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  1. #1

    setting up an ISA nic card

    I recently installed slackware 4.0 on an old 486DX2 computer that I have in the basement. And with my surprise it runs quite well. I planned to use this system to serve web pages on my local network for testing purposes only.

    I am quite new to Linux let alone setting up an ISA nic on an old computer running Linux. I presume I will have to set up a lot of the settings manually in order for it to work. I know the nic card worked under Windows 95 with some tweaking with the IRQ's but I donít remember them off hand. This was many years ago.

    So my question is.. How would I go about doing this? I presume that I would need to know the ip address of the computer, the subnet mask and gateway. I do know the subnet mask and the gateway, but I donít know the ip address my router would assign the computer thatís running Linux considering that different computers are on at different times. So I would also presume that no ip address is static correct?

    I am currently under my main computer running windows xp.
    My network settings are as follows

    IP address:
    subnet mask:
    default gateway:

    To make things more complicated, I have 5 computers on my network. But at any given time only 2 or at most 3 are running. I have to have the computers downstairs connected through a switch, which in turn is connected to my router upstairs due to the fact that my router only has 4 ports and I needed that extra port for the 5th computer.

    To make my long winded question longer.. I also need to install the correct driver for my nic card, which I know nothing about. I donít know what model or even what brand name. I would think I would have to open up the box to have a look and see what I have got. Unless thereís another way of finding out?

    I have been googling it up for quite some time but have only come across limited information that would be helpful to me. So pretty much I am at square one with nothing set up on my Linux box. (network wise) Any help would be greatly appreciated.


  2. #2
    Trusted Penguin Dapper Dan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    The Sovereign State of South Carolina
    Most of us are too young to remember Slackware 4 and ISA cards but I'll give it a shot.
    Keep in mind though that I'm not sure at all how much Slackware 4 is like newer versions. To find out the make, model and version of your card try...
    Unless Slackware 4 had a "/sbin/lsisa."
    Also, to set ip, dhcp and such try:
    If you're wanting to run it just as a webserver, I'd recommend going with a later version. 10.1 and 10.2 are very stable.
    Linux Mint + IceWM Registered: #371367 New Members: click here

  3. #3
    Linux Enthusiast
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    ISA network cards are more difficult to set up than their PCI counterparts becuase you miss out on some autoconfiguration.

    A lot of old network cards were ne2000 compatible, so you could try the ne driver. You may need to specify the IRQ and the IO address though.

    A common IRQ for network cards is 9, and you could try pnpdump to find the IO address.

    To load the module use

    /sbin/insmod ne irq=9,io=0x<number from pnpdump>
    Note the use of 0x before the io address to indicate the number is in hexadecimal. I didn't know that beforehand and I spent (literally) weeks trying to make the settings I knew were correct work.

    If the ne2000 driver doesn't work then unless pnpdump gave you something useful then you will probably have to take the lid off and see what you've got installed.

    Hope this helps
    To be good, you must first be bad. "Newbie" is a rank, not a slight.

  4. $spacer_open
  5. #4
    Thanks a lot. I'll give it a whirl and let you know what happens.

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