ISA network adapter under Debian 2.1 (slink)

abpdk
abpdk used Ask the Experts™
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I'm having a lot of problems trying get an old 486dx2, running Debian 2.1 (slink), to use my (equally old) ISA network adapter.

So far I've been able to load the ne module with options io=0x300 irq=5, but no matter what I try, I cant even get it to ping localhost (127.0.0.1).

How do I make it work?

By the way, the 486 has last been running RedHat 4.2 where the adapter was working perfekt, so I see no reason that it should'nt still work.

//abpdk
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Getting ISA cards to work on Linux can be a bitch let me tell you.  I had the same problem about a year ago using a different flavor of Linux and I couldn't get the card to work to save my life.  Then I tryed RedHat 6.2 and I was able to set it up.  Its possible that Debian 2.1 doesn't have the driver for your ISA card, and your RedHat OS did.  So I would look on the net for a compatible driver.

bW

Author

Commented:
The thing is that it was the same module (ne.o) I used with RedHat so I don't see why this ne could be the wrong module. The wrong version perhaps.

You say I should try looking for a compatible driver (I trust you mean module), but I was under the impression that you had to upgrade the entire kernel in order to upgrade the various modules. If that is the case, then first of all it would probably takes week on this particular machine :) Second off all, I would have to transfer the kernel source by floppy, one piece at the time. And finally, I don't even thing It has enough memory to compile the kernel in the first place.

I read a posting on a news-group somewhere, that this particular machine - an old Ibm "value point" - did'nt like having the ISA network adapters running on io=0x300, because it got mixed up with the build in graphics adapter.

I then tryed to change the io and irq using pnpdump and isapnp, but I could'nt get it to work.

Could I be on the right track, but just unlucky so far?


You seem to be on the right track, I did mean module...windows has me thinking driver.  You don't really upgrade the entire kernel just recompile it, which is a series of yes or no questions.

bW
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Author

Commented:
I have compiled kernels before, so I know the drill, the big question is then how "far" I can upgrade. The reason that I did'nt just install "Potato" or better yet "Woody" (I like ext3) is that the machine is maxed out memory-wize, which with this model means 8MB. I can't even run a modinfo .../ne.o without running out of memory.
Top Expert 2005

Commented:
With ISA cards it is a hard requirement that each IRQ must be used in a unique manner. I.E., there can't be two devices sharing the same IRQ. Have you checked to see that the NIC is configured for a fixed IRQ (5 per the question) and that nothing else is using that IRQ?

Author

Commented:
According to /proc/interrupts there is nothing else running on IRQ 5. How do I check to see if NIC is configured for a fixed IRQ?
>>you cant ping localhost,
do you have n/wing configured properly.
is the "lo" setup? chk fro the ifconfig.

when u modprobe, what can u see inthe kernel messages(dmesg, var/log/messages)?

i had some problems with isa nic. they were detected fine but still wouldnt work.
using the mfg's diag s/w i found that onboard buffer ram had failed.
get hold of the diag s/w from mfg's site. it should tell u correctly if the io port assignment or irq has changed.
Top Expert 2005

Commented:
Which (make/model) NIC do you have. There's a number of cards that use the ne driver. so knowning that doesn't help.
Gabriel OrozcoSolution Architect

Commented:
in order to be able to work with the ne module, you need the 8390 module first.

but when you use the modprobe ne instead the insmod ne, you normally get it working very easy.

you don't need to pass parameters to it, as modprobe probes itself.

Author

Commented:
At the moment, I would love to give you guy's some feedback on your suggestions, but I've run in to a little problem. I've been playing around with pnpdump and isapnp trying to change to IO and IRQ and now, no matter what I try, I get a "Device or resource busy" when trying modprobe ne. With or without paramaters. What have I done :(
Gabriel OrozcoSolution Architect

Commented:
just delete the isapnp.conf or rename it to something else.


also restart :)

Commented:
This doesn't directly address your needs, but don't install slink.  Go ahead and install woody.  By default it still uses a 2.2 kernel so the resource requirements aren't going to kill you (except perhaps hard drive space).  Further, slink will be end of lifed and you won't get critical security updates for it.

If you can't ping localhost, you have other problems.  Make sure the interface is running:  type 'ifup lo' (or 'ifdown lo' and then 'ifup lo'), run 'ifconfig', and make sure it show up.  If not, you may have a seriously broken installation - I think that Debian will install with no networking support if it doesn't find a NIC during install time.

I'm not terribly sure about this either, but I think chances are good that your NIC isn't PNP ... if you still have your old redhat settings, you should find these.  You may have to boot a DOS floppy with the NIC drivers to set it up properly... (or at least most easily).  Maybe you could post the results of a pnpdump after a fresh reboot ...

Author

Commented:
ccurtis>> As I said earlier on, I would love be able to run Woody or even Potato on that machine, but it runs out of memory even before I reach the actual installation menu. I think it says something like "Kernel panic....out of memory".

Redimido>> I've tryed deleting /etc/isapnp.conf but it does'nt help.

Commented:
Sorry - wasn't thinking - /slink/.  But we need more information.  When you do a pnpdump does the adaptor show up?  Can you post what it says?  Have you figured out how to ping localhost yet?  And most importantly: Does the machine have an available PCI slot where can you plug in a $10 PCI NIC?

FWIW: I had success installing Debian 1.3 on an old 8MB (4MB?) Toshiba laptop, then upgrading to Potato (then still unstable).  But we need more hardware info ...

Author

Commented:
Sure thing...

The computer is an old IBM PS/ValuePoint (it says so on the casing). I havent research exactly what components it contain, but I do know that it does'nt have ANY PCI slots (isa only). It has 8x1MB modules (which is max) of the 30-pint type i think.

This is all about getting an old (more or less useless) computer to work and do something useful. I've checked and getting hold of some larger RAM modules could take a while, and turn out to be a more expensive solution than going out and bying a larger - used - computer.
Since last I've gotten an old cd-rom drive to work, but I'm not sure wether or not it will detect it during an installation.
The harddrive is an old IDE 400-420MB. It's the biggest one I have, but when not running an X-server I don't think I need more anyway.

I havent figured out how to ping localhost, and I was under the impression that you had to have a working (ie installed) network adapter to do that.

BTW: 10$ I wish, try twice that! :)

This is a copy of pnpdump's output:

# $Id: pnpdump.c,v 1.16 1998/10/09 22:19:06 fox Exp $
# This is free software, see the sources for details.
# This software has NO WARRANTY, use at your OWN RISK
#
# For details of this file format, see isapnp.conf(5)
#
# For latest information on isapnp and pnpdump see:
# http://www.roestock.demon.co.uk/isapnptools/
#
# Compiler flags: -DREALTIME -DNEEDSETSCHEDULER
#
# Trying port address 0203
# Board 1 has serial identifier 9f d8 e9 00 00 08 90 25 2f

# (DEBUG)
(READPORT 0x0203)
(ISOLATE PRESERVE)
(IDENTIFY *)
(VERBOSITY 2)
(CONFLICT (IO FATAL)(IRQ FATAL)(DMA FATAL)(MEM FATAL)) # or WARNING

# Card 1: (serial identifier 9f d8 e9 00 00 08 90 25 2f)
# Vendor Id KYE9008, Serial Number 3639148544, checksum 0x9F.
# Version 1.0, Vendor version 1.0
# ANSI string -->Genius LAN KE2000 PnP LAN Adapter    

Author

Commented:
Hmm, Is there a limit to how big a posting can be??? Just a sec, there's more...

Author

Commented:
#
# Logical device id KYE9008
#     Device support I/O range check register
#
# Edit the entries below to uncomment out the configuration required.
# Note that only the first value of any range is given, this may be changed if required
# Don't forget to uncomment the activate (ACT Y) when happy

(CONFIGURE KYE9008/3639148544 (LD 0
#     Compatible device id PNP80d6
#     Logical device decodes 16 bit IO address lines
#         Minimum IO base address 0x02b9
#         Maximum IO base address 0x03e0
#         IO base alignment 32 bytes
#         Number of IO addresses required: 32
# (IO 0 (SIZE 32) (BASE 0x02b9))
#     IRQ 5, 10, 11, 12 or 15.
#         High true, edge sensitive interrupt
# (INT 0 (IRQ 5 (MODE +E)))
#     Memory is non-writeable (ROM)
#     Memory is non-cacheable
#     Memory decode supports high address
#     memory is 8-bit only
#     memory is an expansion ROM
#     Minimum memory base address 0x0c0000
#     Maximum memory base address 0x0dc000
#     Range base alignment mask 0xff4000 bytes
#     Range length 16384 bytes
# Choose UPPER = Range, or UPPER = Upper limit to suit hardware
# (MEM 0 (BASE 0x0c0000) (MODE bu) (UPPER 0x0c4000))
# (MEM 0 (BASE 0x0c0000) (MODE br) (UPPER 0x004000))
# (ACT Y)
))
# End tag... Checksum 0x58 (BAD)

# Returns all cards to the "Wait for Key" state
(WAITFORKEY)

Author

Commented:
I've never tryed upgrading any Linux before, but I guess it's worth looking in to...

If you need more hardware info, let me know...

Commented:
Ok ... did you try to uncomment those lines and run it?  I mean, at this point it should be pretty clear, right?  The I/O base is bit confusing, but see if the default works.  If not, add 0x20 (32 bytes) to it and try again.  If that fails, try starting at something divisible by 0x20 (like 0x02c0, 0x02e0, etc.) ... I'm not sure exactly what it's saying (sorry, by the time Linux had PnP I was off to PCI).

Regarding localhost, slink stores the configuration old-style in /etc/init.d/network or /etc/init.d/networking.  You simply need to make sure there's a line in there that says:

ifconfig lo 127.0.0.1

And you should be able to ping it.  You also need to add these entries into your /etc/hosts file:

127.0.0.1    localhost
192.168.1.1  myhostname.my.domain

but I'm assuming you know this already from your previous comments.  If not, there ya go.

Regarding upgrading, you need to find a version of apt for slink.  I believe if you look on the CD there is a .deb for it, but it is not installed by default, nor does it appear as an install option.  If you want to try to upgrade, you're probably in for some fun ... jumping two releases is asking for trouble.  :)  You can try to find an aptable potato or just risk it - do it right after the install and there's not much risk.  The key thing will be to install the latest apt first by itself, and then do an apt-get dist-upgrade (to stable - don't push your luck too far at first, you can upgrade again later).  The most important thing that I can recall is that after the upgrade, you'll want to delete the network(ing) script and use the file /etc/network/interfaces for interface configuration.  There will be a debconf notice about it for you.  You should probably upgrade debconf by itself after you upgrade apt, and configure it to email everything to you - there will be a lot of changes.

I bought two NICs for $7.77 ea, though I'm sure they made up for it in shipping.  If you're in the US, I highly the Computer Geeks, http://www.computergeeks.com/ (dammit - they have my $7.77 NIC for $5! and an ISA token ring for 45 cents :p )

HTH
the genius lan adaptor seems to be in PnP mode. it causes some problem. get hold of the setup utility and put the card in the nonpnp (ne compatible mode).
it should work.
i have utility for the genius GE2000 card. if that works, i can send....

Author

Commented:
Sure, just send it to abp@mail1.stofanet.dk
i'll do it tomorrow....
any luck with these???

Author

Commented:
I've tryed it but without much luck, so I went and switched the board with another ISA adapter (RTL8019AS) and with the utility disk I found for that card, I've been able to set the IO and IRQ to whatever I want, so Linux now accepts the card using modprobe (and yes it automatically loads 8390.o).

Funny (not) though it still wo'nt ping either localhost or any other IP address, it just spits out:
ping: sendto: Network unreachable
ping: wrote localhost 64 chars, ret=-1
...
It does however not report any timeouts or other error according to dmesg.
give op of "ip route show"
and "ifconfig"

Author

Commented:
I don't know if I should laugh or cry!!!

I added "ne io=0x280" (the new IO address) to /etc/modules and suddenly it can ping the gateway, it can ping addresses on the internet and it can access computers on the LAN. It can ping anything BUT IT STILL CANT PING LOCALHOST!!!

Here is cut'n'paste of ifconfig.

lo        Link encap:Local Loopback  
          inet addr:127.0.0.1  Bcast:127.255.255.255  Mask:255.0.0.0
          UP BROADCAST LOOPBACK RUNNING  MTU:3584  Metric:1
          RX packets:0 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
          TX packets:0 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
          Collisions:0

eth0      Link encap:Ethernet  HWaddr 00:C0:26:DE:52:A9  
          inet addr:192.168.0.75  Bcast:192.168.0.255  Mask:255.255.255.0
          UP BROADCAST RUNNING MULTICAST  MTU:1500  Metric:1
          RX packets:42 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
          TX packets:5 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
          Collisions:0
          Interrupt:15 Base address:0x280

I'm not sure what you mean bu "ip show route".

Author

Commented:
BTW: It writes this during startup:

SIOCADDRT: Network is unreachable
Top Expert 2005

Commented:
What does 'netstat -nr' show?
Gabriel OrozcoSolution Architect

Commented:
please also post the output of the command "route"

Author

Commented:
Kernel IP routing table
Destination     Gateway         Genmask         Flags   MSS Window  irtt Iface
192.168.0.0     0.0.0.0         255.255.255.0   U      1500 0          0 eth0
0.0.0.0         192.168.0.1     0.0.0.0         UG     1500 0          0 eth0

Author

Commented:
Kernel IP routing table
Destination     Gateway         Genmask         Flags Metric Ref    Use Iface
localnet        *               255.255.255.0   U     0      0        1 eth0
default         klp             0.0.0.0         UG    1      0        1 eth0

The gateway alias klp is present in /etc/hosts
Gabriel OrozcoSolution Architect

Commented:
everything looks fine to me.

still you cannot ping 127.0.0.1 ?
or you are trying to "ping localhost" ?
if this is what you are trying to do, just add
127.0.0.1   localhost
as other line in your /etc/hosts

what you were needing was to ping outside, because it means you are working. the localhost issue is not as relevant now, right? :)

Author

Commented:
Yes, technically it is working now but it would be great if I could get the localhost situation sorted out to. "127.0.0.1 localhost" is already present in /etc/hosts and I can't even ping 127.0.0.1 "directly".
Top Expert 2005
Commented:
Hmm, your routing table doesn't have a route to the localhost network, which xplains the ping failure. I'm not sure how that could happen, but a quick check of the functionality of the lo interface would be to do:

route add -net 127.0.0.0

and then see if a ping works.

Author

Commented:
Wow, you're right. It worked...YEAH!!! :)

Now, how does this work? I feel you've all contributed more or less equally so is it even possible to split the points?

Commented:
I don't even know what points are for, so feel free to give any you may have given to me to whomever you want.  :)

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