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Re: Ethernet support on Linux for Alpha pc164

On Wed, 26 Nov 1997, Jorge David Ortiz Fuentes wrote:

> 	I have booted my alpha pc164 with the Debian distribution and installed
> the drivers and base disks. I had a 3Com 900 ethernet card  previously
> installed.  After installing the base disks the system didn't reboot
> properly; I had to reset it manually. When restarting it didn't find my
> ethernet card, so I can not install Debian by ftp.

Hmm...regarding the reset problem, did it do this before installation?
I have only a UDB, so I'm not too familiar with PC164 issues, but I've
heard similar things from some RedHat users.

> 1) The 3C900 card is PCI 32 and it is installed in a PCI 64 slot. Does
> it matter?

It *shouldn't* matter, but again, I don't know much about the PC164's.

> 2) Is this card supported by the alpha version of the Linux kernel?

Supposedly, there is, but I've heard alot more "it doesn't work" stories
regarding the 3Com cards on Alphas than success stories.  Then again,
those stories are again from RedHat people. I don't know of anyone using
Debian on their Alpha that has a 3Com card, though.  If it is any
encouragement, we seem to have less kernel-related problems than RedHat
does (at least in 4.2) because of the glibc version we use. So it's
possible that a module compiled under Debian will do a better job at
supporting the card.  You may want to try that approach (module
compilation of the current 3c59x/3c90x driver) to see if it helps...
I suggest a module because it saves you from having to recompile the
kernel a bunch of times and/or from having to pass boot arguments in case
you need to.

> 3) Does the standard alpha kernel support any ethernet card?

Yes, in theory, all of the NICs supported under Linux-Intel are supported
on the Alpha as well, albeit not many have been tested on the Alpha.


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