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DOXport cable modem on RedHat 6.1 using DHCP

How do I get my cable modem to work with DHCP on Linux?  I set it up as described in the setup manual using Linuxconf to use DHCP.  It lights up the modem, then times out.  My modem works just fine under W98 using DHCP.  I install a DHCP update for RH61 that said it addressed issues like this.  It still doesn't work.  Anyone know what I'm missing?
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Swordfish1
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Swordfish1
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jlevieCommented:
Do you know if your ethernet card is up and running? Does the modem and/or the ethernet card have a link light? If so are they lit? What ether card do you have?
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Swordfish1Author Commented:
Yes the card and the modem both light up and packets both send and receive when it does.  Then it simply times out and never actually works.  I'm finding out that there is a defective pump in release 6.1 and even though I installed the update it still doesn't work.  I even tried to setup static ip and gateway but still no good.
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jlevieCommented:
Okay, can I see the output of "ifconfig -a", please? And again, what ether card ar you using? It might or the driver might need adjusting for Linux.
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Swordfish1Author Commented:
Oh yes, for forgot that.  The nic for the modem is an older 3COM 3c509

ifconfig -a  <- will require a reboot.
I'll do it now.
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Swordfish1Author Commented:
I have the output of ifconfig -a but don't know anyway to get it to you.

It really doesn't show anything that looks usefull.  Can you tell me what you were looking for?
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jlevieCommented:
Sure, I was interested in seeing if there were Tx and Rx packet counts and if there were any counts in the errors, dropped, etc. fields.

Is the NIC perhaps a 3c509b? If so is it in the default PnP mode? If not, do you  what IRQ and I/O port it is congfigured for?
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Swordfish1Author Commented:
All the counters were set at zero.  There has never been any comunications apparently.  It is a 3c509b.  It is not in pnp mode.  And I do know the resources used.  But Linux is seeing them correctly.  I even tried using my Kingston 10/100.  Same results.  I'm certain at this point it has to be RedHat somehow.  I'm going to try suse and I'll repost here the outcome.
Tnanks for the replies.  I need all the help i can get  :)
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jlevieCommented:
How do you know the 3c509b isn't in PnP mode? No traffic into/outof the card is a prime symptom of the card being in PnP mode.

All of those particular cards come with PnP enabled by default and that won't work with Linux. The 3c509b will work just fine with RH 6.1. I've got two RH6.1 systems here at home that all use 3509b's. The card does have to be set up correctly though. If you have the install disks that came with the card the first one of the set has the 3c5x9cfg utility used to configure the card. If you don't have the diskettes, the diskette contents can be downloaded from http://support.3com.com/infodeli/tools/nic/3c509/3c5096.1.htm. The 3c5x9cfg program is on Disk2. You'll need a bootable DOS or win95 floppy to run the tool.

Run 3c5x9cfg, take the card out of PnP mode and do an "Auto Configure". Take a look at the IRQ that was picked. If you don't have a sound card, IRQ 5 is usually safe as is IRQ 10. The rest of the setting should be okay. Save the config to the card. Try a reboot and you'll probably see kudzu (the device scanner/configurator) announce that it's found a new device.  Sometimes you have to go into the bios set up and reserve the IRQ the card has for "Legacy ISA".

When you bring Linux up, try a ping, you should then see some counts in the ifconfig output, and more than likely it will actually work.
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Swordfish1Author Commented:
Yea I have the disks.  3c5x9cfg.exe is how I've always set those up.  I don't have it in PNP mode, that's how I know it isn't in PNP mode.  I guess My question was misleading.  The 3COM card is working fine I'm sure.  I believe it always has been.  This is a DHCP issue between RH6.1 and my ISP somehow.  On the RH site they admit to it but have released an RPM to address this.  But it didn't fix it.  I'm going to try suse.  The other guys on my node that are using Linux said they had to switch to that to get it to work.  I was hoping there was a way to resolve this DHCP issue under this distro but it looks like I'm whipping a dead hourse.  There is one guy that has it working under RH but he is using 6.0 and he my very well still be using the old modem.
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Swordfish1Author Commented:
I wanted to add another thank you for your replies.  I have done already what your talking about.  Linux does see the card just fine.  It lights up and so does the modem attached to it.  I'm using I/O 0300  and IRQ 7 because no others are available on this machine.  My LPT port of course is disabled because of this sinnce I print to a network printer and don't need the port, this free's up IRQ 7 for me to use.  The card passes all diagnostics with this setup.  I'm almost positive the problem has nothing to do with the nic.  It's a DHCP pump issue.  I'm still trying to get it but most likely wont until I get suse 6.3.  Everyone is telling me that will work.  You can read about the broken pump in 6.1 on RH's site.  I though maybe someone would know a manual way to edit something to get this to work but I don't know if that is posible at this point.
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jlevieCommented:
I kinda harped on the 3c509 issue because a misconfigured card is the number one cause of networking problems. You've done it right though, so I agree that it's unlikely to be the problem.

I do know about the pump problem with some of the cable and DSL modems and you are right in that the update doesn't fix it. Red Hat does have dhcp client on the OS CD as an alternative to pump (AFAIK the same client that SUSE uses). It probably would be worthwhile installing the rpm to see if it'll be more compatible. I know that some Linux users who have @home service have actually had to use the ISC DHCP implementation in order to get ad address, dns, and gateway from @home.

Based on the sniffer traces that I've taken of the exchange between a Linux client and one of the problematical cable modems, my reading of the data is that the ISP is using a not fully RFC compliant DHCP implementattion. The packets look like the implementation was done to exactly match what a windows box would see from an NT DHCP server. After debugging problems with the NT DHCP implementation and various non-windows clients I'm not convinced that it is capable of interacting with a fully compliant client either.
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Swordfish1Author Commented:
I wasn't aware of the DHCP client on the CD.  I'm going to try that, thanks.  But I have good news!  I'm posting this reply from my other PC running the same distro without the rpm patch for DHCP installed and it is working great! I'm using the Netscape browser in Linux right now! Now this PC has a Kingston 10/100 PCI nic in it and I thought I would try it with the same setup and it works great!  So your first thoughts may be right still.  My 3com is setup properly for Windows but it appears that the combination of it, Linux and DHCP are not working.  I'd have to say that this still isn't resolved for sure but at least I can see a light at the end of the tunnel  :)
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jlevieCommented:
I suspect that the faulty system is confused by the use of IRQ 7. It should be okay, but it might be trying to load the parport module across that IRQ in addition to the 3c509 module. A quick test would be to change the IRQ and see if it works. If you want to try manually picking it, try 5 if you don't have a sound card or 10. And then you could let 3c5x9cfg pick it. Note that sometimes on PCI motherboards you need to reserve the IRQ for ISA use in the bios.
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Swordfish1Author Commented:
I wasn't aware of the DHCP client on the CD.  I'm going to try that, thanks.  But I have good news!  I'm posting this reply from my other PC running the same distro without the rpm patch for DHCP installed and it is working great! I'm using the Netscape browser in Linux right now! Now this PC has a Kingston 10/100 PCI nic in it and I thought I would try it with the same setup and it works great!  So your first thoughts may be right still.  My 3com is setup properly for Windows but it appears that the combination of it, Linux and DHCP are not working.  I'd have to say that this still isn't resolved for sure but at least I can see a light at the end of the tunnel  :)
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Swordfish1Author Commented:
Right, but like I've already stated in the earlier message that is the whole reason I'm using IRQ7.  There are no others left.  Remember I said I had to disable my LPT port just to free up an available IRQ for the NIC.  Else I wouldn't even be able to install it.

I'm going to buy another nic I think  :)
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jlevieCommented:
I suspected that that might have been the case, but had to offer the suggestion to try the change in case it wasn't. You find joy in a PCI NIC, but I suspect the most fruitful approach would be to try to find a way of reducing the IRQ's being consumed. What all do you have installed in the Box?
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Swordfish1Author Commented:
The latter part is what I think I want to do.  I'm going to setup Linux for a server now too I think in stead of NT.  I'll just setup NAT and let it share the modem on my LAN.  I need to free up resources on this main workstation anyway.  IRQs are:  Video:10, Sound:5, PCI Nic:11, Something is holding 15 (I'd have to reboot to see)  And 9 makes the 3COM say there is a conflict and it wond work on it.  12 isn't an option and my video card wont let go of 10 and use 12.  It stinks.
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jlevieCommented:
IRQ 14 & 15 are typically the Primary and Secondary IDE controllers. If you are only using the Primary you can disable the Secondary in the bios to free up IRQ 15. Is the video a PCI card? If so you may be able to get it to turn loose of 10 by going into the bios and assigned IRQ 10 to ISA mode.

If you've got an old 486 or better laying around you could consider setting it up as a Linux Router. I've started futzing around with the stuff from the Linux Router Project (LRP) and it looks pretty neat. It has certain advantages over a generic Linux installation doing IP Masq. Hardware is minimal, only needing a floppy to run with. You can see the blurb at http://www.linuxrouter.org/.
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Swordfish1Author Commented:
I have all four IDE devices in use.  The video card is a Diamond and therefor requires the use of IRQ 10.
Believe me, I've been through all this  :)
It's a real bite.  I need to streamline this workstation.
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Swordfish1Author Commented:
I believe the router idea sounds best.  I'm going to look into that.  It would free up resouces on all my workstations.
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jlevieCommented:
Yeah LRP looks neat. I've gotten the trivial case (enet<->enet) working and am now futzing around with some of the other things like dhcp server and local nameserver w/forwarding. Only problem so far has been th lack of space on a 1.44 floppy. I found a MB that supports LS120 and am trying to get it set up now.
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Swordfish1Author Commented:
Why not use a hard drive?
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