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Debian's PCMCIA support is weak and buggy


I just got a new IBM thinkpad yesterday, along with a Linksys Combo
PCMCIA ethercard (NE2000-compat).

First, it turns out that the boot disks that come with the 1.3.1 CD
have no support on them, and the latest boot disks on the FTP site
appear to have support but it doesn't work at all.  Go figure.

Then, the PCMCIA packages on the bo CD are broken (conflicting, etc.)
The ones in bo on the FTP site aren't much better.

Finally, I managed, by shuffling a lot of floppies, to get to a
minimal hamm situation with custom-compiled pcmcia-modules (the
pcmcia-source in hamm won't compile with 2.0.33 without modifications, 
BTW) and kernel.  At that point, PCMCIA works fairly well.

However, PCMCIA card services get started way too late in the boot
procedure.  For instance, /etc/init.d/network runs before PCMCIA
realizes that there is an ethernet card in the computer, so
/etc/init.d/network of course fails miserably.

In all, it took several hours of work by a competant hacker (me <g>)
but a novice would probably not be able to get it working.


John Goerzen
Southwind Internet Access, Inc,
Business e-mail: jgoerzen@southwind.net

Personal e-mail: jgoerzen@complete.org
Wichita State University e-mail: jgoerzen@cs.twsu.edu
Developer, Debian GNU/Linux    <http://www.debian.org>

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