCI chip on the
  mainboard that can be used with the standard LANCE driver. But before
  you can use it, you have to do some trickery to get the PCI BIOS to a
  place where Linux can see it. Frank Maas was kind enough to provide
  the details:

  `` The problem with this Compaq machine however is that the PCI
  directory is loaded in high memory, at a spot where the Linux kernel
  can't (won't) reach. Result: the card is never detected nor is it
  usable (sideline: the mouse won't work either) The workaround (as
  described thoroughly in is to load MS-
  DOS, launch a little driver Compaq wrote and then load the Linux
  kernel using LOADLIN. Ok, I'll give you time to say `yuck, yuck', but
  for now this is the only working solution I know of. The little driver
  simply moves the PCI directory to a place where it is normally stored
  (and where Linux can find it).''

  The DOS utility movepci.exe is apparently in Compaq's support package
  SP1599.EXE if you still need it.

  More general information on the AMD chips can be found in ``AMD

  4.13.2.  Compaq Nettelligent/NetFlex (Embedded ThunderLAN Chip)

  Status: Supported, Driver Name: tlan

  These systems use a Texas Instruments ThunderLAN chip Information on
  the ThunderLAN driver can be found in ``ThunderLAN''.

  4.13.3.  Compaq PCI card

  Status: Supported, Driver Name: eepro100

  Check your card - if it has part number 323551-821 and/or an intel
  82558 chip on it then it is another Intel EEPro100 based card.

  4.14.  Danpex

  4.14.1.  Danpex EN9400

  Status: Supported, Driver Name: de4x5, tulip

  Yet another card based on the DEC 21040 chip, reported to work fine,
  and at a relatively cheap price.

  See ``DEC 21040'' for more information on these cards, and the present
  driver situation.

  4.15.  Davicom

  4.15.1.  Davicom DM9102

  Status: Supported, Driver Name: tulip, dmfe

  This is an almost clone of the tulip chip and so you can use the tulip
  driver or the vendor supplied dmfe driver.  Usual advice is to try
  tulip first, and then try dmfe.  Apparently dmfe is only better for
  very very old cards.

  4.16.  D-Link

  4.16.1.  DE-100, DE-200, DE-220-T, DE-250

  Status: Supported, Driver Name: ne (+8390)

  Some of the early D-Link cards didn't have the 0x57 PROM signature,
  but the ne2000 driver knows about them.  For the software configurable
  cards, you can get the config program from  Note that
  there are also cards from Digital (DEC) that are also named DE100 and
  DE200, but the similarity stops there.

  4.16.2.  DE-520

  Status: Supported, Driver Name: pcnet32

  This is a PCI card using the PCI version of AMD's LANCE chip.  DMA
  selection and chip numbering information can be found in ``AMD

  4.16.3.  DE-528

  Status: Supported, Driver Name: ne, ne2k-pci (+8390)

  Apparently D-Link have also started making PCI NE2000 clones.

  4.16.4.  DE-530

  Status: Supported, Driver Name: de4x5, tulip

  This is a generic DEC 21040 PCI chip implementation, and is reported
  to work with the generic 21040 tulip driver.  Note that this is NOT
  the DFE-530.

  See ``DEC 21040'' for more information on these cards, and the present
  driver situation.

  4.16.5.  DE-600

  Status: Supported, Driver Name: de600

  The DE600 is an old parallel port ethernet adaptor made for laptop
  users etc.  Expect about 180kb/s transfer speed from this device.  You
  should read the README.DLINK file in the kernel source tree.  Note
  that the device name that you pass to ifconfig is now eth0 and not the
  previously used dl0.

  4.16.6.  DE-620

  Status: Supported, Driver Name: de620

  Similar to the the DE-600, only with two output formats.  See the
  above information on the DE-600.

  4.16.7.  DE-650

  Status: Supported, Driver Name: pcnet_cs

  Some people have been using this PCMCIA card for some time now with
  their notebooks. It is a basic 8390 design, much like a NE2000. The
  LinkSys PCMCIA card and the IC-Card Ethernet are supposedly DE-650
  clones as well.

  4.16.8.  DFE-530TX

  Status Supported, Driver Name: via-rhine

  Another card using the VIA Rhine chipset.  Newer cards use the Rhine-
  II.  (see ``VIA Rhine'') Don't confuse this with the DE-530 which is a
  tulip based card, or the DFE-530+ which is an 8139.

  4.16.9.  DFE-530TX+, DFE-538TX

  Status Supported, Driver Name: 8139too, rtl8139(old)

  This card uses the RealTek 8139 chip - see the section ``RealTek

  4.16.10.  DFE-550TX

  Status Supported, Driver Name: sundance

  4.16.11.  DFE-570TX

  Status Supported, Driver Name: tulip

  This is a four port tulip (DS21143) card.

  4.16.12.  DFE-580TX

  Status Supported, Driver Name: sundance

  4.16.13.  DGE-500T

  Status: Supported, Driver Name: ns83820

  4.16.14.  DGE-550T

  Status Supported, Driver Name: dl2k

  4.17.  DFI

  4.17.1.  DFINET-300 and DFINET-400

  Status: Supported, Driver Name: ne (+8390)

  Yet another poor NE clone card - these use `DFI' in the first 3 bytes
  of the prom, instead of using 0x57 in bytes 14 and 15, which is what
  all the NE1000 and NE2000 cards should use. (The 300 is an 8 bit
  pseudo NE1000 clone, and the 400 is a pseudo NE2000 clone.)

  4.18.  Digital / DEC

  4.18.1.  DEPCA, DE100/1, DE200/1/2, DE210, DE422

  Status: Supported, Driver Name: depca

  There is documentation included in the source file `depca.c', which
  includes info on how to use more than one of these cards in a machine.
  Note that the DE422 is an EISA card. These cards are all based on the
  AMD LANCE chip.  See ``AMD LANCE'' for more info.  A maximum of two of
  the ISA cards can be used, because they can only be set for 0x300 and
  0x200 base I/O address.  If you are intending to do this, please read
  the notes in the driver source file depca.c in the standard kernel
  source tree.

  This driver will also work on Alpha CPU based machines, and there are
  various ioctl()s that the user can play with.

  4.18.2.  Digital EtherWorks 3 (DE203, DE204, DE205)

  Status: Supported, Driver Name: ewrk3

  These cards use a proprietary chip from DEC, as opposed to the LANCE
  chip used in the earlier cards like the DE200. These cards support
  both shared memory or programmed I/O, although you take about a
  50%performance hit if you use PIO mode. The shared memory size can be
  set to 2kB, 32kB or 64kB, but only 2 and 32 have been tested with this
  driver. David says that the performance is virtually identical between
  the 2kB and 32kB mode. There is more information (including using the
  driver as a loadable module) at the top of the driver file ewrk3.c and
  also in README.ewrk3.  Both of these files come with the standard
  kernel distribution.  This driver has Alpha CPU support like depca.c

  The standard driver has a number of interesting ioctl() calls that can
  be used to get or clear packet statistics, read/write the EEPROM,
  change the hardware address, and the like. Hackers can see the source
  code for more info on that one.
  David has also written a configuration utility for this card (along
  the lines of the DOS program NICSETUP.EXE) along with other tools.
  These can be found on most Linux FTP sites in the directory
  /pub/Linux/system/Network/management -- look for the file ewrk3tools-

  4.18.3.  DE425 EISA, DE434, DE435, DE500

  Status: Supported, Driver Name: de4x5, tulip

  These cards are based on the 21040 chip mentioned below.  The DE500
  uses the 21140 chip to provide 10/100Mbs ethernet connections.  Have a
  read of the 21040 section below for extra info.  There are also some
  compile-time options available for non-DEC cards using this driver.
  Have a look at README.de4x5 for details.

  All the Digital cards will autoprobe for their media (except,
  temporarily, the DE500 due to a patent issue).

  This driver is also Alpha CPU ready and supports being loaded as a
  module.  Users can access the driver internals through ioctl() calls -
  see the 'ewrk3' tools and the de4x5.c sources for information about
  how to do this.

  4.18.4.  DEC 21040, 21041, 2114x, Tulip

  Status: Supported, Driver Name: de4x5, tulip

  The DEC 21040 is a bus-mastering single chip ethernet solution from
  Digital, similar to AMD's PCnet chip. The 21040 is specifically
  designed for the PCI bus architecture.  Apparently these chips are no
  longer being produced, as Intel has bought the semiconductor portion
  of DEC and is favouring their own ethernet chip(s).

  You have a choice of two drivers for cards based on this chip. There
  is the DE425 driver discussed above, and the generic 21040  `tulip'

  Warning: Even though your card may be based upon this chip, the
  drivers may not work for you. David C. Davies writes:

  ``There are no guarantees that either `tulip.c' OR `de4x5.c' will run
  any DC2114x based card other than those they've been written to
  support.  WHY?? You ask.  Because there is a register, the General
  Purpose Register (CSR12) that (1) in the DC21140A is programmable by
  each vendor and they all do it differently (2) in the DC21142/3 this
  is now an SIA control register (a la DC21041). The only small ray of
  hope is that we can decode the SROM to help set up the driver.
  However, this is not a guaranteed solution since some vendors (e.g.
  SMC 9332 card) don't follow the Digital Semiconductor recommended SROM
  programming format."

  In non-technical terms, this means that if you aren't sure that an
  unknown card with a DC2114x chip will work with the linux driver(s),
  then make sure you can return the card to the place of purchase before
  you pay for it.

  The 21041 chip is also found in place of the 21040 on most of the
  later SMC EtherPower cards.  The 21140 is for supporting 100Base-T and
  works with the Linux drivers for the 21040 chip.  To use David's de4x5
  driver with non-DEC cards, have a look at README.de4x5 for details.

  If you are having trouble with the tulip driver, you can try the
  newest version from Donald's ftp/WWW site.

  Tulip Driver <>

  There is also a (non-exhaustive) list of various cards/vendors that
  use the 21040 chip.

  4.19.  Farallon

  Farallon sells EtherWave adaptors and transceivers. This device allows
  multiple 10baseT devices to be daisy-chained.

  4.19.1.  Farallon Etherwave

  Status: Supported, Driver Name: 3c509

  This is reported to be a 3c509 clone that includes the EtherWave
  transceiver. People have used these successfully with Linux and the
  present 3c509 driver. They are too expensive for general use, but are
  a great option for special cases.  Hublet prices start at $125, and
  Etherwave adds $75-$100 to the price of the board -- worth it if you
  have pulled one wire too few, but not if you are two network drops

  4.19.2.  Farallon PCI 593

  Status: Supported, Driver Name: de4x5, tulip

  It has been reported that this card was detected with the de4x5

  4.20.  Fujitsu

  Unlike many network chip manufacturers, Fujitsu have also made and
  sold some network cards based upon their chip.

  4.20.1.  Fujitsu FMV-181/182/183/184

  Status: Supported, Driver Name: at1700, fmv18x(old)

  According to the driver, these cards are a straight forward Fujitsu
  MB86965 implementation, which would make them very similar to the
  Allied Telesis AT1700 cards.

  Older kernels used the driver fmv18x but support for these cards was
  added to the at1700 driver and so the former has been phased out.

  4.21.  Hewlett Packard

  4.21.1.  HP Night Director+ 10/100

  Status: Supported, Driver Name: pcnet32

  Apparently these cards use the AMD 79C972 chip.

  4.21.2.  27245A

  Status: Supported, Driver Name: hp (+8390)

  8 bit 8390 based 10BaseT, not recommended for all the 8 bit reasons.

  4.21.3.  HP EtherTwist, PC Lan+ (27247, 27248, 27252A, 27269B)

  Status: Supported, Driver Name: hp+ (+8390)

  The HP PC Lan+ is different to the standard HP PC Lan card.   It can
  be operated in either a PIO mode like a ne2000, or a shared memory
  mode like a wd8013.

  4.21.4.  HP-J2405A

  Status: Supported, Driver Name: lance

  These are lower priced, and slightly faster than the 27247/27252A, but
  are missing some features, such as AUI, ThinLAN connectivity, and boot
  PROM socket.  This is a fairly generic LANCE design, but a minor
  design decision makes it incompatible with a generic `NE2100' driver.
  Special support for it (including reading the DMA channel from the
  board) is included thanks to information provided by HP's Glenn

  4.21.5.  HP-Vectra On Board Ethernet

  Status: Supported, Driver Name: lance

  The HP-Vectra has an AMD PCnet chip on the motherboard.  DMA selection
  and chip numbering information can be found in ``AMD LANCE''.

  4.21.6.  HP 10/100 VG Any Lan Cards (27248B, J2573, J2577, J2585,
  J970, J973)

  Status: Supported, Driver Name: hp100

  This driver also supports some of the Compex VG products.  Since the
  driver supports ISA, EISA and PCI cards, it is found under ISA cards
  when running make config on a kernel source.

  4.21.7.  HP NetServer 10/100TX PCI (D5013A)

  Status: Supported, Driver Name: eepro100

  Apparently these are just a rebadged Intel EtherExpress Pro 10/100B
  card. See the Intel section for more information.

  4.22.  IBM / International Business Machines

  4.22.1.  IBM Thinkpad 300

  Status: Obsolete, Driver Name: znet

  This is intel i82593 based.  It has been declared obsolete in the 2.4
  series kernels.
  4.22.2.  IBM Credit Card Adaptor for Ethernet

  Status: Semi-Supported, Driver Name: pcnet_cs

  4.22.3.  IBM 10/100 EtherJet PCI

  Status: Supported, Driver Name: eepro100

  This card is reported to be compatible with the Intel EtherExpress Pro
  100 driver.

  4.22.4.  IBM Token Ring

  Status: Semi-Supported, Driver Name: ibmtr

  To support token ring requires more than only writing a device driver,
  it also requires writing the source routing routines for token ring.
  It is the source routing that would be the most time comsuming to

  Initial driver development was done with IBM ISA and MCA token ring
  cards, and tested on an MCA 16/4 Megabit Token Ring board, but it
  should work with other Tropic based boards.

  4.23.  ICL Ethernet Cards

  4.23.1.  ICL EtherTeam 16i/32

  Status: Supported, Driver Name: eth16i

  This driver supports both the ISA (16i) and EISA (32) versions of the
  card.  It uses the Fujitsu MB86965 chip that is also used on the
  at1700 cards.

  4.24.  Intel Ethernet Cards

  Note that the naming of the various Intel cards is ambiguous and
  confusing at best.  If in doubt, then check the i8xxxx number on the
  main chip on the card or for PCI cards, use the PCI information in the
  /proc directory and then compare that to the numbers listed here.
  Finally, there was a page at in the network
  area that may also be some help if you don't know what card you have.

  4.24.1.  Ether Express

  Status: Supported, Driver Name: eexpress

  This card uses the intel i82586.  Earlier versions of this driver (in
  v1.2 kernels) were classed as alpha-test, as it didn't work well for
  most people.  The driver in the v2.0 kernel seems to work much better
  for those who have tried it, although the driver source still lists it
  as experimental and more problematic on faster machines.

  The comments at the top of the driver source list some of the problems
  (and fixes!) associated with these cards. The slowdown hack of
  replacing all the outb with outb_p in the driver has been reported to
  avoid lockups for at least one user.  Also check that the size of the
  RAM buffer reported by the driver matches what the Intel configuration
  utility reports.

  4.24.2.  Ether Express PRO/10 (PRO/10+)

  Status: Supported, Driver Name: eepro

  Bao Chau Ha has written a driver for these cards that has been
  included into early 1.3.x kernels. It may also work with some of the
  Compaq built-in ethernet systems that are based on the i82595 chip.
  You may have to use the configuration utility that came with the card
  to disable PnP support where applicable.

  4.24.3.  Ether Express PRO/10 PCI (EISA)

  Status: Semi-Supported, Driver Name: ? (distributed separately)

  There is a driver for the PCI version that is distributed separately
  from the default kernel.  These cards use the PLX9036 PCI interface
  chip with the Intel i82596 LAN controller chip. If your card has the
  i82557 chip, then you don't have this card, but rather the version
  discussed next, and hence want the EEPro100 driver instead.

  You can get the alpha driver for the PRO/10 PCI card, along with
  instructions on how to use it at:

  EEPro10 Driver <>

  If you have the EISA card, you will probably have to hack the driver a
  bit to account for the different (PCI vs. EISA) detection mechanisms
  that are used in each case.

  4.24.4.  Ether Express PRO 10/100B

  Status: Supported, Driver Name: e100, or eepro100

  The e100 driver was supplied by intel, and the eepro100 driver is the
  original driver by Donald.  Note that the eepro100 driver will not
  work with the older 100A cards.  The chip numbers listed in the driver
  are i82557, i82558, i82559, i82801, and about 25 other PCI IDs.  For
  driver updates and/or driver support, have a look at:

  EEPro-100B Page <>

  4.24.5.  E1000 Gigabit

  Status: Supported, Driver Name: e1000

  4.25.  Kingston

  Kingston make various cards, including NE2000+, AMD PCnet based cards,
  and DEC tulip based cards. Most of these cards should work fine with
  their respective driver. See Kingston Web Page

  4.26.  LinkSys

  LinkSys make a handful of different NE2000 clones, some straight ISA
  cards, some ISA plug and play and some even ne2000-PCI clones based on
  one of the supported ne2000-PCI chipsets. There are just too many
  models to list here.  Their site is at

  4.26.1.  LinkSys Etherfast 10/100 Cards.

  Status: Supported, Driver Name: tulip

  Note that with these cards there have been several `revisions' (i.e.
  different chipset used) all with the same card name. The 1st used the
  DEC chipset. The 2nd revision used the Lite-On PNIC 82c168 PCI Network
  Interface Controller, the 3rd revision of the card uses a LinkSys
  82c169 NIC chip, and the 4th revision uses the ADMtek Comet.  Support
  for the latter three has been merged into the standard tulip driver --
  you may need a driver upgrade to get support for them depending on how
  old your current driver version is.

  More PNIC information is available at:

  More information on the various versions of these cards can be found
  at the LinkSys WWW site mentioned above.

  4.26.2.  LinkSys Pocket Ethernet Adapter Plus (PEAEPP)

  Status: Supported, Driver Name: de620

  This is supposedly a DE-620 clone, and is reported to work well with
  that driver. See ``DE-620'' for more information.

  4.26.3.  LinkSys PCMCIA Adaptor

  Status: Supported, Driver Name: pcnet_cs

  This is supposed to be a re-badged DE-650.

  4.27.  Microdyne (Eagle)

  Eagle Technology (aka Novell cards) was sold to Microdyne.  If you
  can't find your card listed here, check the Novell section of this
  document.  While Microdyne are not actively selling network cards
  anymore, there is still some stuff relating to their products on their
  site at

  4.27.1.  Microdyne Exos 205T

  Status: Semi-Supported, Driver Name: ?

  Another i82586 based card. Dirk Niggemann has
  written a driver that he classes as ``pre-alpha'' that he would like
  people to test. Mail him for more details.

  4.28.  Mylex

  Mylex can be reached at the following numbers, in case anyone wants to
  ask them anything.

          MYLEX CORPORATION, Fremont
          Sales:  800-77-MYLEX, (510) 796-6100
          FAX:    (510) 745-8016.

  They also have a web site: Mylex WWW Site <>

  4.28.1.  Mylex LNE390A, LNE390B

  Status: Supported, Driver Name: lne390 (+8390)

  These are fairly old EISA cards that make use of a shared memory
  implementation similar to the wd80x3. A driver for these cards is
  available in the current 2.1.x series of kernels.  Ensure you set the
  shared memory address below 1MB or above the highest address of the
  physical RAM installed in the machine.

  4.28.2.  Mylex LNP101

  Status: Supported, Driver Name: de4x5, tulip

  This is a PCI card that is based on DEC's 21040 chip.  It is
  selectable between 10BaseT, 10Base2 and 10Base5 output.  The LNP101
  card has been verified to work with the generic 21040 driver.

  See the section on the 21040 chip (``DEC 21040'') for more

  4.28.3.  Mylex LNP104

  Status: Semi-Supported, Driver Name: de4x5, tulip

  The LNP104 uses the DEC 21050 chip to deliver four independent 10BaseT
  ports. It should work with recent 21040 drivers that know how to share
  IRQs, but nobody has reported trying it yet (that I am aware of).

  4.29.  Myson

  4.29.1.  Myson MTD-8xx 10/100 PCI

  Status: Supported, Driver Name: fealnx

  Apparently cards sold under the name Surecom EP-320X-S also use this
  Myson chip.

  4.30.  National Semiconductor

  National Semiconductor really make chips, not cards.  Other people
  take their chips, solder them down to a bit of fibreglass with some
  other cruft, put their name on it and sell it to you.

  4.30.1.  NS8390, DP8390, DP83905 etc.

  Status: Supported, Driver Name: 8390

  The infamous 8390 chip.  Found on a zillion ISA cards, and cloned by
  various other chip manufacturers.  Note that the file 8390.o is not a
  complete driver in itself.  It has to be used in conjunction with
  another driver that knows how the 8390 is interfaced to the computer
  bus.  Examples of the 2nd half of the driver are wd.o, 3c503.o, smc-
  ultra.o, ne2k-pci.o and so on.

  4.30.2.  DP83800 with DP83840

  Status: Not Supported.

  See the section for NE 10/100 below.

  4.30.3.  DP83815/83816

  Status: Supported, Driver Name: natsemi

  This driver can be found in 2.4 and newer kernels.

  4.30.4.  NS83820, DP83820

  Status: Supported, Driver Name: ns83820

  The 83820 is a 10/100/1000 Mbps 64 bit PCI ethernet NIC, and the 83821
  is a 32 bit PCI part (but it appears that the parts are identical and
  the EEPROM is supposed to set the data path width).  Just like the
  8390, you won't usually see this number unless you look at the chip on
  the card.

  4.31.  Novell Ethernet, NExxxx and associated clones.

  The prefix `NE' came from Novell Ethernet. Novell followed the
  cheapest NatSemi databook design and sold the manufacturing rights
  (spun off?) Eagle, just to get reasonably-priced ethercards into the
  market. (The now ubiquitous NE2000 card.)

  4.31.1.  NE1000, NE2000

  Status: Supported, Driver Name: ne (+8390)

  The ne2000 is now a generic name for a bare-bones design around the
  NatSemi 8390 chip. They use programmed I/O rather than shared memory,
  leading to easier installation but slightly lower performance and a
  few problems.  Some of the more common problems that arise with NE2000
  cards are listed in ``Problems with...''

  Some NE2000 clones use the National Semiconductor `AT/LANTic' 83905
  chip, which offers a shared memory mode similar to the wd8013 and
  EEPROM software configuration. The shared memory mode will offer less
  CPU usage (i.e. more efficient) than the programmed I/O mode.

  In general it is not a good idea to put a NE2000 clone at I/O address
  0x300 because nearly every device driver probes there at boot. Some
  poor NE2000 clones don't take kindly to being prodded in the wrong
  areas, and will respond by locking your machine. Also 0x320 is bad
  because SCSI drivers probe into 0x330.

  Donald has written a NE2000 diagnostic program (ne2k.c) for all ne2000
  cards.  See ``Diagnostic Programs'' for more information.

  If you intend on using this driver as a loadable module you should
  probably see ``Using the Ethernet Drivers as Modules'' for module
  specific information.

  4.31.2.  NE2000-PCI (RealTek/Winbond/Compex)

  Status: Supported, Driver Name: ne, ne2k-pci (+8390)

  Yes, believe it or not, people are making PCI cards based on the more
  than ten year old interface design of the ne2000. At the moment nearly
  all of these cards are based on the RealTek 8029 chip, or the Winbond
  89c940 chip. The Compex, KTI, VIA and Netvin cards apparently also use
  these chips, but have a different PCI ID.

  The latest v2.0 kernel has support to automatically detect all these
  cards and use them. (If you are using a kernel v2.0.34 or older, you
  should upgrade to ensure your card will be detected.)  There are now
  two drivers to choose from; the original ISA/PCI ne.c driver, and a
  relatively new PCI-only ne2k-pci.c driver.

  To use the original ISA/PCI driver you have to say `Y'  to the `Other
  ISA cards' option when running make config as you are actually using
  the same NE2000 driver as the ISA cards use. (That should also give
  you a hint that these cards aren't anywhere as intelligent as say a
  PCNet-PCI or DEC 21040 card...)

  The newer PCI-only driver differs from the ISA/PCI driver in that all
  the support for old NE1000 8 bit cards has been removed and that data
  is moved to/from the card in bigger blocks, without any intervening
  pauses that the older ISA-NE2000's required for reliable operation.
  The result is a driver that is slightly smaller and slightly more
  efficient, but don't get too excited as the difference will not be
  obvious under normal use.  (If you really wanted maximum
  efficiency/low CPU use, then a PCI-NE2000 is simply a very poor
  choice.) Driver updates and more information can be found at:

  If you have a NE2000 PCI card that is not  detected by the most
  current version of the driver, please contact the maintainer of the
  NE2000 driver as listed in /usr/src/linux/MAINTAINERS along with the
  output from a cat /proc/pci and dmesg so that support for your card
  can also be added to the driver.

  Also note that various card makers have been known to put `NE2000
  Compatible' stickers on their product boxes even when it is completely
  different (e.g. PCNet-PCI or RealTek 8139).  If in doubt check the
  main chip number against this document.

  4.31.3.  NE-10/100

  Status: Not Supported.

  These are ISA 100Mbps cards based on the National Semiconductor
  DP83800 and DP83840 chips. There is currently no driver support, nor
  has anyone reported that they are working on a driver.  Apparently
  documentation on the chip is unavailable with the exception of a
  single PDF file that doesn't give enough details for a driver.

  4.31.4.  NE1500, NE2100

  Status: Supported, Driver Name: lance

  These cards use the original 7990 LANCE chip from AMD and are
  supported using the Linux lance driver. Newer NE2100 clones use the
  updated PCnet/ISA chip from AMD.

  Some earlier versions of the lance driver had problems with getting
  the IRQ line via autoIRQ from the original Novell/Eagle 7990 cards.
  Hopefully this is now fixed.  If not, then specify the IRQ via LILO,
  and let us know that it still has problems.

  DMA selection and chip numbering information can be found in ``AMD

  4.31.5.  NE/2 MCA

  Status: Semi-Supported, Driver Name: ne2

  There were a few NE2000 microchannel cards made by various companies.
  This driver, available in v2.2 kernels, will detect the following MCA
  cards: Novell Ethernet Adapter NE/2, Compex ENET-16 MC/P, and the Arco
  Ethernet Adapter AE/2.

  4.31.6.  NE3200

  Status: Not Supported.

  While there is no driver support in the current 2.4 kernel, Rask
  Ingemann Lambertsen has been playing around with an old EISA machine
  and had an experimental driver at:

  4.31.7.  NE3210

  Status: Supported, Driver Name: ne3210 (+8390)

  This EISA card is completely different from the NE3200, as it uses a
  Nat Semi 8390 chip.  The driver can be found in the v2.2 kernel source
  tree.  Ensure you set the shared memory address below 1MB or above the
  highest address of the physical RAM installed in the machine.

  4.31.8.  NE4100

  Status: Supported, Driver Name: pcnet_cs

  4.31.9.  NE5500

  Status: Supported, Driver Name: pcnet32

  These are just AMD PCnet-PCI cards ('970A) chips. More information on
  LANCE/PCnet based cards can be found in ``AMD LANCE''.

  4.32.  Netgear

  4.32.1.  Netgear FA-311

  Status: Supported, Driver Name: natsemi

  4.32.2.  Netgear GA-620

  Status: Supported, Driver Name: acenic

  4.32.3.  Netgear GA-621

  Status: Supported, Driver Name: ns83820

  4.33.  Proteon

  4.33.1.  Proteon P1370-EA

  Status: Supported, Driver Name: ne (+8390)

  Apparently this is a NE2000 clone, and works fine with Linux.

  4.33.2.  Proteon P1670-EA

  Status: Supported, Driver Name: de4x5, tulip

  This is yet another PCI card that is based on DEC's Tulip chip.  It
  has been reported to work fine with Linux.

  See the section on the 21040 chip (``DEC 21040'') for more driver

  4.34.  Pure Data

  4.34.1.  PDUC8028, PDI8023

  Status: Supported, Driver Name: wd (+8390)

  The PureData PDUC8028 and PDI8023 series of cards are `almost clones'
  of the wd80x3 cards - there is special code in the wd.c driver to
  probe for these cards.

  4.35.  Racal-Interlan

  Racal Interlan can be reached via WWW at I believe
  they were also known as MiCom-Interlan at one point in the past.

  4.35.1.  ES3210

  Status: Semi-Supported, Driver Name: es3210

  This is an EISA 8390 based shared memory card. An experimetal driver
  is shipped with v2.2 kernels and it is reported to work fine, but the
  EISA IRQ and shared memory address detection appears not to work with
  (at least) the early revision cards.  (This problem is not unique to
  the Linux world either...)  In that case, you have to supply them to
  the driver.  For example, card at IRQ 5 and shared memory 0xd0000,
  with a modular driver, add options es3210 irq=5 mem=0xd0000 to
  /etc/modules.conf.  Or with the driver compiled into the kernel,
  supply at boot ether=5,0,0xd0000,eth0 The I/O base is automatically
  detected and hence a value of zero should be used.

  4.35.2.  NI5010

  Status: Semi-Supported, Driver Name: ni5010

  You used to have to go get the driver for these old 8 bit MiCom-
  Interlan cards separately, but now it is shipped with the v2.2 kernels
  as an experimental driver.

  4.35.3.  NI5210

  Status: Semi-Supported, Driver Name: ni52

  This card also uses one of the Intel chips.  Michael Hipp has written
  a driver for this card. It is included in the standard kernel as an
  `alpha' driver. Michael would like to hear feedback from users that
  have this card. See ``Alpha Drivers'' for important information on
  using alpha-test ethernet drivers with Linux.

  4.35.4.  NI6510 (not EB)

  Status: Semi-Supported, Driver Name: ni65

  There is also a driver for the LANCE based NI6510, and it is also
  written by Michael Hipp. Again, it is also an `alpha' driver. For some
  reason, this card is not compatible with the generic LANCE driver. See
  ``Alpha Drivers'' for important information on using alpha-test
  ethernet drivers with Linux.

  4.35.5.  EtherBlaster (aka NI6510EB)

  Status: Supported, Driver Name: lance

  As of kernel 1.3.23, the generic LANCE driver had a check added to it
  for the 0x52, 0x44 NI6510EB specific signature.  Others have reported
  that this signature is not the same for all NI6510EB cards however,
  which will cause the lance driver to not detect your card. If this
  happens to you, you can change the probe (at about line 322 in
  lance.c) to printk() out what the values are for your card and then
  use them instead of the 0x52, 0x44 defaults.

  The cards should probably be run in `high-performance' mode and not in
  the NI6510 compatible mode when using the lance driver.

  4.36.  RealTek

  4.36.1.  RealTek RTL8002/8012 (AT-Lan-Tec) Pocket adaptor

  Status: Supported, Driver Name: atp

  This is a generic, low-cost OEM pocket adaptor being sold by AT-Lan-
  Tec, and (likely) a number of other suppliers. A driver for it is
  included in the standard kernel.  Note that there is substantial
  information contained in the driver source file `atp.c'.

  Note that the device name that you pass to ifconfig was not eth0 but
  atp0 for earlier versions of this driver.

  4.36.2.  RealTek 8008

  Status: Supported, Driver Name: ne, wd (+8390)

  This chip has been reported to behave similar to the AT/LANTIC in that
  it can be set for ne/PIO or wd/MMIO modes of operation via the vendor
  supplied software (SET8008R).

  4.36.3.  RealTek 8009

  Status: Supported, Driver Name: ne (+8390)

  This is an ISA NE2000 clone, and is reported to work fine with the
  linux NE2000 driver.  The rset8009.exe program can be obtained from
  RealTek's WWW site at - or via ftp from the
  same site.

  4.36.4.  RealTek 8019

  Status: Supported, Driver Name: ne (+8390)

  This is a Plug and Pray version of the above.  Use the DOS software to
  disable PnP and enable jumperless configuration; set the card to a
  sensible I/O address and IRQ and you should be ready to go.  (If using
  the driver as a module, don't forget to add an io=0xNNN option to
  /etc/modules.conf).  The rset8019.exe program can be obtained from
  RealTek's WWW site at - or via ftp from the
  same site.

  4.36.5.  RealTek 8029

  Status: Supported, Driver Name: ne, ne2k-pci (+8390)

  This is a PCI single chip implementation of a NE2000 clone.  Various
  vendors are now selling cards with this chip. See ``NE2000-PCI'' for
  information on using any of these cards.  Note that this is still a
  10+ year old design just glued onto a PCI bus. Performance won't be
  staggeringly better than the equivalent ISA model.

  4.36.6.  RealTek 8129/8139

  Status: Supported, Driver Name: 8139too, rtl8139(old)

  Another PCI single chip ethernet solution from RealTek.  A driver for
  cards based upon this chip was included in the v2.0.34 release of
  linux.  The driver is called 8139too in recent kernels.

  In older kernels, the driver was called rtl8139 and you generally had
  to to answer `Y' when asked if you want experimental drivers to get
  access to this driver.

  4.37.  Sager

  4.37.1.  Sager NP943

  Status: Semi-Supported, Driver Name: 3c501

  This is just a 3c501 clone, with a different S.A. PROM prefix. I
  assume it is equally as brain dead as the original 3c501 as well. The
  driver checks for the NP943 I.D. and then just treats it as a 3c501
  after that. See ``3Com 3c501'' for all the reasons as to why you
  really don't want to use one of these cards.

  4.38.  Schneider & Koch

  4.38.1.  SK G16

  Status: Obsolete, Driver Name: sk_g16

  This driver was included into the v1.1 kernels, and it was written by
  PJD Weichmann and SWS Bern. It appears that the SK G16 is similar to
  the NI6510, in that it is based on the first edition LANCE chip (the
  7990). Once again, it appears as though this card won't work with the
  generic LANCE driver.

  It was marked obsolete as of the 2.4 series kernels.

  4.39.  SEEQ

  4.39.1.  SEEQ 8005

  Status: Obsolete, Driver Name: seeq8005

  There is little information about the card included in the driver, and
  hence little information to be put here. If you have a question, you
  are probably best trying to e-mail the driver author as listed in the

  It was marked obsolete as of the 2.4 series kernels.

  4.40.  SiS (Silicon Integrated Systems)

  SiS have long been in the business of making motherboard chipsets even
  back in the 386 days.  Now they also have some ethernet chips that are
  quite common as well.

  4.40.1.  SiS 900 (7016, 630E, 962)

  Status: Supported, Driver Name: sis900

  This device can be found as a standalone PCI card, or as built-in on
  the motherboard.  The driver has been present since late 2.2 kernels.

  4.41.  SMC (Standard Microsystems Corp.)

  The ethernet part of Western Digital was bought out by SMC many years
  ago when the wd8003 and wd8013 were the main product. Since then SMC
  has continued making 8390 based ISA cards (Elite16, Ultra, EtherEZ)
  and also added several PCI products to their range.

  Contact information for SMC:

  SMC / Standard Microsystems Corp., 80 Arkay Drive, Hauppage, New York,
  11788, USA.  Technical Support via phone: 800-992-4762 (USA) or
  800-433-5345 (Canada) or 516-435-6250 (Other Countries).  Literature
  requests: 800-SMC-4-YOU (USA) or 800-833-4-SMC (Canada) or
  516-435-6255  (Other Countries).  Technical Support via E-mail: FTP Site:  WWW Site: SMC

  4.41.1.  WD8003, SMC Elite

  Status: Supported, Driver Name: wd (+8390)

  These are the 8-bit versions of the card. The 8 bit 8003 is slightly
  less expensive, but only worth the savings for light use. Note that
  some of the non-EEPROM cards (clones with jumpers, or old old old
  wd8003 cards) have no way of reporting the IRQ line used. In this
  case, auto-irq is used, and if that fails, the driver silently assings
  IRQ 5.  You can get the SMC setup/driver disks from SMC's ftp site.
  Note that some of the newer SMC `SuperDisk' programs will fail to
  detect the real old EEPROM-less cards. The file SMCDSK46.EXE seems to
  be a good all-round choice. Also the jumper settings for all their
  cards are in an ASCII text file in the aforementioned archive. The
  latest (greatest?) version can be obtained from

  As these are basically the same as their 16 bit counterparts (WD8013 /
  SMC Elite16), you should see the next section for more information.

  4.41.2.  WD8013, SMC Elite16

  Status: Supported, Driver Name: wd (+8390)

  Over the years the design has added more registers and an EEPROM. (The
  first wd8003 cards appeared about ten years ago!)  Clones usually go
  by the `8013' name, and usually use a non-EEPROM (jumpered) design.
  Late model SMC cards will have the SMC 83c690 chip instead of the
  original Nat Semi DP8390 found on earlier cards.  The shared memory
  design makes the cards a bit faster than PIO cards, especially with
  larger packets.  More importantly, from the driver's point of view, it
  avoids a few bugs in the programmed-I/O mode of the 8390, allows safe
  multi-threaded access to the packet buffer, and it doesn't have a
  programmed-I/O data register that hangs your machine during warm-boot

  Non-EEPROM cards that can't just read the selected IRQ will attempt
  auto-irq, and if that fails, they will silently assign IRQ 10. (8 bit
  versions will assign IRQ 5)

  Cards with a non standard amount of memory on board can have the
  memory size specified at boot (or as an option in /etc/modules.conf if
  using modules).  The standard memory size is 8kB for an 8bit card and
  16kB for a 16bit card.  For example, the older WD8003EBT cards could
  be jumpered for 32kB memory. To make full use of that RAM, you would
  use something like (for I/O=0x280 and IRQ 9):

          LILO: linux ether=9,0x280,0xd0000,0xd8000,eth0

  Also see ``8013 problems'' for some of the more common problems and
  frequently asked questions that pop up often.

  If you intend on using this driver as a loadable module you should
  probably see ``Using the Ethernet Drivers as Modules'' for module
  specific information.

  4.41.3.  SMC Elite Ultra

  Status: Supported, Driver Name: smc-ultra (+8390)

  This ethercard is based on the 83c790 chip from SMC, which has a few
  new features over the 83c690. While it has a mode that is similar to
  the older SMC ethercards, it's not entirely compatible with the old
  WD80*3 drivers. However, in this mode it shares most of its code with
  the other 8390 drivers, while operating slightly faster than a WD8013

  Since part of the Ultra looks like an 8013, the Ultra probe is
  supposed to find an Ultra before the wd8013 probe has a chance to
  mistakenly identify it.

  Donald mentioned that it is possible to write a separate driver for
  the Ultra's `Altego' mode which allows chaining transmits at the cost
  of inefficient use of receive buffers, but that will probably not

  Bus-Master SCSI host adaptor users take note: In the manual that ships
  with Interactive UNIX, it mentions that a bug in the SMC Ultra will
  cause data corruption with SCSI disks being run from an aha-154X host
  adaptor.  This will probably bite aha-154X compatible cards, such as
  the BusLogic boards, and the AMI-FastDisk SCSI host adaptors as well.

  SMC has acknowledged the problem occurs with Interactive, and older
  Windows NT drivers. It is a hardware conflict with early revisions of
  the card that can be worked around in the driver design. The current
  Ultra driver protects against this by only enabling the shared memory
  during data transfers with the card. Make sure your kernel version is
  at least 1.1.84, or that the driver version reported at boot is at
  least smc-ultra.c:v1.12 otherwise you are vulnerable.

  If you intend on using this driver as a loadable module you should
  probably see ``Using the Ethernet Drivers as Modules'' for module
  specific information.

  4.41.4.  SMC Elite Ultra32 EISA

  Status: Supported, Driver Name: smc-ultra32 (+8390)

  This EISA card shares a lot in common with its ISA counterpart.  A
  working (and stable) driver is included in both v2.0 and v2.2 kernels.
  Thanks go to Leonard Zubkoff for purchasing some of these cards so
  that linux support could be added for them.

  4.41.5.  SMC EtherEZ (8416)

  Status: Supported, Driver Name: smc-ultra (+8390)

  This card uses SMC's 83c795 chip and supports the Plug 'n Play
  specification. It also has an SMC Ultra compatible mode, which allows
  it to be used with the Linux Ultra driver.  For best results, use the
  SMC supplied program (avail. from their www/ftp site) to disable PnP
  and configure it for shared memory mode.  See the above information
  for notes on the Ultra driver.

  For v1.2 kernels, the card had to be configured for shared memory
  operation. However v2.0 kernels can use the card in shared memory or
  programmed I/O mode. Shared memory mode will be slightly faster, and
  use less CPU resources as well.

  4.41.6.  SMC EtherPower PCI (8432)

  Status: Supported, Driver Name: de4x5, tulip

  NB: The EtherPower II is an entirely different card. See below!  These
  cards are a basic DEC 21040 implementation, i.e. one big chip and a
  couple of transceivers. Donald has used one of these cards for his
  development of the generic 21040 driver (aka tulip.c). Thanks to Duke
  Kamstra, once again, for supplying a card to do development on.

  Some of the later revisons of this card use the newer DEC 21041 chip,
  which may cause problems with older versions of the tulip driver. If
  you have problems, make sure you are using the latest driver release,
  which may not yet be included in the current kernel source tree.

  See ``DEC 21040'' for more details on using one of these cards, and
  the current status of the driver.

  Apparently, the latest revision of the card, the EtherPower-II uses
  the 9432 chip. It is unclear at the moment if this one will work with
  the present driver. As always, if unsure, check that you can return
  the card if it doesn't work with the linux driver before paying for
  the card.

  4.41.7.  SMC EtherPower II PCI (9432)

  Status: Semi-Supported, Driver Name: epic100

  These cards, based upon the SMC 83c170 chip, are entirely different
  than the Tulip based cards. A new driver has been included in kernels
  v2.0 and v2.2 to support these cards. For more details, see:

  4.41.8.  SMC 1211TX 10/100

  Status: Semi-Supported, Driver Name: 8139too, rtl8139(old)

  Apparently SMC is no longer the same company that brought you cards
  like the Ultra and the EPIC. The chip design part is now called SMSC
  and you will see the SMC name stuck on low end OEM boards like this
  one - a RealTek 8139 with a modified EEPROM.
  4.41.9.  SMC 3008

  Status: Not Supported.

  These 8 bit cards are based on the Fujitsu MB86950, which is an
  ancient version of the MB86965 used in the Linux at1700 driver. Russ
  says that you could probably hack up a driver by looking at the
  at1700.c code and his DOS packet driver for the Tiara card
  (tiara.asm). They are not very common.

  4.41.10.  SMC 3016

  Status: Not Supported.

  These are 16bit I/O mapped 8390 cards, much similar to a generic
  NE2000 card. If you can get the specifications from SMC, then porting
  the NE2000 driver would probably be quite easy.  They are not very

  4.41.11.  SMC-9000 / SMC 91c92/4

  Status: Supported, Driver Name: smc9194

  The SMC9000 is a VLB card based on the 91c92 chip.  The 91c92 appears
  on a few other brand cards as well, but is fairly uncommon.

  4.41.12.  SMC 91c100

  Status: Semi-Supported, Driver Name: smc9194

  The SMC 91c92 driver is supposed to work for cards based on this
  100Base-T chip, but at the moment this is unverified.

  4.41.13.  SMC 9452TX/9462TX

  Status: Supported, Driver Name: ns83820

  4.42.  Sundance

  4.42.1.  Sundance ST201, Alta

  Status: Supported, Driver Name: sundance

  The Sundance Alta chip is used on OEM boards.  It uses bus-master
  transfers, can transmit from and receive into arbitrarily aligned
  buffers, and has a 64 element multicast hash.  All chip versions have
  flow control and ACPI power states.

  4.43.  SysKonnect

  4.43.1.  SysKonnect sk-98xx Gigabit Ethernet

  Status: Supported, Driver Name: sk98

  Early reports indicated that this chipset had a problem with Tx
  checksums, which hurts performance a little.
  4.44.  Texas Instruments

  4.44.1.  ThunderLAN

  Status: Supported, Driver Name: tlan

  This driver covers many Compaq built-in ethernet devices, including
  the NetFlex and Netelligent groups. It also supports the Olicom 2183,
  2185, 2325 and 2326 products.

  4.45.  Thomas Conrad

  4.45.1.  Thomas Conrad TC-5048

  This is yet another PCI card that is based on DEC's 21040 chip.

  See the section on the 21040 chip (``DEC 21040'') for more

  4.46.  VIA

  You probably won't see a VIA networking card, as VIA make several
  networking chips that are then used by others in the construction of
  an ethernet card.  They have a WWW site at:

  4.46.1.  VIA 86C926 Amazon

  Status: Supported, Driver Name: ne, ne2k-pci (+8390)

  This controller chip is VIA's PCI-NE2000 offering. You can choose
  between the ISA/PCI ne.c driver or the PCI-only ne2k-pci.c driver. See
  the PCI-NE2000 section for more details.

  4.46.2.  VIA 86C100A Rhine II (and 3043 Rhine I)

  Status Supported, Driver Name: via-rhine

  This relatively new driver can be found in current 2.0 and 2.1
  kernels.  It is an improvement over the 86C926 NE2000 chip in that it
  supports bus master transfers, but strict 32 bit buffer alignment
  requirements limit the benefit gained from this. For more details and
  driver updates, see:

  4.47.  Western Digital

  Please see ``SMC'' for information on SMC cards. (SMC bought out
  Western Digital's network card section many years ago.)

  4.48.  Winbond

  Winbond don't really make and sell complete cards to the general
  public -- instead they make single chip ethernet solutions that other
  companies buy, stick onto a PCI board with their own name and then
  sell through retail stores.  Some setup programs and tech support is
  available at:

  4.48.1.  Winbond 89c840

  Status: Supported, Driver Name: winbond-840

  This chip has been described as `the mutant spawn of a NE2000 and a
  Tulip clone' -- see the driver notes for more details.  This driver
  also supports the TX9882 chip found on the Compex RL100-ATX.

  4.48.2.  Winbond 89c904, 89c905, 89c906

  Status: Supported, Driver Name: ne (+8390)

  These are Winbond's ISA 10Mbps ne2000 compatible ethernet chips. Setup
  programs are available at the Winbond site.

  4.48.3.  Winbond 89c940

  Status: Supported, Driver Name: ne, ne2k-pci (+8390)

  This chip is one of the two commonly found on the low price PCI ne2000
  cards sold by lots of manufacturers. Note that this is still a 10+
  year old design just glued onto a PCI bus. Performance won't be
  staggeringly better than the equivalent ISA model.

  4.49.  Xircom

  For the longest time, Xircom wouldn't release the programming
  information required to write a driver, unless you signed your life
  away. Apparently enough linux users have pestered them for driver
  support (they claim to support all popular networking operating
  systems...) so that they have changed their policy to allow
  documentation to be released without having to sign a non-disclosure
  agreement. Some people have said they they will release the source
  code to the SCO driver, while others have been told that they are no
  longer providing information on `obsolete' products like the earlier
  PE models.  If you are interested and want to check into this
  yourself, you can reach Xircom at 1-800-874-7875, 1-800-438-4526 or

  4.49.1.  Xircom PE1, PE2, PE3-10B*

  Status: Not Supported.

  Not to get your hopes up, but if you have one of these parallel port
  adaptors, you may be able to use it in the DOS emulator with the
  Xircom-supplied DOS drivers. You will have to allow DOSEMU access to
  your parallel port, and will probably have to play with SIG (DOSEMU's
  Silly Interrupt Generator).

  4.49.2.  Xircom CE, CEM, CE2, CE3

  Status: Supported, Driver Name: xirc2ps_cs

  According to the driver, this supports the CE2, CE IIps, RE-10, CEM28,
  CEM33, CE33, CEM56, CE3-100, CE3B, RE-100, REM10BT, and the

  4.49.3.  Xircom CBE-100

  Status: Supported, Driver Name: xircom_tulip_cb

  A tulip-like implementation on CardBus.

  4.50.  Zenith

  4.50.1.  Z-Note

  Status: Obsolete, Driver Name: znet

  The built-in Z-Note network adaptor is based on the Intel i82593 using
  two DMA channels.  Also note that the IBM ThinkPad 300 is compatible
  with the Z-Note.

  4.51.  Znyx

  4.51.1.  Znyx ZX342 (DEC 21040 based)

  Status: Supported, Driver Name: de4x5, tulip

  You have a choice of two drivers for cards based on this chip. There
  is the DE425 driver written by David, and the generic 21040 driver
  that Donald has written.

  Note that as of 1.1.91, David has added a compile time option that may
  allow non-DEC cards (such as the Znyx cards) to work with this driver.
  Have a look at README.de4x5 for details.

  See ``DEC 21040'' for more information on these cards, and the present
  driver situation.

  4.52.  Identifying an Unknown Card

  Okay, so your uncle's cousin's neighbour's friend had a brother who
  found an old ISA ethernet card in the AT case he was using as a cage
  for his son's pet hampster. Somehow you ended up with the card and
  want to try and use it with linux, but nobody has a clue what the card
  is and there isn't any documentation.

  First of all, look for any obvious model numbers that might give a
  clue. Any model number that contains 2000 will most likely be a NE2000
  clone. Any cards with 8003 or 8013 on them somewhere will be
  Western/Digital WD80x3 cards or SMC Elite cards or clones of them.

  4.52.1.  Identifying the Network Interface Controller

  Look for the biggest chip on the card. This will be the network
  controller (NIC) itself, and most can be identified by the part
  number. If you know which NIC is on the card, the following might be
  able to help you figure out what card it is.

  Probably the most common ISA NIC is the National Semiconductor DP8390
  aka NS32490 aka DP83901 aka DP83902 aka DP83905 aka DP83907.  And
  those are just the ones made by National! Other companies such as
  Winbond and UMC make DP8390 and DP83905 clone parts, such as the
  Winbond 89c904 (DP83905 clone) and the UMC 9090.  If the card has some
  form of 8390 on it, then chances are it is a ne1000 or ne2000 clone
  card. The second most common 8390 based card are wd80x3 cards and
  clones. Cards with a DP83905 can be configured to be an ne2000 or a
  wd8013. Never versions of the genuine wd80x3 and SMC Elite cards have
  an 83c690 in place of the original DP8390. The SMC Ultra cards have an
  83c790, and use a slightly different driver than the wd80x3 cards.
  The SMC EtherEZ cards have an 83c795, and use the same driver as the
  SMC Ultra. All BNC cards based on some sort of 8390 or 8390 clone will
  usually have an 8392 (or 83c692, or ???392) 16 pin DIP chip very close
  to the BNC connector.

  Another common NIC found on older cards is the Intel i82586.  Cards
  having this NIC include the 3c505, 3c507, 3c523, Intel EtherExpress-
  ISA, Microdyne Exos-205T, and the Racal-Interlan NI5210.

  The original AMD LANCE NIC was numbered AM7990, and newer revisions
  include the 79c960, 79c961, 79c965, 79c970, and 79c974.  Most cards
  with one of the above will work with the Linux LANCE driver, with the
  exception of the old Racal-Interlan NI6510 cards that have their own

  Newer PCI cards having a DEC 21040, 21041, 21140, or similar number on
  the NIC should be able to use the linux tulip or de4x5 driver.

  Other PCI cards having a big chip marked RTL8029 or 89C940 or 86C926
  are ne2000 clone cards, and the ne2k-pci driver should automatically
  detect these cards.

  4.52.2.  Identifying the Ethernet Address

  Each ethernet card has its own six byte address that is unique to that
  card. The first three bytes of that address are the same for each card
  made by that particular manufacturer.  For example all SMC cards start
  with 00:00:c0.  The last three are assigned by the manufacturer
  uniquely to each individual card as they are produced.

  If your card has a sticker on it giving all six bits of its address,
  you can look up the vendor from the first three.  However it is more
  common to see only the last three bytes printed onto a sticker
  attached to a socketed PROM, which tells you nothing.

  You can determine which vendors have which assigned addresses from
  RFC-1340. Apparently there is a more up to date listing available in
  various places as well. Try a WWW or FTP search for EtherNet-codes or
  Ethernet-codes and you will find something.

  4.52.3.  Identifying the Card by the FCC ID Number

  As part of the certification process a card typically has to pass
  before being sold to the user, it gets tested by the FCC, and from
  this gets a FCC ID which is supposed to be printed on the card
  somewhere. For example, a card has on it FCC ID: J158013EWC - and this
  card happens to be a SMC/WD8013-EWC. Some web sites like and make use of listings of FCC IDs
  that may help with less obvious ID numbers.  The FCC itself has a
  search tool that may also help, and it is at:

  FCC IDs <>

  4.52.4.  Tips on Trying to Use an Unknown Card

  If you are still not sure what the card is, but have at least narrowed
  it down some, then you can build a kernel with a whole bunch of
  drivers included, and see if any of them autodetect the card at boot.

  If the kernel doesn't detect the card, it may be that the card is not
  configured to one of the addresses that the driver probes when looking
  for a card. In this case, you might want to try getting
  scanport.tar.gz from your local linux ftp site, and see if that can
  locate where your card is jumpered for. It scans ISA I/O space from
  0x100 to 0x3ff looking for devices that aren't registered in
  /proc/ioports. If it finds an unknown device starting at some
  particular address, you can then explicity point the ethernet probes
  at that address with an ether= boot argument.

  If you manage to get the card detected, you can then usually figure
  out the unknown jumpers by changing them one at a time and seeing at
  what I/O base and IRQ that the card is detected at. The IRQ settings
  can also usually be determined by following the traces on the back of
  the card to where the jumpers are soldered through. Counting the `gold
  fingers' on the backside, from the end of the card with the metal
  bracket, you have IRQ 9, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 10, 11, 12, 15, 14 at fingers
  4, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38 respectively.  Eight bit
  cards only have up to finger 31.

  Jumpers that appear to do nothing usually are for selecting the memory
  address of an optional boot ROM. Other jumpers that are located near
  the BNC or RJ-45 or AUI connectors are usually to select the output
  media. These are also typically near the `black box' voltage
  converters marked YCL, Valor, or Fil-Mag.

  A nice collection of jumper settings for various cards can be found at
  the following URL:

  Ethercard Settings <>

  4.53.  Drivers for Non-Ethernet Devices

  There are a few other drivers that are in the linux source that
  present an ethernet-like device to network programs, while not really
  being ethernet. These are briefly listed here for completeness.

  dummy.c - The purpose of this driver is to provide a device to point a
  route through, but not to actually transmit packets.

  eql.c - Load Equalizer, enslaves multiple devices (usually modems) and
  balances the Tx load across them while presenting a single device to
  the network programs.

  ibmtr.c - IBM Token Ring, which is not really ethernet.  Broken-Ring
  requires source routing and other uglies.
  loopback.c - Loopback device, for which all packets from your machine
  and destined for your own machine go.  It essentially just moves the
  packet off the Tx queue and onto the Rx queue.

  pi2.c - Ottawa Amateur Radio Club PI and PI2 interface.

  plip.c - Parallel Line Internet Protocol, allows two computers to send
  packets to each other over two joined parallel ports in a point-to-
  point fashion.

  ppp.c - Point-to-Point Protocol (RFC1331, 1548. 1661), for the
  Transmission of Multi-protocol Datagrams over a Point-to-Point Link
  (again usually modems).

  slip.c - Serial Line Internet Protocol, allows two computers to send
  packets to each other over two joined serial ports (usually via
  modems) in a point-to-point fashion.

  tunnel.c - Provides an IP tunnel through which you can tunnel network
  traffic transparently across subnets

  wavelan.c - An Ethernet-like radio transceiver controlled by the Intel
  82586 coprocessor which is used on other ethercards such as the Intel

  5.  Cables, Coax, Twisted Pair

  If you are starting a network from scratch, you will probably be using
  Cat5 wire for 10/100baseT (twisted pair telco-style cables with RJ-45
  eight wire `phone' connectors).  If you stumble across some old
  surplus 10Base2 thin ethernet (RG58 co-ax cable with BNC connectors)
  it might be suitable for linking a few machines together in a home
  ethernet.  The old-fashioned thick ethernet, RG5 or RG8 cable with N
  connectors is really obsolete and rarely seen anymore.

  See ``Type of cable...'' for an introductory look at cables.  Also
  note that the FAQ from comp.dcom.lans.ethernet has a lot of useful
  information on cables and such. FTP to and look in
  /pub/usenet-by-hierarchy/ for the FAQ for that newsgroup.

  5.1.  Thin Ethernet (thinnet)

  Thinnet (10Base-2) is pretty much obsolete now.  It is fine for
  somebody playing around with a home network and old ISA cards.  There
  are two main drawbacks to using thinnet. The first is that it is
  limited to 10Mb/sec - 100Mb/sec requires twisted pair. The second
  drawback is that if you have a big loop of machines connected
  together, and some bonehead breaks the loop by taking one cable off
  the side of his tee, the whole network goes down because it sees an
  infinite impedance (open circuit) instead of the required 50 ohm
  termination. Note that you can remove the tee piece from the card
  itself without killing the whole subnet, as long as you don't remove
  the cables from the tee itself.  And if you are doing a small network
  of two machines, you still need the tees and the 50 ohm terminators --
  you can't just cable them together!  It is also vital that your cable
  have no `stubs' -- the `T' connectors must be attached directly to the

  5.2.  Twisted Pair

  Twisted pair networks require active hubs, which start around $50.
  You can pretty much ignore claims that you can use your existing
  telephone wiring as it is a rare installation where that turns out to
  be the case.

  On the other hand, all 100Mb/sec ethernet proposals use twisted pair,
  and most new business installations use twisted pair.  The wiring
  should be listed as Category 5.  Anything less than Cat 5 is useless.

  If you are only connecting two machines, it is possible to avoid using
  a hub by purchasing or making a special cross-over or null cable.  But
  note that some cards that try to sense autonegotiation and so on
  expect to be talking to a hub and not another card, and thus may not
  work in this configuration.

  6.  Software Configuration and Card Diagnostics

  For the oldest (or the cheapest) ISA cards, the card settings (I/O,
  IRQ, output media, etc.) were set by little black jumper blocks over
  rows of pins.  As cards got more fancy, these settings were switched
  electronically, and the end user could store the preferred settings in
  non volatile memory built into the card.  A vendor supplied program
  was used by the end user to alter these settings, removing the need to
  open the computer up just to reconfigure a card.

  In most cases, if the configuration is done by software, and stored in
  an EEPROM, you will usually have to boot DOS, and use the vendor
  supplied DOS program to set the cards IRQ, I/O, mem_addr and whatnot.
  Besides, hopefully it is something you will only be setting once. If
  you don't have the DOS software for your card, try looking on the WWW
  site of your card manufacturer. If you don't know the site name, take
  a guess at it, i.e. `' where `my_vendor' is the name
  of your card manufacturer. This works for SMC, 3Com, and many many
  other manufacturers.

  There are some cards for which Linux versions of the config utils
  exist, and they are listed here.  Donald has written a few small card
  diagnostic programs that run under Linux. Most of these are a result
  of debugging tools that he has created while writing the various
  drivers. Don't expect fancy menu-driven interfaces. You will have to
  read the source code to use most of these. Even if your particular
  card doesn't have a corresponding diagnostic, you can still get some
  information just by typing cat /proc/net/dev -- assuming that your
  card was at least detected at boot.

  In either case, you will have to run most of these programs as root
  (to allow I/O to the ports) and you probably want to shut down the
  ethercard before doing so by typing ifconfig eth0 down first.

  6.1.  Configuration Programs for Ethernet Cards

  6.1.1.  WD80x3 Cards

  For people with wd80x3 cards, there is the program wdsetup which can
  be found in wdsetup-0.6a.tar.gz on Linux ftp sites.  It is not being
  actively maintained, and has not been updated for quite a while. If it
  works fine for you then great, if not, use the DOS version that you
  should have got with your card. If you don't have the DOS version, you
  will be glad to know that the SMC setup/driver disks are available at
  SMC's ftp site.  Of course, you have to have an EEPROM card to use
  this utility.  Old, old wd8003 cards, and some wd8013 clones use
  jumpers to set up the card instead.

  6.1.2.  Digital / DEC Cards

  The Digital EtherWorks 3 card can be configured in a similar fashion
  to the DOS program NICSETUP.EXE. David C. Davies wrote this and other
  tools for the EtherWorks 3 in conjunction with the driver. Look on you
  local linux FTP site in the directory
  /pub/linux/system/Network/management for the file that is named

  6.1.3.  NE2000+ or AT/LANTIC Cards

  Some Nat Semi DP83905 implementations (such as the AT/LANTIC and the
  NE2000+) are software configurable. (Note that these cards can also
  emulate a wd8013 card!) You can get the setup file atlantic.c from
  Donald's ftp server, to configure this card.  In
  addition, the configuration programs for the Kingston DP83905 cards
  seem to work with all cards, as they don't check for a vendor specific
  address before allowing you to use them. Start at the following URL:
  Kingston <> and search for the programs

  Be careful when configuring NE2000+ cards, as you can give them bad
  setting values which can cause problems. A typical example is
  accidentally enabling the boot ROM in the EEPROM (even if no ROM is
  installed) to a setting that conflicts with the VGA card. The result
  is a computer that just beeps at you when you turn it on and nothing
  appears on the screen.

  You can typically recover from this by doing the following: Remove the
  card from the machine, and then boot and enter the CMOS setup.  Change
  the `Display Adapter' to `Not Installed' and change the default boot
  drive to `A:' (your floppy drive).  Also change the `Wait for F1 if
  any Error' to `Disabled'.  This way, the computer should boot without
  user intervention.  Now create a bootable DOS floppy (`format a: /s
  /u') and copy the program default.exe from the 20XX12.EXE archive
  above onto that floppy. Then type echo default > a:autoexec.bat so
  that the program to set the card back to sane defaults will be run
  automatically when you boot from this floppy.  Shut the machine off,
  re-install the ne2000+ card, insert your new boot floppy, and power it
  back up. It will still probably beep at you, but eventually you should
  see the floppy light come on as it boots from the floppy. Wait a
  minute or two for the floppy to stop, indicating that it has finished
  running the default.exe program, and then power down your computer.
  When you then turn it on again, you should hopefully have a working
  display again, allowing you to change your CMOS settings back, and to
  change the card's EEPROM settings back to the values you want.

  Note that if you don't have DOS handy, you can do the whole method
  above with a linux boot disk that automatically runs Donald's atlantic
  program (with the right command line switches) instead of a DOS boot
  disk that automatically runs the default.exe program.

  6.1.4.  3Com Cards

  The 3Com Etherlink III family of cards (i.e. 3c5x9) can be configured
  by using another config utility from Donald.  You can get the file
  3c5x9setup.c from Donald's ftp server, to configure
  these cards. (Note that the DOS 3c5x9B config utility may have more
  options pertaining to the new ``B'' series of the Etherlink III

  6.2.  Diagnostic Programs for Ethernet Cards

  Any of the diagnostic programs that Donald has written can be obtained
  from his website.

  Ethercard Diagnostics <>

  Allied Telesis AT1700 -- at1700.c

  Cabletron E21XX -- e21.c

  HP PCLAN+ -- hp+.c

  Intel EtherExpress -- eexpress.c

  PCI NE2000 cards -- ne2k-pci-diag.c

  ISA NE2000 cards -- ne2k.c

  RealTek (ATP) Pocket adaptor atp-diag.c

  All Other Cards -- try typing cat /proc/net/dev and dmesg to see what
  useful info the kernel has on the card in question.

  7.  Technical Information

  For those who want to understand a bit more about how the card works,
  or play with the present drivers, this information should be useful.
  If you do not fall into this category, then perhaps you will want to
  skip this section.

  7.1.  Programmed I/O vs. Shared Memory vs. DMA

  If you can already send and receive back-to-back packets, you just
  can't put more bits over the wire. Every modern ethercard can receive
  back-to-back packets. The Linux DP8390 drivers (wd80x3, SMC-Ultra,
  3c503, ne2000, etc) come pretty close to sending back-to-back packets
  (depending on the current interrupt latency) and the 3c509 and AT1500
  hardware have no problem at all automatically sending back-to-back

  7.1.1.  Programmed I/O (e.g. NE2000, 3c509)

  Pro: Doesn't use any constrained system resources, just a few I/O
  registers, and has no 16M limit.

  Con: Usually the slowest transfer rate, the CPU is waiting the whole
  time, and interleaved packet access is usually difficult to

  7.1.2.  Shared memory (e.g. WD80x3, SMC-Ultra, 3c503)

  Pro: Simple, faster than programmed I/O, and allows random access to
  packets. Where possible, the linux drivers compute the checksum of
  incoming IP packets as they are copied off the card, resulting in a
  further reduction of CPU usage vs. an equivalent PIO card.

  Con: Uses up memory space (a big one for DOS users, essentially a non-
  issue under Linux), and it still ties up the CPU.

  7.1.3.  Bus Master Direct Memory Access (e.g. LANCE, DEC 21040)

  Pro: Frees up the CPU during the data transfer, can string together
  buffers, can require little or no CPU time lost on the ISA bus.  Most
  of the bus-mastering linux drivers now use a `copybreak' scheme where
  large packets are put directly into a kernel networking buffer by the
  card, and small packets are copied by the CPU which primes the cache
  for subsequent processing.

  Con: (Only applicable to ISA bus cards) Requires low-memory buffers
  and a DMA channel for cards. Any bus-master will have problems with
  other bus-masters that are bus-hogs, such as some primitive SCSI
  adaptors. A few badly-designed motherboard chipsets have problems with
  ISA bus-masters.

  7.2.  Performance Implications of Bus Width

  The ISA bus can do 5.3MB/sec (42Mb/sec), which sounds like more than
  enough for 10Mbps ethernet. In the case of the 100Mbps cards, you
  clearly need a faster bus to take advantage of the network bandwidth.
  a 33MHz 32 bit PCI bus can do 133MB/sec which isn't enough for GigE.

  7.2.1.  ISA Eight bit and ISA 16 bit Cards

  You probably will have a hard time buying a new ISA ethercard anymore,
  but you can probably still find some surplus or obsolete cards
  suitable for ``home-ethernet'' systems.  If you want to really go
  retro, you can even use an old half slot 8 bit ISA card, but note most
  of them are 10Base-2.

  Some 8 bit cards that will provide adequate performance for light to
  average use are the wd8003, the 3c503 and the ne1000.  The 3c501
  provides poor performance, and these poor 15 year old relics of the XT
  days should be avoided. (Send them to Alan, he collects them...)

  The 8 bit data path doesn't hurt performance that much, as you can
  still expect to get about 500 to 800kB/s ftp download speed to an 8
  bit wd8003 card (on a fast ISA bus) from a fast host.  And if most of
  your net-traffic is going to remote sites, then the bottleneck in the
  path will be elsewhere, and the only speed difference you will notice
  is during net activity on your local subnet.

  7.2.2.  32 Bit PCI (VLB/EISA) Ethernet Cards

  Obviously a 32 bit interface to the computer is a must for 100Mbps and
  higher networks.  If you get into GigE, then the 133 megabyte/sec PCI
  bus (for 33MHz 32 bit PCI) will still be your limiting factor.

  But an older 10Mbs network doesn't really  require a 32 bit interface.
  See ``Programmed I/O vs. ...'' as to why having a 10Mbps ethercard on
  an 8MHz ISA bus is really not a bottleneck. Even though having a slow
  ethercard on a fast bus won't necessarily mean faster transfers, it
  will usually mean reduced CPU overhead, which is good for multi-user

  7.3.  Performance Implications of Zero Copy

  As network data is sent or received, you can easily imagine it being
  copied to/from the application into kernel memory and from there being
  copied to/from the card memory.  All this data movement takes time and
  CPU resources.  As hinted above in the Bus Master DMA section, a
  properly designed card can cut down on all this copying, and the most
  ideal case would be zero copy of course.  With some of the modern PCI
  cards, zero copy is possible by simply pointing the card at the data
  and essentially saying "get it yourself."  If maximum performance with
  minimum server load is important to you then check to see if your
  hardware and driver will support zero copy.

  7.4.  Performance Implications of Hardware Checksums

  There is no guarantee that your data will travel from computer A to
  computer B without being corrupted.  To make sure the data is OK, the
  sender adds up all the numbers that make up your data, and sends this
  checksum along as well. The receiver recomputes this checksum and
  compares it to the one the sender computed. If the two don't match,
  the receiver knows that the data has been corrupted and it will reject
  the bad data.

  Computing these sums takes time and extra load on the main computer.
  Some of the more fancy cards have the ability to do these Rx and/or Tx
  sums in hardware, which allows the main CPU to offload this task to
  the card.

  Cards that require a data copy don't benefit as much from hardware
  checksums, since the sum operation can be combined into the copy for
  only a minimal additional overhead.  Hence hardware Tx checksums are
  only used in zero copy (i.e. applications using sendfile())
  situations, and so hardware Rx checksums are currently more useful.

  Note that a reasonable computer can saturate a 100BaseT link even when
  doing the copy and checksum itself, so zerocopy/hw-checksum will only
  show up as decreased CPU use.  You would have to go to GigE to see a
  speed increase.

  7.5.  Performance Implications of NAPI (Rx interrupt mitigation)

  When a card receives a packet from the network, what usually happens
  is that the card asks the CPU for attention by raising an interrupt.
  Then the CPU determines who caused the interrupt, and runs the card's
  driver interrupt handler which will in turn read the card's interrupt
  status to determine what the card wanted, and then in this case, run
  the receive portion of the card's driver, and finally exits.

  Now imagine you are getting lots of Rx data, say 10 thousand packets
  per second all the time on some server.  You can imagine that the
  above IRQ run-around into and out of the Rx portion of the driver adds
  up to a lot of overhead.  A lot of CPU time could be saved by
  essentially turning off the Rx interrupt and just hanging around in
  the Rx portion of the driver, since it knows there is pretty much a
  steady flow of Rx work to do.  This is the basic idea of NAPI.

  As of 2.6 kernels, some drivers have a config option to enable NAPI.
  There is also some documentation in the Documentation/networking
  directory that comes with the kernel.

  8.  Miscellaneous.

  Any other associated stuff that didn't fit in anywhere else gets
  dumped here. It may not be relevant, and it may not be of general
  interest but it is here anyway.

  8.1.  Transmit FIFO Buffers and Underrun Errors

  Donald wrote a nice description of what the Tx FIFO does and when an
  error occurs. Here it is:

  Where the hardware supports it, my drivers have dynamic Tx FIFO tuning
  code.  A typical Ethernet chip has a Tx FIFO that holds data from the
  bus before it is transmitted on the wire.  The way this FIFO is
  controlled is important for performance.

  Ideally you would like to start transmitting as soon as the first Tx
  packet data arrives at the chip.  The "Tx FIFO threshold" is a
  parameter that specifies "start transmitting when N bytes have arrived
  at the NIC chip".  This parameter is initially set for a typical
  configuration.  But if a video card or SCSI controller is doing long
  PCI bursts, the NIC chip will run out of buffered data before it can
  get access to the bus again.  This causes a FIFO underrun.

  The driver responds to the FIFO underrun by changing the Tx FIFO
  threshold to a higher value.  If this happens enough eventually the
  chip will end up in store-and-forward mode, where it doesn't start
  transmitting until the whole packet has been transferred.

  Some designs, such as the Adaptec Starfire, go one step further and
  provide an indication that the FIFO almost ran out of data.  This
  allows the driver to tune the setting without risking a Tx error.

  It should be rare to see more than one or two Tx FIFO underruns.
  Either the chip has very coarse Tx threshold settings, or the driver
  increases the setting in large chunks to keep the PCI bursts on
  natural boundaries.

  8.2.  Passing Ethernet Arguments to the Kernel

  Here are two generic kernel commands that can be passed to the kernel
  at boot time (ether and reserve).  This can be done with LILO,
  loadlin, or any other booting utility that accepts optional arguments.

  For example, if the command was `blah' and it expected 3 arguments
  (say 123, 456, and 789) then, with LILO, you would use:
  LILO: linux blah=123,456,789

  These boot time arguments can be made permanent so that you don't have
  to re-enter them every time. Usually this is as simple as adding
  append="blah=123,456,789" to the top of your /etc/lilo.conf file. See
  the LILO documentation for more details.

  For more information on (and a complete list of) boot time arguments,
  please see the BootPrompt-HOWTO

  8.2.1.  The ether  command

  The ether= argument is used in conjunction with drivers that are
  directly built into the kernel. The ether= argument will have
  absolutely no effect on a modular driver.  In its most generic form,
  it looks something like this:


  All arguments are optional.  The first non-numeric argument is taken
  as the NAME.

  IRQ: Obvious.  An IRQ value of `0' (usually the default) means to
  autoIRQ.  It's a historical accident that the IRQ setting is first
  rather than the base_addr -- this will be fixed whenever something
  else changes.

  BASE_ADDR: Also obvious.  A value of `0' (usually the default) means
  to probe a card-type-specific address list for an ethercard.

  PARAM_1: It was orginally used as an override value for the memory
  start for a shared-memory ethercard, like the WD80*3.  Some drivers
  use the low four bits of this value to set the debug message level.  0
  -- default, 1-7 -- level 1..7, (7 is maximum verbosity)  8 -- level 0
  (no messages). Also, the LANCE driver uses the low four bits of this
  value to select the DMA channel.  Otherwise it uses auto-DMA.

  PARAM_2: The 3c503 driver uses this to select between the internal and
  external transceivers.  0 -- default/internal, 1 -- AUI external.  The
  Cabletron E21XX card also uses the low 4 bits of PARAM_2 to select the
  output media. Otherwise it detects automatically.

  NAME: Selects the network device the values refer to.  The standard
  kernel uses the names `eth0', `eth1', `eth2' and `eth3' for bus-
  attached ethercards, and `atp0' for the parallel port `pocket'
  ethernet adaptor. The arcnet driver uses `arc0' as its name.  The
  default setting is for a single ethercard to be probed for as `eth0'.
  Multiple cards can only be enabled by explicitly setting up their base
  address using these LILO parameters.  The 1.0 kernel has LANCE-based
  ethercards as a special case.  LILO arguments are ignored, and LANCE
  cards are always assigned `eth<n>' names starting at `eth0'.
  Additional non-LANCE ethercards must be explicitly assigned to
  `eth<n+1>', and the usual `eth0' probe disabled with something like
  `ether=0,-1,eth0'.  ( Yes, this is bug. )

  8.2.2.  The reserve  command

  This next lilo command is used just like `ether=' above, ie. it is
  appended to the name of the boot select specified in lilo.conf

  In some machines it may be necessary to prevent device drivers from
  checking for devices (auto-probing) in a specific region. This may be
  because of poorly designed hardware that causes the boot to freeze
  (such as some ethercards), hardware that is mistakenly identified,
  hardware whose state is changed by an earlier probe, or merely
  hardware you don't want the kernel to initialize.

  The reserve boot-time argument addresses this problem by specifying an
  I/O port region that shouldn't be probed. That region is reserved in
  the kernel's port registration table as if a device has already been
  found in that region. Note that this mechanism shouldn't be necessary
  on most machines. Only when there is a problem or special case would
  it be necessary to use this.

  The I/O ports in the specified region are protected against device
  probes. This was put in to be used when some driver was hanging on a
  NE2000, or misidentifying some other device as its own.  A correct
  device driver shouldn't probe a reserved region, unless another boot
  argument explicitly specifies that it do so.  This implies that
  reserve will most often be used with some other boot argument. Hence
  if you specify a reserve region to protect a specific device, you must
  generally specify an explicit probe for that device. Most drivers
  ignore the port registration table if they are given an explicit

  For example, the boot line

       LILO: linux  reserve=0x300,32  ether=0,0x300,eth0

  keeps all device drivers except the ethercard drivers from probing

  As usual with boot-time specifiers there is an 11 parameter limit,
  thus you can only specify 5 reserved regions per reserve keyword.
  Multiple reserve specifiers will work if you have an unusually
  complicated request.

  8.3.  Using the Ethernet Drivers as Modules

  Most of the linux distributions now ship kernels that have very few
  drivers built-in.  The drivers are instead supplied as a bunch of
  independent dynamically loadable modules.  These modular drivers are
  typically loaded by the administrator with the modprobe(8) command, or
  in some cases they are automatically loaded by the kernel through
  `kerneld' (in 2.0) or `kmod' (in 2.1) which then calls modprobe.

  Your particular distribution may offer nice graphical configuration
  tools for setting up ethernet modules. If possible you should try and
  use them first. The description that follows here gives information on
  what underlies any fancy configuration program, and what these
  programs change.

  The information that controls what modules are to be used and what
  options are supplied to each module is usually stored in the file
  /etc/modules.conf.  The two main options of interest (for ethernet
  cards) that will be used in this file are alias and options.  The
  modprobe command consults this file for module information.

  The actual modules themselves are typically stored in a directory
  named /lib/modules/`uname -r`/net where the uname -r command gives the
  kernel version (e.g. 2.0.34).  You can look in there to see which
  module matches your card.

  The first thing you need in your modules.conf file is something to
  tell modprobe what driver to use for the eth0 (and eth1 and...)
  network interface.  You use the alias command for this.  For example,
  if you have an ISA SMC EtherEZ card which uses the smc-ultra.o driver
  module, you need to alias this driver to eth0 by adding the line:

          alias eth0 smc-ultra

  Important Note:  The alias above is only used by the module utilities
  to translate a generic device name (e.g.eth0) into a hardware specific
  driver module name.  When the driver loads, it never even sees this
  alias; instead it will simply choose the first free ethN (N=0,1,2,...)
  device name available. Thus, if more than one ethernet module is being
  loaded, the ethN assigned to the driver by the kernel may or may not
  be the same as the one given on the alias line, depending on the order
  in which the modules have been loaded.  If you need to ensure that a
  particular card is given a particular IP address, then read the
  station address and assign your IP address based upon that.  If you
  are writing your own shell scripts for this, you can just parse the
  ifconfig output; if using C, then you would use ioctl(ethfd,

  The other thing you may need is an options line indicating what
  options are to be used with a particular module (or module alias).
  Continuing with the above example, if you only used the single alias
  line with no options line, the kernel would warn you (see dmesg) that
  autoprobing for ISA cards is not a good idea.  To get rid of this
  warning, you would add another line telling the module what I/O base
  the card is configured to, in this case say the hexidecimal address
  0x280 for example.

          options smc-ultra io=0x280

  Most ISA modules accept parameters like io=0x340 and irq=12 on the
  insmod command line. It is REQUIRED or at least STRONGLY ADVISED that
  you supply these parameters to avoid probing for the card. Unlike PCI
  and EISA devices, there is no real safe way to do auto-probing for
  most ISA devices, and so it should be avoided when using drivers as

  A list of all the options that each module accepts can be found in the


  It is recommended that you read that to find out what options you can
  use for your particular card.  Note that some modules support comma
  separated value lists for modules that have the capability to handle
  multiple devices from a single module, such as all the 8390 based
  drivers, and the PLIP driver.  For exmple:

          options 3c503 io=0x280,0x300,0x330,0x350 xcvr=0,1,0,1

  The above would have the one module controlling four 3c503 cards, with
  card 2 and 4 using external transcievers. Don't put spaces around the
  `=' or commas.

  Also note that a busy module can't be removed. That means that you
  will have to ifconfig eth0 down  (shut down the ethernet card) before
  you can remove the module(s).

  The command lsmod will show you what modules are loaded, whether they
  are in use, and rmmod will remove them.

  8.4.  Related Documentation

  Much of this info came from saved postings from the comp.os.linux
  groups, which shows that it is a valuable resource of information.
  Other useful information came from a bunch of small files by Donald
  himself. Of course, if you are setting up an Ethernet card, then you
  will want to read the NET-2 Howto so that you can actually configure
  the software you will use.  Also, if you fancy yourself as a bit of a
  hacker, you can always scrounge some additional info from the driver
  source files as well. There is usually a paragraph or two in there
  describing any important points before any actual code starts..

  For those looking for information that is not specific in any way to
  Linux (i.e. what is 10BaseT, what is AUI, what does a hub do, etc.)  I
  strongly recommend making use of the newsgroup comp.dcom.lans.ethernet
  and/or  Newsgroup archives such
  as those at can also be an invaluable source of
  information.  You can grab the newsgroup FAQ from RTFM (which holds
  all the newsgroup FAQs) at the following URL:

  Usenet FAQs <>

  You can also have a look at the `Ethernet-HomePage' so to speak, which
  is at the following URL:

  Ethernet-HomePage <

  8.5.  Disclaimer and Copyright

  This document is not gospel. However, it is probably the most up to
  date info that you will be able to find. Nobody is responsible for
  what happens to your hardware but yourself. If your ethercard or any
  other hardware goes up in smoke (...nearly impossible!)  we take no

  This document is Copyright (c) 1993-2000 by Paul Gortmaker.
  Permission is granted to make and distribute verbatim copies of this
  manual provided the copyright notice and this permission notice are
  preserved on all copies.

  Permission is granted to copy and distribute modified versions of this
  document under the conditions for verbatim copying, provided that this
  copyright notice is included exactly as in the original, and that the
  entire resulting derived work is distributed under the terms of a
  permission notice identical to this one.

  Permission is granted to copy and distribute translations of this
  document into another language, under the above conditions for
  modified versions.

  A hint to people considering doing a translation.  First, translate
  the SGML source (available via FTP from the HowTo main site) so that
  you can then generate other output formats.  Be sure to keep a copy of
  the original English SGML source that you translated from! When an
  updated HowTo is released, get the new SGML source for that version,
  and then a simple diff -u old.sgml new.sgml will show you exactly what
  has changed so that you can easily incorporate those changes into your
  translated SMGL source without having to re-read or re-translate

  If you are intending to incorporate this document into a published
  work, please make contact (via e-mail) so that you can be supplied
  with the most up to date information available. In the past, out of
  date versions of the Linux HowTo documents have been published, which
  caused the developers undue grief from being plagued with questions
  that were already answered in the up to date versions.

  8.6.  Closing

  In the early days of linux, some ten(!) years ago, there were not a
  lot of drivers and not a lot of users.  I had the time to follow
  individual driver developments, read about common problems in
  newsgroups, and answer posted and e-mailed questions.   Things are a
  lot different now.  There are a huge number of drivers, and a huge
  number of users too, and there is no way I can keep up with each new
  development!   This is where I need your help.  If you have found a
  new driver that isn't mentioned here, or any glaring typos, or
  outdated info in this document, please send an e-mail. It is big, and
  it is easy to overlook stuff. If you have e-mailed about a change, and
  it hasn't been included in the next version, please don't hesitate to
  send it again, as it might have got lost amongst the usual sea of SPAM
  and junk mail I get.


  Paul Gortmaker, p_gortmaker @

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