Linux Ethernet-Howto

Posted on 7:08 PM by Bharathvn

This is the Ethernet-Howto, which is a compilation of information
about which ethernet devices can be used for Linux, and how to set
them up. Note that this Howto is focused on the hardware and low
level driver aspect of the ethernet cards, and does not cover the
software end of things like ifconfig and route. That information is
found in various other Linux documentation.

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.

1.1. New Versions of this Document

New versions of this document can be retrieved from:


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, , 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, , 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 ... window

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.

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' names starting at `eth0'.
Additional non-LANCE ethercards must be explicitly assigned to
`eth', 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:


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.