I have purchased a DFE 530+ TX card which I have installed on a RH-9 self-built system with non-state-of-the-art components (only 256 MB of memory, for ex). The card was recognized on boot and I was prompted to input an IP address (as opposed to migrating the configuration from an older 3Com card that failed). The IP I provided is not reflected in /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ifcfg-eth0, but no matter, the Readme file for the card says that I need to compile the driver and insert is as a module before binding the card to an IP. I should note that the installation instructions are for RH-6 which may be obsolete for this install!
Anyway I compiled using the instructions at the end of the rtl8139.c file per the Readme instructions. The errors were first, that I should compile using the correct options (the -06 was not recognized, presumably because that refers to RH6) and then there were parse errors and finally "dereferencing pointer to incomplete type." I tried using the Makefile, which was not addressed in the readme file, but none of its instructions were recognized. I tried to insert the driver as a module using insmod, but the rtl8139.o file that was supposed to be generated by the compilation does not exist/wasn't generated.
I checked the errors again and tried to recompile, first trying to clean up what I had done with a "make clean." However the response to the make clean attempt was "rm -f core *.o, *.a, *.s and *.1st" so I'm thinking that I was supposed to remove files I wasn't prepared to look for. When I recompiled using -O instead of -06 I got rid of the options error, but I also saw that it was an "error to build against a currently running kernel."
The compilation instructions in the rtl8139.c file were:
gcc -DMODULE -D__KERNEL__ -Wall -Wstrict-prototypes -06 -c rtl8139.c `[ -f /usr/include/linux/modversions.h ] && echo -DMODVERSIONS`
When I attempted to recompile, I changed the path to [ -I /usr/src/linux/include/modversions.h ] in response to an error I saw. I didn't see that error again, but there were lots more parsing and dereferencing errors as mentioned above.
It seems like you need a PHd to install a LAN card on Linux, or at minimum some serious tutorials. I was initially planning on buying a 3Com card at CompUSA but the price differential was so big ($80 as opposed to $20) that I opted for the cheaper card. Pls let me know the next step, thanks.