Ethernet and Mandrake 10.1 Official

Last modified: March, 23rd 2005.

I recently bought a PC that was intended to be a 100% GNU/Linux machine. Waiting for the Mandrake 10.1 Official DVD, I thought it could be interesting to install Mdk 9.2, just to test the hardware compatibility. I must admit I nearly never had a so smoothly running installation. Everything (I need) was recognized, no trouble with neither the graphics nor the ethernet. I thought it will be ok with the coming 10.1, but I wrote on paper all network related parameters because I also had to change the machine IP address.

Turning to 10.1, I first had some trouble with X. The Radeon Saphire 7000 graphics card had to be installed as plain Radeon, instead of the default choice (I do not remember what it was). The OS network update failed during installation, thus leading to conclude that something was wrong there too. Typing ifconfig as root showed that eth0 was not there, even though everything for it seemed to be ok during the boot process. All the parameters (IP number, gateway, DNS server, domain name) were ok.

I went to /etc/modprobe.conf to check for an alias eth0 driver-name line. Nothing. Hopefully, during the parameter checking of the previous installation, I noted the name of the driver, via-rhine. Once an alias eth0 via-rhine line was appended to /etc/modprobe.conf, everything was up and running after reboot.

I find it strange that this kind of thing can happen, because Mandrake people are not newbies in the field. Did my 9.2 installation interfere with what happened during the 10.1 installation ? / and /usr were reformatted. Is it a 10.1 bug ? Is it specific to via-rhine ? Who knows ?

Jean-Marc Nuzillard