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Network unreachable

When I use the kernel that I built from the source for 2.4.18-686, I get the message:

sendto: Network is unreachable

when I try to ping another machine on my network. Using ifconfig, I noticed that eth0 had no IP address assigned. So I did

ifconfig eth0 down

and then

ifconfig eth0 netmask up

At that point, ping worked. So it seems as if dhcp is not working. Is there something in the kernel configuration that is required to make dhcp work? I am still not able to browse the web. I get the message "Could not connect to host ..." no matter what URL I use.

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