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Any NIC recommendations?

Nathan Pruett
Bartender

Joined: Oct 18, 2000
Posts: 4121

Hey everyone,
I have two computers, one M$ Windoze, one dual boot Mandrake/M$. I'm going to be experimenting with setting up a network between them ( actually I'm just going to use 2 NICs and a crossover cable... ) and wondered if anyone could recommend a good network card that would setup and work well under this configuration for both M$ and Mandrake... ( The other M$ only computer has an HP 10/100 ethernet card that came with it... has anyone had experience with these, and will it be okay to use or should I replace it? )
Thanks in advance!
-Nate


-Nate
Write once, run anywhere, because there's nowhere to hide! - /. A.C.
Frank Carver
Sheriff

Joined: Jan 07, 1999
Posts: 6920
Almost any NIC older than a few months should work OK with any recent Linux version. In most cases Linux will autodetect it OK, but sometimes you eill need to know the details of the actual chipset on the NIC to tell Linux which one to use. For example my Netgear FA310 is known to Linux as a "tulip" card.
Loads of 10baseT ISA cards are available for virtually nothing on the surplus market as the corporates upgrade to 100baseT, and make a good starting point for Linux networking.


Read about me at frankcarver.me ~ Raspberry Alpha Omega ~ Frank's Punchbarrel Blog
Nathan Pruett
Bartender

Joined: Oct 18, 2000
Posts: 4121

Frank,
Thanks for replying...
Why only NICs older than a few monthes? Are they coming out with WinEthernet Adapters ( like WinModems )? Or are you simply stating that the drivers may not be available?
Yeah, I know about the cheapness of 10BaseT cards... but since my other comp. already has a 10/100 card, I would rather go all the way to 100Mbs... and from what I have seen alot of 10/100 NICs are pretty cheap now too... ~$20 or lower for some cards... Is there any reason to stay at 10Mbs? Is it easier to set up a 10Mbs network under Linux/Samba than a 100Mbs network?
This is also my first time setting up a network so hopefully everything will work out okay... I will try to get the two computers speaking together in Windows first... then try for a Samba connection in Linux... then I am going to try to be able to get an Internet connection on the Linux machine through the other machine... (cross your fingers!)
Thanks,
-Nate
Frank Carver
Sheriff

Joined: Jan 07, 1999
Posts: 6920
It's just a driver issue. What happens is that drivers are made available fairly quickly as each new card is released, but they take longer to find thir way into well-known distributions and FAQs, so it is harder to work out what driver to use, and where to get it.
There should be no particular difference between 10MB and 100MB networking, except the issue of older cards often being easier to install. One thing I would recommend is that you get simpler protocols set up first, before going for SAMBA. If you can set configure and test ping, then telnet, then Apache or another HTTP server you can be sure that basic TCP/IP networking is working before you get into muddling around with SAMBA config files and windows network protocols.
Nathan Pruett
Bartender

Joined: Oct 18, 2000
Posts: 4121

Well, it's taken me about a week, but I finally have my network working in Windows...
Alot of the problem was that I bought a Netgear FA311 card... bad choice... Netgear changed their chipset around with this card and I couldn't even get it to install in Windows correctly, and when I went to look for troubleshooting info on the web I found out that even though it says that it is compatible with Linux on the box that for anything over v.5.0 that you have to recompile the kernal... I really don't think that it's worth that...
So I returned the Netgear card for a generic CompUSA card ( that was ~$5 cheaper ) which I figured would be a bit more generic, and sure enough, I got it home and with a bit of messing around got it to work great with both my Win98 computers. Now I just have to reinstall Linux and see if I can get it set up correctly in there... the CompUSA disk actually came with Linux ( and several other OS ) drivers too, even though it didn't mention this on the box! ( Linux was uninstalled because I formatted my hard drive to reinstall windows 98 during the Netgear FA311 fiasco, I thought that it might be a problem with the old version of Win98 that I had installed on that computer. )
As a side note, it also took awhile because, even after I got the network working correctly yesterday, I went and installed Micorsoft Internet Connection Sharing... big mistake! I went through the little Internet Connection Sharing Wizard... it took a little while to set it up on my main comp., then told me to insert a disk... it made a disk that could be used on my other comp. to configure browsers on the other comp. to look on the main comp. for an Internet connection. So I intall the disk in the other comp. and run IE... I haven't dialed in on the main comp., so I don't get a connection, but I also don't have IE launching Internet Connection Wizard, so I figure it is set up OK... I think, "This is the first time that something that Microsoft has done is relatively easy and hasn't messed up my computer..." Big mistake. I go to play some games on my main comp. and am planning on testing the Internet Connection Sharing soon... 10 min. later I notice that the screensaver has not come on the other computer... when I go to check, it's locked up... when I reboot, it acts like it's not connected to the network anymore... ( Nightmare... because the FA311 card did this same thing... ) So I reinstall drivers, set up protocols, File Sharing, etc. all over again... Nothing works... then, I go over to my main comp. and look at the network settings... The stupid Internet Connection Sharing Wizard had screwed my TCP/IP settings all up!!! So, I removed everything relating to Internet Connection Sharing and reset-up TCP/IP settings... finally the network was OK... I was done ( or so I thought... )... I pushed the sleep button on the computer... and right away the screen flashed up saying that "A program or driver that is installed is preventing your computer from going into sleep mode." Or some such garbage... so I had to uninstall even more crap that M$ "wizards" had installed to my hard drive.... Wish me more luck than this in getting it to work in Linux...
Thanks,
-Nate
P.S. - I had Mandrake 6.5 installed previously... however, I just got Caldera OpenLinux... which should I go with this time?
Frank Carver
Sheriff

Joined: Jan 07, 1999
Posts: 6920
I wish you'd mentioned that you had a FA311, we had a big discussion here about thi scard and its problems only a few weeks ago. We probably could have saved you a lot of heartache.
Which distro you choose doesn't really matter. I'd probably go with Mandrake, but that's just because I've never tried Caldera.
 
 
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