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tlug: PCMCIA + ftp install

tlug note from "Stephen J. Turnbull" <>
Almost forgot---it's been a busy day.

Thanks to Craig for the tip on rebuilding the kernel + pcmcia
modules.  I eventually got the Ethernet working, so my Sparc is no
longer lonely.  Next I need to get PPP going, but that's not as
pressing as I have several other means of modem connectivity; the
Sparc, with no CD ROM drive or modem, was awfully isolated.

(1) I used Debian; I don't really understand the RedHat process, but
    it doesn't look like you can do anything that the RedHat installer 
    doesn't know how to do (a deficit of the RedHat 2-disk install
    process, I think).  In particular, FTP + PCMCIA doesn't look like
    it's an option.  Debian also has the advantage that boot disks use 
    syslinux instead of LILO; to add a new kernel to the boot disk,
    you just cp it and add a stanza to syslinux.cfg.  (I didn't like
    the idea of mucking with the MBR of my wife's email machine....)
(2) I did rebuild the kernel, upgrading from 2.0.27 to 2.0.29 in the
    process; this really sped up the boot process by eliminating the
    probes for SCSI cards I don't have.
(3) I got the most recent pcmcia stuff off the RedHat 4.1 CD in the
    sunsite archive (thanks again, Craig!).  (Did they really leave
    out all the kernels?  Sheesh.  That's what Linux is all about!)
(4) I built the pcmcia modules on a separate machine in a temporary
    directory hierarchy (this is explicitly provided for in the pcmcia
    configuration process, a nice touch), tarred them up and moved
    them to the notebook.
(5) Of course, this didn't work.  What needed to be done was to fix
    the /etc/conf.modules.  Once I added paths for the pcmcia modules
    to that file, things were fine.

I don't really know how much of it was necessary.  Almost certainly,
rebuilding the kernel had nothing to do with the PCMCIA success.
However, fixing (5) was not enough to fix the 2.0.27 boot process (I
think; I did muck with the rc.d scripts and /etc/sysconfig).  But if
you're in a similar situation, before rebuilding the kernel and moving 
it by floppy or PPP you might just try pointing /etc/conf.modules at
/lib/modules/<version>/pcmcia in the obvious way.  If there is a
problem, it's probably because the Debian distribution kernel is
highly modularized.

I haven't got it running yet, but it looks as though the 3Com 3C56x
LAN+Modem PCMCIA adaptor permits simultaneous use of Ethernet and
modem.  That would be very nice for the HAN.  The Ethernet driver is
the same as the 3C589 (module 3c589_cs.o, uses the Intel controller).

I'll let you know if that works.


                            Stephen J. Turnbull
Institute of Policy and Planning Sciences                    Yaseppochi-Gumi
University of Tsukuba            
Tel: +81 (298) 53-5091;  Fax: 55-3849    
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