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pci modem

Posted on 2000-04-13
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is there any way to get a pci modem to work in linux? the support team for TurboLinux said linux only works with ISA modems.
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Question by:napalm20001
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by:napalm20001
ID: 2714280
Adjusted points from 50 to 75
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by:kiffney
ID: 2714312
Any modem that isn't a 'winmodem' (says something like 'especially for WINDOWS' on the box) should work - ISA or PCI. What kind of modem is it?  Examine the output of 'dmesg' and look for  a line about the 'serial driver' and under that, something like 'ttyS00 at 0x03F8 (irq=4) is a 16550A' (you may see ttyS1, too, etc).  Use minicom, set the serial port options to use ttyS0, then type 'at' then hit enter.  If nothing happens (you don't see 'OK' come back) then change the port to  ttyS1, try again.  One of these is your modem.  If you get a response then you have a modem that should work under Linux.  If you get no response from a port where you know there's a modem, then yes, you won't be able to use that modem with linux.
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by:jlevie
ID: 2714438
Actually, most PCI modems don't work under Linux, yet. From the Modem-Howto (http://howto.tucows.com/LDP/HOWTO/Modem-HOWTO.html) section 2.5:

"Unfortunately, it seems that most PCI modems will not work under Linux but efforts are underway to support some of them. See PCI Bus Yet Supported."

The reference points to section 6.1, whaich says:

"The kernel 2.2 serial driver contains no support for the PCI bus. But kernels 2.3 and 2.4 will eventually support some PCI serial cards (and modem cards).Most PCI cards need special support in the driver. The driver will read the id number digitally stored on the card to determine  how (or if) to support the card. If you have a PCI card which you are convinced is not a winmodem but it will not work, you can help in attempting to create a driver for it. To do this you'll need to contact the maintainer of the serial driver, Theodore (Ted) Y. Ts'o"

So I'd say the TurboLinux folks are correct.
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by:kiffney
ID: 2714463
jlevie is right.  my only excuse here is that I've seen pci modems that had a real uart and processor and assumed that since they weren't host-processor modems, that linux would support them.  I'll be quiet now(!)
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by:napalm20001
ID: 2714483
well, it's a rockwell pci v90 modem, i don't think it's a winmodem
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by:jlevie
ID: 2714770
kiffney, don't take it too seriously. Most people do assume that anything that's not a winmodem is gonna work. And the PCI cards will work later. It's just that the drivers don't yet know how to deal with the PCI bus (or how to ID the card).
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by:napalm20001
ID: 2716775
so, what your saying is that I have to buy a different modem, external?

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jlevie earned 75 total points
ID: 2718409
Yep, you need a different modem. It doesn't have to be an external. An ISA modem card will work, but there are some other advantages to an external. It works through the existing serial ports, so a special driver to talk to the hardware isn't needed. It also provides a bit more electrical isolation between the phone line and your hardware. That's a nice feature if you live in an area frequented by thunderstorms. And finally, there is no doubt as to the modem being a "dreaded winmodem". The very nature of a winmodem precludes its implemention as an external serial device.
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