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5. Vendor/Manufacturer/Model Specific Information

The following lists many cards in alphabetical order by vendor name and then product identifier. Beside each product ID, you will see either `Supported', `Semi-Supported' or `Not Supported'.

Supported means that a driver for that card exists, and many people are happily using it and it seems quite reliable.

Semi-Supported means that a driver exists, but at least one of the following descriptions is true: (1) The driver and/or hardware are buggy, which may cause poor performance, failing connections or even crashes. (2) The driver is new or the card is fairly uncommon, and hence the driver has seen very little use/testing and the driver author has had very little feedback. Obviously (2) is preferable to (1), and the individual description of the card/driver should make it clear which one holds true. In either case, you will probably have to answer `Y' when asked ``Prompt for development and/or incomplete code/drivers?'' when running make config.

Not Supported means there is not a driver currently available for that card. This could be due to a lack of interest in hardware that is rare/uncommon, or because the vendors won't release the hardware documentation required to write a driver.

Note that the difference between `Supported' and `Semi-Supported' is rather subjective, and is based on user feedback observed in newsgroup postings and mailing list messages. (After all, it is impossible for one person to test all drivers with all cards for each kernel version!!!) So be warned that you may find a card listed as semi-supported works perfectly for you (which is great), or that a card listed as supported gives you no end of troubles and problems (which is not so great).

5.1 3Com

If you are not sure what your card is, but you think it is a 3Com card, you can probably figure it out from the assembly number. 3Com has a document `Identifying 3Com Adapters By Assembly Number' (ref 24500002) that would most likely clear things up. See Technical Information from 3Com for info on how to get documents from 3Com.

Also note that 3Com has a FTP site with various goodies: that you may want to check out.

For those of you browsing this document by a WWW browser, you can try 3Com's WWW site as well.


Status -- Semi-Supported

Too brain-damaged to use. Available surplus from many places. Avoid it like the plague. Again, do not purchase this card, even as a joke. It's performance is horrible, and it breaks in many ways.

For those not yet convinced, the 3c501 can only do one thing at a time -- while you are removing one packet from the single-packet buffer it cannot receive another packet, nor can it receive a packet while loading a transmit packet. This was fine for a network between two 8088-based computers where processing each packet and replying took 10's of msecs, but modern networks send back-to-back packets for almost every transaction.

AutoIRQ works, DMA isn't used, the autoprobe only looks at 0x280 and 0x300, and the debug level is set with the third boot-time argument.

Once again, the use of a 3c501 is strongly discouraged! Even more so with a IP multicast kernel, as you will grind to a halt while listening to all multicast packets. See the comments at the top of the source code for more details.

3c503, 3c503/16

Status -- Supported

If you have a 3c503/16 you may be interested to know that as of 1.3.37 the driver has the facility to use the full 16kB RAM on your card. Previous versions treated the 16bit cards as 8bit cards, and only used half of the available RAM. This update also detects the newer 3Com prefix found on newly manufactured cards mentioned below.

Recently made 3c503/16 cards have a new base hardware address because 3Com ran out of numbers (they made too many cards!) The cards used to start with 02 60 8C and the newer ones use 00 20 AF. Up to 1.3.37, the driver will only check for the old address, and skip over the newer cards. You can upgrade to a kernel newer than 1.3.37, or change the numbers in 3c503.c for older kernels.

These cards should be about the same speed as the same bus width WD80x3, but turn out to be actually a bit slower. The 3c503 does not have ``EEPROM setup'', so a diagnostic/setup program isn't needed before running the card with Linux. The shared memory address of the 3c503 is set using jumpers that are shared with the boot PROM address. This is confusing to people familiar with other ISA cards, where you always leave the jumper set to ``disable'' unless you have a boot PROM.

These shared-memory ethercards also have a programmed I/O mode that doesn't use the 8390 facilities (their engineers found too many bugs!) The Linux 3c503 driver can also work with the 3c503 in programmed-I/O mode, but this is slower and less reliable than shared memory mode. Also, programmed-I/O mode is not as well tested when updating the drivers. You shouldn't use the programmed-I/O mode unless you need it for MS-DOS compatibility.

The 3c503's IRQ line is set in software, with no hints from an EEPROM. Unlike the MS-DOS drivers, the Linux driver has capability to autoIRQ: it uses the first available IRQ line in {5,2/9,3,4}, selected each time the card is ifconfig'ed. (Older driver versions selected the IRQ at boot time.) The ioctl() call in `ifconfig' will return EAGAIN if no IRQ line is available at that time.

Some common problems that people have with the 503 are discussed in Problems with....

If you intend on using this driver as a loadable module you should probably see Using the Ethernet Drivers as Modules and also 8390 Based Cards as Modules for module specific information.


Status -- Semi-Supported

This is a driver that was written by Craig Southeren These cards also use the i82586 chip. There are not that many of these cards about. It is included in the standard kernel, but it is classed as an alpha driver. See Alpha Drivers for important information on using alpha-test ethernet drivers with Linux.

There is also the file /usr/src/linux/drivers/net/README.3c505 that you should read if you are going to use one of these cards. It contains various options that you can enable/disable. Technical information is available in Programming the Intel chips.


Status -- Semi-Supported

This card uses one of the Intel chips, and the development of the driver is closely related to the development of the Intel Ether Express driver. The driver is included in the standard kernel release, but as an alpha driver.

See Alpha Drivers for important information on using alpha-test ethernet drivers with Linux. Technical information is available in Programming the Intel chips.

3c509 / 3c509B

Status -- Supported

This card is fairly inexpensive and has good performance for a non-bus-master design. The drawbacks are that the original 3c509 requires very low interrupt latency. The 3c509B shouldn't suffer from the same problem, due to having a larger buffer. (See below.) These cards use PIO transfers, similar to a ne2000 card, and so a shared memory card such as a wd8013 will be more efficient in comparison.

The original 3c509 has a small packet buffer (4kB total, 2kB Rx, 2kB Tx), causing the driver to occasionally drop a packet if interrupts are masked for too long. To minimize this problem, you can try unmasking interrupts during IDE disk transfers (see man hdparm) and/or increasing your ISA bus speed so IDE transfers finish sooner.

The newer model 3c509B has 8kB on board, and the buffer can be split 4/4, 5/3 or 6/2 for Rx/Tx. This setting is changed with the DOS configuration utility, and is stored on the EEPROM. This should alleviate the above problem with the original 3c509.

3c509B users should use the supplied DOS utility to disable the plug and play support, and to set the output media to what they require. The linux driver currently does not support the Autodetect media setting, so you have to select 10Base-T or 10Base-2 or AUI. With regards to the media detection features, Cameron said: ``Autoselect is a feature of the commercial drivers for 3C509(B). AFAIK nobody ever claimed the Linux driver attempts it. When drivers/net/3c509.c recognizes my 3C509B at boot time, it says: eth0: 3c509 at 0x300 tag 1, 10baseT port, ... revealing that the card is configured for 10BASE-T. It finds that out by reading the little EEPROM, which IMHO is the Right Way To Do It.''

As for the plug-and-pray stuff, Cameron adds: ``The 3C509B has 3Com's relocatable I/O port scheme, and Microsofttm Plug-and-play ("PnP"). You can't use them both at the same time. Some (broken, IMHO) BIOSes begin a PnP sequence by writing to the PnP address (0x279 ?), which causes PnP adapters like 3C509B to enter the PnP state, but then they (these funny BIOSes) never come back to finish the job. The 3C509Bs hang there in the middle of the PnP ID Sequence, where they have no idea you didn't mean it and you're going to use the 3Com ID sequence after all. 3C5X9CFG /PNPRST clears this hang. Disable PnP if your drivers (eg., Linux) don't use it.

It was a marketing decision to turn PnP on as a factory default setting. If it caused you a hassle, or not, please take the time to say so when you mail in your warranty card. The more info they have, the better decisions they can make. Also, check with your motherboard supplier to see if you need a BIOS upgrade.''

It has been reported that you have to do a hard reset after doing the `3C5X9CFG /PNPRST' for the change to take effect.

Some people ask about the ``Server or Workstation'' and ``Highest Modem Speed'' settings presented in the DOS configuration utility. Donald writes ``These are only hints to the drivers, and the Linux driver does not use these parameters: it always optimizes for high throughput rather than low latency (`Server'). Low latency was critically important for old, non-windowed, IPX throughput. To reduce the latency the MS-DOS driver for the 3c509 disables interrupts for some operations, blocking serial port interrupts. Thus the need for the `modem speed' setting. The Linux driver avoids the need to disable interrupts for long periods by operating only on whole packets e.g. by not starting to transmit a packet until it is completely transferred to the card.''

Note that the ISA card detection uses a different method than most cards. Basically, you ask the cards to respond by sending data to an ID_PORT (port 0x100). This detection method means that a particular card will always get detected first in a multiple ISA 3c509 configuration. The card with the lowest hardware ethernet address will always end up being eth0. This shouldn't matter to anyone, except for those people who want to assign a 6 byte hardware address to a particular interface. If you have multiple 3c509 cards, it is best to append ether=0,0,ethN commands without the i/o port specified (i.e. use i/o=zero) and allow the probe to sort out which card is first, otherwise it may not detect all your cards.

If this really bothers you, have a look at Donald's latest driver, as you may be able to use a 0x3c509 value in the unused mem address fields to order the detection to suit.


Status -- Not Supported

This is 3Com's farily recent ISA 100Mbps offering, codenamed ``CorkScrew''. Donald is working on support for these cards, and it will probably appear in the near future on his WWW driver page. The driver will be incorporated into the 3c59x/3c90x driver, so you should probably expect to look for it on the Vortex page:



Status -- Semi-Supported

This MCA bus card uses the i82586, and Chris Beauregard has modified the ni52 driver to work with these cards. The driver for it can be found in the v2.1 kernel source tree.

More details can be found on the MCA-Linux page at


Status -- Not Supported

Yes, another MCA card. No, not too much interest in it. Better chances with the 3c529 if you are stuck with MCA.


Status -- Semi-Supported

This card actually uses the same chipset as the 3c509. Donald actually put hooks into the 3c509 driver to check for MCA cards after probing for EISA cards, and before probing for ISA cards. But it hasn't evolved much further than that. Donald writes:

``I don't have access to a MCA machine (nor do I fully understand the probing code) so I never wrote the mca_adaptor_select_mode() or mca_adaptor_id() routines. If you can find a way to get the adaptor I/O address that assigned at boot time, you can just hard-wire that in place of the commented-out probe. Be sure to keep the code that reads the IRQ, if_port, and ethernet address.''

Darrell Frappier ( reports that you can get the i/o address from running the PS/2 reference diskette, and once you put that directly into the driver, it does actually work.

The required MCA probe code will probably appear in the driver in a development kernel sometime soon, now that MCA support is in the kernel.

More details can be found on the MCA-Linux page at


Status -- Supported

This PCMCIA card is the combination of a 3c589B ethernet card with a modem. The modem appears as a standard modem to the end user. The only difficulty is getting the two separate linux drivers to share one interrupt. There are a couple of new registers and some hardware interrupt sharing support. You need to use a v2.0 or newer kernel that has the support for interrupt sharing.

As a side note, the modem part of the card has been reported to be not well documented for the end user (the manual just says `supports the AT command set') and it may not connect as well as other name brand modems. The recommendation is to buy a 3c589B instead, and then get a PCMCIA modem card from a company that specializes in modems.

Thanks again to Cameron for getting a sample unit and documentation sent off to David Hinds. Look for support in David's PCMCIA package release.

See PCMCIA Support for more info on PCMCIA chipsets, socket enablers, etc.


Status -- Not Supported

A driver for this PCMCIA card is under development and hopefully will be included in David's PCMCIA package within a few months.


Status -- Supported

The EISA version of the 509. The current EISA version uses the same 16 bit wide chip rather than a 32 bit interface, so the performance increase isn't stunning. Make sure the card is configured for EISA addressing mode. Read the above 3c509 section for info on the driver.

3c589 / 3c589B

Status -- Semi-Supported

Many people have been using this PCMCIA card for quite some time now. Note that support for it is not (at present) included in the default kernel source tree. You will also need a supported PCMCIA controller chipset. There are drivers available on Donald's ftp site:

Or for those that are net-surfing you can try:

Don's PCMCIA Stuff

You will still need a PCMCIA socket enabler as well.

See PCMCIA Support for more info on PCMCIA chipsets, socket enablers, etc.

The "B" in the name means the same here as it does for the 3c509 case.

3c590 / 3c595

Status -- Supported

These ``Vortex'' cards are for PCI bus machines, with the '590 being 10Mbps and the '595 being 3Com's 100Mbs offering. Also note that you can run the '595 as a '590 (i.e. in a 10Mbps mode). The driver is included in the v2.0 kernel source, but is also continually being updated. If you have problems with the driver in the v2.0 kernel, you can get an updated driver from the following URL:


Note that there are two different 3c590 cards out there, early models that had 32kB of on-board memory, and later models that only have 8kB (eeccch!) of memory. Chances are you won't be able to buy a new 3c59x for much longer, as it is being replaced with the 3c90x card. If you are buying a used one off somebody, try and get the 32kB version. The 3c595 cards have 64kB, as you can't get away with only 8kB RAM at 100Mbps!

A thanks to Cameron Spitzer and Terry Murphy of 3Com for sending cards and documentation to Donald so he could write the driver.

Donald has set up a mailing list for Vortex driver support. To join the list, just do:

echo subscribe | /bin/mail

3c592 / 3c597

Status -- Supported

These are the EISA versions of the 3c59x series of cards. The 3c592/3c597 (aka Demon) should work with the vortex driver discussed above.

3c900 / 3c905

Status -- Supported

These cards (aka `Boomerang', aka EtherLink III XL) have been recently released to take over the place of the 3c590/3c595 cards. Cameron Spitzer of 3Com writes that the ``3C900 has a scatter gather bus master controlled by a descriptor ring in main memory. Aside from that, it's a lot like 3C590.''

You may still be able to get a couple of these cards at a reduced price through one of 3Com's evaluation deals, if you are quick.

To use this card with v2.0 kernels, you must obtain the updated 3c59x.c driver from Donald's site at:


This updated 3c59x driver allows you to use the 3c900 in a 3c59x compatible mode, and has been reported to be quite stable. Note that this updated driver may be snuck into the v2.0 source tree at a later date.)

On the same WWW page, you will also find the experimental boomerang.c driver which uses some of the enhancements of the 3c900 over that which is available on the 3c59x cards. Since this is a new/experimental driver, you may be better off in using the updated 3c59x.c if system stability is a primary concern.

Donald has set up a mailing list for Vortex driver support announcements and etc. To join the list, just do:

echo subscribe | /bin/mail

5.2 Accton

Accton MPX

Status -- Supported

Don't let the name fool you. This is still supposed to be a NE2000 compatible card. The MPX is supposed to stand for MultiPacket Accelerator, which, according to Accton, increases throughput substantially. But if you are already sending back-to-back packets, how can you get any faster...

Accton EN1203, EN1207, EtherDuo-PCI

Status -- Supported

This is another implementation of the DEC 21040 PCI chip. The EN1207 card has the 21140, and also has a 10Base-2 connector, which has proved troublesome for some people in terms of selecting that media. Using the card with 10Base-T and 100Base-T media have worked for others though. So as with all purchases, you should try and make sure you can return it if it doesn't work for you.

See DEC 21040 for more information on these cards, and the present driver situation.

Accton EN2209 Parallel Port Adaptor (EtherPocket)

Status -- Semi-Supported

A driver for these parallel port adapters is available but not yet part of the 2.0 or 2.1 kernel source. You have to get the driver from:

Accton EN2212 PCMCIA Card

Status -- Semi-Supported

David Hinds has been working on a driver for this card, and you are best to check the latest release of his PCMCIA package to see what the present status is.

5.3 Allied Telesyn/Telesis


Status --Supported

These are a series of low-cost ethercards using the 79C960 version of the AMD LANCE. These are bus-master cards, and hence one of the faster ISA bus ethercards available.

DMA selection and chip numbering information can be found in AMD LANCE.

More technical information on AMD LANCE based Ethernet cards can be found in Notes on AMD....


Status -- Supported

Note that to access this driver during make config you still have to answer `Y' when asked ``Prompt for development and/or incomplete code/drivers?'' at the first. This is simply due to lack of feedback on the driver stability due to it being a relatively rare card. This will probably be changed for v2.1 kernels.

The Allied Telesis AT1700 series ethercards are based on the Fujitsu MB86965. This chip uses a programmed I/O interface, and a pair of fixed-size transmit buffers. This allows small groups of packets to be sent back-to-back, with a short pause while switching buffers.

A unique feature is the ability to drive 150ohm STP (Shielded Twisted Pair) cable commonly installed for Token Ring, in addition to 10baseT 100ohm UTP (unshielded twisted pair). A fibre optic version of the card (AT1700FT) exists as well.

The Fujitsu chip used on the AT1700 has a design flaw: it can only be fully reset by doing a power cycle of the machine. Pressing the reset button doesn't reset the bus interface. This wouldn't be so bad, except that it can only be reliably detected when it has been freshly reset. The solution/work-around is to power-cycle the machine if the kernel has a problem detecting the AT1700.

Some production runs of the AT1700 had another problem: they are permanently wired to DMA channel 5. This is undocumented, there are no jumpers to disable the "feature", and no driver dares use the DMA capability because of compatibility problems. No device driver will be written using DMA if installing a second card into the machine breaks both, and the only way to disable the DMA is with a knife.


Status -- Supported

This is the PCI version of the AT1500, and it doesn't suffer from the problems that the Boca 79c970 PCI card does. Allied Telsyn was still `beta testing' the card in early/mid 1995, so it may not have spread to various retailers yet (but it doesn't hurt to ask.)

DMA selection and chip numbering information can be found in AMD LANCE.

More technical information on AMD LANCE based Ethernet cards can be found in Notes on AMD....

5.4 AMD / Advanced Micro Devices

Carl Ching of AMD was kind enough to provide a very detailed description of all the relevant AMD ethernet products which helped clear up this section.

AMD LANCE (7990, 79C960/961/961A, PCnet-ISA)

Status -- Supported

There really is no AMD ethernet card. You are probably reading this because the only markings you could find on your card said AMD and the above number. The 7990 is the original `LANCE' chip, but most stuff (including this document) refer to all these similar chips as `LANCE' chips. (...incorrectly, I might add.)

These above numbers refer to chips from AMD that are the heart of many ethernet cards. For example, the Allied Telesis AT1500 (see AT1500) and the NE1500/2100 (see NE1500) use these chips.

The 7990/79c90 have long been replaced by newer versions. The 79C960 (a.k.a. PCnet-ISA) essentially contains the 79c90 core, along with all the other hardware support required, which allows a single-chip ethernet solution. The 79c961 (PCnet-ISA+) is a jumperless Plug and Play version of the '960. The final chip in the ISA series is the 79c961A (PCnet-ISA II), which adds full duplex capabilities. All cards with one of these chips should work with the lance.c driver, with the exception of very old cards that used the original 7990 in a shared memory configuration. These old cards can be spotted by the lack of jumpers for a DMA channel.

One common problem people have is the `busmaster arbitration failure' message. This is printed out when the LANCE driver can't get access to the bus after a reasonable amount of time has elapsed (50us). This usually indicates that the motherboard implementation of bus-mastering DMA is broken, or some other device is hogging the bus, or there is a DMA channel conflict. If your BIOS setup has the `GAT option' (for Guaranteed Access Time) then try toggling/altering that setting to see if it helps.

Also note that the driver only looks at the addresses: 0x300, 0x320, 0x340, 0x360 for a valid card, and any address supplied by an ether= boot argument is silently ignored (this will be fixed) so make sure your card is configured for one of the above I/O addresses for now.

The driver will still work fine, even if more than 16MB of memory is installed, since low-memory `bounce-buffers' are used when needed (i.e. any data from above 16MB is copied into a buffer below 16MB before being given to the card to transmit.)

The DMA channel can be set with the low bits of the otherwise-unused dev->mem_start value (a.k.a. PARAM_1). (see PARAM_1) If unset it is probed for by enabling each free DMA channel in turn and checking if initialization succeeds.

The HP-J2405A board is an exception: with this board it's easy to read the EEPROM-set values for the IRQ, and DMA.

See Notes on AMD... for more info on these chips.

AMD 79C965 (PCnet-32)

Status -- Supported

This is the PCnet-32 -- a 32 bit bus-master version of the original LANCE chip for VL-bus and local bus systems. chip. While these chips can be operated with the standard lance.c driver, a 32 bit version (lance32.c) is also available that does not have to concern itself with any 16MB limitations associated with the ISA bus.

AMD 79C970/970A (PCnet-PCI)

Status -- Supported

This is the PCnet-PCI -- similar to the PCnet-32, but designed for PCI bus based systems. Please see the above PCnet-32 information. This means that you need to build a kernel with PCI BIOS support enabled. The '970A adds full duplex support along with some other features to the original '970 design.

Note that the Boca implementation of the 79C970 fails on fast Pentium machines. This is a hardware problem, as it affects DOS users as well. See the Boca section for more details.

AMD 79C971 (PCnet-FAST)

Status -- Supported

This is AMD's 100Mbit chip for PCI systems, which also supports full duplex operation. It was introduced in June 1996.

AMD 79C974 (PCnet-SCSI)

Status -- Supported

This is the PCnet-SCSI -- which is basically treated like a '970 from an Ethernet point of view. Also see the above information. Don't ask if the SCSI half of the chip is supported -- this is the Ethernet-HowTo, not the SCSI-HowTo.

5.5 Ansel Communications


Status -- Semi-Supported

Note that to access this driver during make config you still have to answer `Y' when asked ``Prompt for development and/or incomplete code/drivers?'' at the first. This is simply due to lack of feedback on the driver stability due to it being a relatively rare card.

This driver is included in the present kernel as an alpha test driver. It is based on the common NS8390 chip used in the ne2000 and wd80x3 cards. Please see Alpha Drivers in this document for important information regarding alpha drivers.

If you use it, let one of us know how things work out, as feedback has been low, even though the driver has been in the kernel since v1.1.25.

If you intend on using this driver as a loadable module you should probably see Using the Ethernet Drivers as Modules and also 8390 Based Cards as Modules for module specific information.

5.6 Apricot

Apricot Xen-II On Board Ethernet

Status -- Supported

This on board ethernet uses an i82596 bus-master chip. It can only be at i/o address 0x300. The author of this driver is Mark Evans. By looking at the driver source, it appears that the IRQ is hardwired to 10.

Earlier versions of the driver had a tendency to think that anything living at 0x300 was an apricot NIC. Since then the hardware address is checked to avoid these false detections.

5.7 Arcnet

Status -- Supported

With the very low cost and better performance of ethernet, chances are that most places will be giving away their Arcnet hardware for free, resulting in a lot of home systems with Arcnet.

An advantage of Arcnet is that all of the cards have identical interfaces, so one driver will work for everyone. It also has built in error handling so that it supposedly never loses a packet. (Great for UDP traffic!)

Avery Pennarun's arcnet driver has been in the default kernel sources since 1.1.80. The arcnet driver uses `arc0' as its name instead of the usual `eth0' for ethernet devices. Bug reports and success stories can be mailed to:

There are information files contained in the standard kernel for setting jumpers and general hints.

Supposedly the driver also works with the 100Mbs ARCnet cards as well!

5.8 AT&T

Note that AT&T's StarLAN is an orphaned technology, like SynOptics LattisNet, and can't be used in a standard 10Base-T environment, without a hub that `speaks' both.

AT&T T7231 (LanPACER+)

Status -- Not Supported

These StarLAN cards use an interface similar to the i82586 chip. At one point, Matthijs Melchior ( was playing with the 3c507 driver, and almost had something useable working. Haven't heard much since that.

5.9 AT-Lan-Tec / RealTek

AT-Lan-Tec / RealTek Pocket adaptor

Status -- Supported

This is a generic, low-cost OEM pocket adaptor being sold by AT-Lan-Tec, and (likely) a number of other suppliers. A driver for it is included in the standard kernel. Note that there is substantial information contained in the driver source file `atp.c'.

Note that the device name that you pass to ifconfig is not eth0 but atp0 for this device.

RealTek 8029

Status -- Supported

This is a PCI single chip implementation of a NE2000 clone. Various vendors are now selling cards with this chip. See NE2000-PCI for information on using any of these cards.

RealTek 8129/8139

Status -- Semi-Supported

Another PCI single chip ethernet solution from RealTek. A driver for cards based upon this chip is due to be included in the v2.0.34 release of linux. For more information, see:

5.10 Boca Research

Yes, they make more than just multi-port serial cards. :-)


Status -- Supported

These cards are based on AMD's PCnet chips. Perspective buyers should be warned that many users have had endless problems with these cards. Owners of fast Pentium systems have been especially hit. Note that this is not a driver problem, as it hits DOS/Win/NT users as well. Boca's technical support number is (407) 241-8088, and you can also reach them at

Donald did a comparitive test with the above Boca PCI card and a similar Allied Telsyn PCnet/PCI implementation, which showed that the problem lies in Boca's implementation of the PCnet/PCI chip. These test results can be accessed on Don's www server.

Linux at CESDIS

Boca is offering a `warranty repair' for affected owners, which involves adding one of the missing capacitors, but it appears that this fix doesn't work 100 percent for most people, although it helps some.

If you are still thinking of buying one of these cards, then at least try and get a 7 day unconditional return policy, so that if it doesn't work properly in your system, you can return it.

More general information on the AMD chips can be found in AMD LANCE.

More technical information on AMD LANCE based Ethernet cards can be found in Notes on AMD....

5.11 Cabletron

Donald writes: `Yes, another one of these companies that won't release its programming information. They waited for months before actually confirming that all their information was proprietary, deliberately wasting my time. Avoid their cards like the plague if you can. Also note that some people have phoned Cabletron, and have been told things like `a D. Becker is working on a driver for linux' -- making it sound like I work for them. This is NOT the case.'

If you feel like asking them why they don't want to release their low level programming info so that people can use their cards, write to Tell them that you are using Linux, and are disappointed that they don't support open systems. And no, the usual driver development kit they supply is useless. It is just a DOS object file that you are supposed to link against. Which you aren't allowed to even reverse engineer.

E10**, E10**-x, E20**, E20**-x

Status -- Semi-Supported

These are NEx000 almost-clones that are reported to work with the standard NEx000 drivers, thanks to a ctron-specific check during the probe. If there are any problems, they are unlikely to be fixed, as the programming information is unavailable.


Status -- Semi-Supported

Again, there is not much one can do when the programming information is proprietary. The E2100 is a poor design. Whenever it maps its shared memory in during a packet transfer, it maps it into the whole 128K region! That means you can't safely use another interrupt-driven shared memory device in that region, including another E2100. It will work most of the time, but every once in a while it will bite you. (Yes, this problem can be avoided by turning off interrupts while transferring packets, but that will almost certainly lose clock ticks.) Also, if you mis-program the board, or halt the machine at just the wrong moment, even the reset button won't bring it back. You will have to turn it off and leave it off for about 30 seconds.

Media selection is automatic, but you can override this with the low bits of the dev->mem_end parameter. See PARAM_2. Module users can specify an xcvr=N value on the insmod command line to do the same.

Also, don't confuse the E2100 for a NE2100 clone. The E2100 is a shared memory NatSemi DP8390 design, roughly similar to a brain-damaged WD8013, whereas the NE2100 (and NE1500) use a bus-mastering AMD LANCE design.

There is an E2100 driver included in the standard kernel. However, seeing as programming info isn't available, don't expect bug-fixes. Don't use one unless you are already stuck with the card.

If you intend on using this driver as a loadable module you should probably see Using the Ethernet Drivers as Modules and also 8390 Based Cards as Modules for module specific information.


Status -- Semi-Supported

According to information in a Cabletron Tech Bulletin, these cards use the standard AMD PC-Net chipset (see AMD PC-Net) and should work with the generic lance driver.

5.12 Cogent

Here is where and how to reach them:

        Cogent Data Technologies, Inc.
        175 West Street, P.O. Box 926
        Friday Harbour, WA 98250, USA.

        Cogent Sales
        15375 S.E. 30th Place, Suite 310
        Bellevue, WA 98007, USA.

        Technical Support:
        Phone (360) 378-2929 between 8am and 5pm PST
        Fax (360) 378-2882
        Compuserve GO COGENT
        Bulletin Board Service (360) 378-5405


Status -- Semi-Supported

These cards use the SMC 91c100 chip and may work with the SMC 91c92 driver, but this has yet to be verified.

Cogent eMASTER+, EM100-PCI, EM400, EM960, EM964

Status -- Supported

These are yet another DEC 21040 implementation that should hopefully work fine with the standard 21040 driver.

The EM400 and the EM964 are four port cards using a DEC 21050 bridge and 4 21040 chips.

See DEC 21040 for more information on these cards, and the present driver situation.

5.13 Compaq

Compaq aren't really in the business of making ethernet cards, but a lot of their systems have embedded ethernet controllers on the motherboard.

Compaq Deskpro / Compaq XL (Embedded AMD Chip)

Status -- Supported

Machines such as the XL series have an AMD 79c97x PCI chip on the mainboard that can be used with the standard LANCE driver. But before you can use it, you have to do some trickery to get the PCI BIOS to a place where Linux can see it. Frank Maas was kind enough to provide the details:

`` The problem with this Compaq machine however is that the PCI directory is loaded in high memory, at a spot where the Linux kernel can't (won't) reach. Result: the card is never detected nor is it usable (sideline: the mouse won't work either) The workaround (as described thoroughly in is to load MS-DOS, launch a little driver Compaq wrote and then load the Linux kernel using LOADLIN. Ok, I'll give you time to say `yuck, yuck', but for now this is the only working solution I know of. The little driver simply moves the PCI directory to a place where it is normally stored (and where Linux can find it).''

More general information on the AMD chips can be found in AMD LANCE.

5.14 Danpex

Danpex EN9400

Status -- Supported

Yet another card based on the DEC 21040 chip, reported to work fine, and at a relatively cheap price.

See DEC 21040 for more information on these cards, and the present driver situation.

5.15 D-Link

DE-100, DE-200, DE-220-T, DE-250

Status -- Supported

Some of the early D-Link cards didn't have the 0x57 PROM signature, but the ne2000 driver knows about them. For the software configurable cards, you can get the config program from The DE2** cards were the most widely reported as having the spurious transfer address mismatch errors with early versions of linux. Note that there are also cards from Digital (DEC) that are also named DE100 and DE200, but the similarity stops there.


Status -- Supported

This is a PCI card using the PCI version of AMD's LANCE chip. DMA selection and chip numbering information can be found in AMD LANCE.

More technical information on AMD LANCE based Ethernet cards can be found in Notes on AMD....


Status -- Supported

This is a generic DEC 21040 PCI chip implementation, and is reported to work with the generic 21040 tulip driver.

See DEC 21040 for more information on these cards, and the present driver situation.


Status -- Supported

Laptop users and other folk who might want a quick way to put their computer onto the ethernet may want to use this. The driver is included with the default kernel source tree. Bjorn Ekwall wrote the driver. Expect about 180kb/s transfer speed from this via the parallel port. You should read the README.DLINK file in the kernel source tree.

Note that the device name that you pass to ifconfig is now eth0 and not the previously used dl0.

If your parallel port is not at the standard 0x378 then you will have to recompile. Bjorn writes: ``Since the DE-620 driver tries to sqeeze the last microsecond from the loops, I made the irq and port address constants instead of variables. This makes for a usable speed, but it also means that you can't change these assignements from e.g. lilo; you _have_ to recompile...'' Also note that some laptops implement the on-board parallel port at 0x3bc which is where the parallel ports on monochrome cards were/are.


Status -- Supported

Same as the DE-600, only with two output formats. Bjorn has written a driver for this model, for kernel versions 1.1 and above. See the above information on the DE-600.


Status -- Semi-Supported

Some people have been using this PCMCIA card for some time now with their notebooks. It is a basic 8390 design, much like a NE2000. The LinkSys PCMCIA card and the IC-Card Ethernet (available from Midwest Micro) are supposedly DE-650 clones as well. Note that at present, this driver is not part of the standard kernel, and so you will have to do some patching.

See PCMCIA Support in this document, and if you can, have a look at:

Don's PCMCIA Stuff

5.16 DFI

DFINET-300 and DFINET-400

Status -- Supported

These cards are now detected (as of 0.99pl15) thanks to Eberhard Moenkeberg who noted that they use `DFI' in the first 3 bytes of the prom, instead of using 0x57 in bytes 14 and 15, which is what all the NE1000 and NE2000 cards use. (The 300 is an 8 bit pseudo NE1000 clone, and the 400 is a pseudo NE2000 clone.)

5.17 Digital / DEC

DEPCA, DE100/1, DE200/1/2, DE210, DE422

Status -- Supported

As of linux v1.0, there is a driver included as standard for these cards. It was written by David C. Davies. There is documentation included in the source file `depca.c', which includes info on how to use more than one of these cards in a machine. Note that the DE422 is an EISA card. These cards are all based on the AMD LANCE chip. See AMD LANCE for more info. A maximum of two of the ISA cards can be used, because they can only be set for 0x300 and 0x200 base I/O address. If you are intending to do this, please read the notes in the driver source file depca.c in the standard kernel source tree.

This driver will also work on Alpha CPU based machines, and there are various ioctl()s that the user can play with.

Digital EtherWorks 3 (DE203, DE204, DE205)

Status -- Supported

Included into kernels v1.1.62 and above is this driver, also by David C. Davies of DEC. These cards use a proprietary chip from DEC, as opposed to the LANCE chip used in the earlier cards like the DE200. These cards support both shared memory or programmed I/O, although you take about a 50%performance hit if you use PIO mode. The shared memory size can be set to 2kB, 32kB or 64kB, but only 2 and 32 have been tested with this driver. David says that the performance is virtually identical between the 2kB and 32kB mode. There is more information (including using the driver as a loadable module) at the top of the driver file ewrk3.c and also in README.ewrk3. Both of these files come with the standard kernel distribution.

The standard driver has a number of interesting ioctl() calls that can be used to get or clear packet statistics, read/write the EEPROM, change the hardware address, and the like. Hackers can see the source code for more info on that one.

David has also written a configuration utility for this card (along the lines of the DOS program NICSETUP.EXE) along with other tools. These can be found on in the directory /pub/Linux/system/Network/management -- look for the file ewrk3tools-X.XX.tar.gz.

The next release of this driver (v0.40) will have Alpha CPU support like depca.c does and is available from David now if you require it.

DE425 (EISA), DE434, DE435, DE500

Status -- Supported

These cards are based on the 21040 chip mentioned below. Included into kernels v1.1.86 and above is this driver, also by David C. Davies of DEC. It sure is nice to have support from someone on the inside ;-) The DE500 uses the newer 21140 chip to provide 10/100Mbs ethernet connections. Have a read of the 21040 section below for extra info.

Note that as of 1.1.91, David has added a compile time option that will allow non-DEC cards to work with this driver. Have a look at README.de4x5 for details.

All the Digital cards will autoprobe for their media (except, temporarily, the DE500 due to a patent issue).

This driver is also ALPHA CPU ready and supports being loaded as a module. Users can access the driver internals through ioctl() calls - see the 'ewrk3' tools and the de4x5.c sources for information about how to do this.

DEC 21040, 21041, 2114x, Tulip

Status -- Supported

The DEC 21040 is a bus-mastering single chip ethernet solution from Digital, similar to AMD's PCnet chip. The 21040 is specifically designed for the PCI bus architecture. SMC's new EtherPower PCI card uses this chip.

You have a choice of two drivers for cards based on this chip. There is the DE425 driver discussed above, and the generic 21040 driver that Donald has written.

Warning: Even though your card may be based upon this chip, the drivers may not work for you. David C. Davies writes:

``There are no guarantees that either `tulip.c' OR `de4x5.c' will run any DC2114x based card other than those they've been written to support. WHY?? You ask. Because there is a register, the General Purpose Register (CSR12) that (1) in the DC21140A is programmable by each vendor and they all do it differently (2) in the DC21142/3 this is now an SIA control register (a la DC21041). The only small ray of hope is that we can decode the SROM to help set up the driver. However, this is not a guaranteed solution since some vendors (e.g. SMC 9332 card) don't follow the Digital Semiconductor recommended SROM programming format."

In non-technical terms, this means that if you aren't sure that an unknown card with a DC2114x chip will work with the linux driver(s), then make sure you can return the card to the place of purchase before you pay for it.

The updated 21041 chip is also found in place of the 21040 on most of the later SMC EtherPower cards. The 21140 is for supporting 100Base-? and works with the Linux drivers for the 21040 chip. To use David's de4x5 driver with non-DEC cards, have a look at README.de4x5 for details.

Donald has used SMC EtherPower-10/100 cards to develop the `tulip' driver. Note that the driver that is in the standard kernel tree at the moment is not the most up to date version. If you are having trouble with this driver, you should get the newest version from Donald's ftp/WWW site.

Tulip Driver

The above URL also contains a (non-exhaustive) list of various cards/vendors that use the 21040 chip.

Also note that the tulip driver is still considered an alpha driver (see Alpha Drivers) at the moment, and should be treated as such. To use it, you will have to edit arch/i386/ and uncomment the line for CONFIG_DEC_ELCP support.

Donald has even set up a mailing list for tulip driver support announcements, etc. To join it just type:

echo subscribe | /bin/mail

5.18 Farallon

Farallon sells EtherWave adaptors and transceivers. This device allows multiple 10baseT devices to be daisy-chained.

Farallon Etherwave

Status -- Supported

This is reported to be a 3c509 clone that includes the EtherWave transceiver. People have used these successfully with Linux and the present 3c509 driver. They are too expensive for general use, but are a great option for special cases. Hublet prices start at $125, and Etherwave adds $75-$100 to the price of the board -- worth it if you have pulled one wire too few, but not if you are two network drops short.

5.19 Hewlett Packard

The 272** cards use programmed I/O, similar to the NE*000 boards, but the data transfer port can be `turned off' when you aren't accessing it, avoiding problems with autoprobing drivers.

Thanks to Glenn Talbott for helping clean up the confusion in this section regarding the version numbers of the HP hardware.


Status -- Supported

8 Bit 8390 based 10BaseT, not recommended for all the 8 bit reasons. It was re-designed a couple years ago to be highly integrated which caused some changes in initialization timing which only affected testing programs, not LAN drivers. (The new card is not `ready' as soon after switching into and out of loopback mode.)

If you intend on using this driver as a loadable module you should probably see Using the Ethernet Drivers as Modules and also 8390 Based Cards as Modules for module specific information.

HP PC Lan+ (27247, 27252A)

Status -- Supported

The HP PC Lan+ is different to the standard HP PC Lan card. This driver was added to the list of drivers in the standard kernel during the v1.1.x development cycle. It can be operated in either a PIO mode like a ne2000, or a shared memory mode like a wd8013.

The 47B is a 16 Bit 8390 based 10BaseT w/AUI, and the 52A is a 16 Bit 8390 based ThinLAN w/AUI. These cards have 32K onboard RAM for Tx/Rx packet buffering instead of the usual 16KB, and they both offer LAN connector autosense.

If you intend on using this driver as a loadable module you should probably see Using the Ethernet Drivers as Modules and also 8390 Based Cards as Modules for module specific information.


Status -- Supported

These are lower priced, and slightly faster than the 27247/27252A, but are missing some features, such as AUI, ThinLAN connectivity, and boot PROM socket. This is a fairly generic LANCE design, but a minor design decision makes it incompatible with a generic `NE2100' driver. Special support for it (including reading the DMA channel from the board) is included thanks to information provided by HP's Glenn Talbott.

More technical information on LANCE based cards can be found in Notes on AMD...

HP-Vectra On Board Ethernet

Status -- Supported

The HP-Vectra has an AMD PCnet chip on the motherboard. Earlier kernel versions would detect it as the HP-J2405A but that would fail, as the Vectra doesn't report the IRQ and DMA channel like the J2405A. Get a kernel newer than v1.1.53 to avoid this problem.

DMA selection and chip numbering information can be found in AMD LANCE.

More technical information on LANCE based cards can be found in Notes on AMD...

HP 10/100 VG Any Lan Cards (27248B, J2573, J2577, J2585)

Status -- Supported

As of early 1.3.x kernels, this driver was made available by Jaroslav Kysela, ( Due to the newness of the driver and the relatively small number of VG cards in use, feedback on this driver has been low.

Donald has also written a driver for these cards. Unlike the above, it is not presently in the standard kernel source tree. Check out the following URL for more information on Donald's 100VG work.

Donald's 100VG Page

5.20 IBM / International Business Machines

IBM Thinkpad 300

Status -- Supported

This is compatible with the Intel based Zenith Z-note. See Z-note for more info.

Supposedly this site has a comprehensive database of useful stuff for newer versions of the Thinkpad. I haven't checked it out myself yet.


For those without a WWW browser handy, try

IBM Credit Card Adaptor for Ethernet

Status -- Semi-Supported

People have been using this PCMCIA card with Linux as well. Similar points apply, those being that you need a supported PCMCIA chipset on your notebook, and that you will have to patch the PCMCIA support into the standard kernel.

See PCMCIA Support in this document, and if you can, have a look at:

Don's PCMCIA Stuff

IBM Token Ring

Status -- Semi-Supported

To support token ring requires more than only writing a device driver, it also requires writing the source routing routines for token ring. It is the source routing that would be the most time comsuming to write.

Peter De Schrijver has been spending some time on Token Ring lately. and has worked with IBM ISA and MCA token ring cards.

The present token ring code has been included into the first of the 1.3.x series kernels.

Peter says that it was originally tested on an MCA 16/4 Megabit Token Ring board, but it should work with other Tropic based boards.

5.21 ICL Ethernet Cards

ICL EtherTeam 16i/32

Status -- Supported

Mika Kuoppala ( wrote this driver, and it was included into early 1.3.4x kernels. It uses the Fujitsu MB86965 chip that is also used on the at1700 cards.

5.22 Intel Ethernet Cards

Ether Express

Status -- Supported

This card uses the intel i82586. (Surprise, huh?) Earlier versions of this driver (in v1.2 kernels) were classed as alpha-test, as it didn't work well for most people. The driver in the v2.0 kernel seems to work much better for those who have tried it. The comments at the top of the driver source list some of the problems associated with these cards.

There is also some technical information available on the i82586 in Programming the Intel Chips and also in the source code for the driver `eexpress.c'. Don't be afraid to read it. ;-)

Ether Express PRO/10

Status -- Supported

Bao Chau Ha has written a driver for these cards that has been included into early 1.3.x kernels. It may also work with some of the Compaq built-in ethernet systems that are based on the i82595 chip.

Ether Express PRO/10 PCI (EISA)

Status -- Semi-Supported

John Stalba ( has written a driver for the PCI version. These cards the PLX9036 PCI interface chip with the Intel i82596 LAN controller chip. If your card has the i82557 chip, then you don't have this card, but rather the ``+'' version discussed next, and hence want the EEPro100 driver instead.

You can get the alpha driver for the PRO/10 PCI card, along with instructions on how to use it at:

EEPro10 Driver

If you have the EISA card, you will probably have to hack the driver a bit to account for the different (PCI vs. EISA) detection mechanisms that are used in each case.

Ether Express PRO/10+

Status -- Supported

A slight change in name (from the above) but a different design. This card uses the i82557 chip, and hence uses the eepro100 driver described below.

Ether Express PRO 10/100B

Status -- Supported

A driver for this card is included in the v2.0 kernel source tree, so you may no longer have to get it separately. Note that this driver will not work with the older 100A cards.

For driver updates and/or driver support, have a look at:

EEPro-100B Page

Apparently Donald had to sign a non-disclosure agreement that stated he could actually disclose the driver source code! How is that for sillyness on intel's part?

This driver will be included into the v2.1 source tree sometime in the future. There is also a mailing list for driver announcements. To join it, just do:

echo subscribe | /bin/mail

5.23 LinkSys

LinkSys make a handful of different NE2000 clones, some straight ISA cards, some ISA plug and play and some even ne2000-PCI clones based on one of the supported ne2000-PCI chipsets. There are just too many models to list here.

Linux gets a mention in their WWW support page. Have a look at:

if you are having trouble using one of their cards with linux.

LinkSys Etherfast 10/100 Cards.

Status -- Supported

Beware with these cards - apparently some use the DEC chipset, and some use a proprietary PNIC chipset. The drivers for the DEC chips will not work with the PNIC cards. Thanks to Blake Wright for reporting this useful bit of information.

LinkSys Pocket Ethernet Adapter Plus (PEAEPP)

Status -- Supported

This is supposedly a DE-620 clone, and is reported to work well with that driver. See DE-620 for more information.

LinkSys PCMCIA Adaptor

Status -- Supported

This is supposed to be a re-badged DE-650. See DE-650 for more information.

5.24 Microdyne

Microdyne Exos 205T

Status -- Semi-Supported

Another i82586 based card. Dirk Niggemann has written a driver that he classes as ``pre-alpha'' that he would like people to test. Mail him for more details.

5.25 Mylex

Mylex can be reached at the following numbers, in case anyone wants to ask them anything.

        MYLEX CORPORATION, Fremont
        Sales:  800-77-MYLEX, (510) 796-6100
        FAX:    (510) 745-8016.

They also have a web site: Mylex WWW Site

Mylex LNE390A, LNE390B

Status -- Semi-Supported

These are fairly old EISA cards that make use of a shared memory implementation similar to the wd80x3. If you are interested in testing a driver for this card, contact me (pg).

Mylex LNP101

Status -- Supported

This is a PCI card that is based on DEC's 21040 chip. It is selectable between 10BaseT, 10Base2 and 10Base5 output. The LNP101 card has been verified to work with the generic 21040 driver.

See the section on the 21040 chip ( DEC 21040) for more information.

Mylex LNP104

Status -- Semi-Supported

The LNP104 uses the DEC 21050 chip to deliver four independent 10BaseT ports. It should work with recent 21040 drivers that know how to share IRQs, but nobody has reported trying it yet (that I am aware of).

5.26 Novell Ethernet, NExxxx and associated clones.

The prefix `NE' came from Novell Ethernet. Novell followed the cheapest NatSemi databook design and sold the manufacturing rights (spun off?) Eagle, just to get reasonably-priced ethercards into the market. (The now ubiquitous NE2000 card.)

NE1000, NE2000

Status -- Supported

NOTE: If you are using a kernel that is older than v1.2.9, it is strongly recommended that you upgrade to a newer version. There was an important bugfix made to the ne driver in 1.2.7, and another important bugfix made to the upper layers (dev.c) in 1.2.9. Both of these bugs can cause a ne2000 card to hang your computer.

The ne2000 is now a generic name for a bare-bones design around the NatSemi 8390 chip. They use programmed I/O rather than shared memory, leading to easier installation but slightly lower performance and a few problems. Again, the savings of using an 8 bit NE1000 over the NE2000 are only warranted if you expect light use. Some problems can arise with poor NE2000 clones. You should see Problems with..., and Poor NE2000 Clones

Some recently introduced NE2000 clones use the National Semiconductor `AT/LANTic' 83905 chip, which offers a shared memory mode similar to the wd8013 and EEPROM software configuration. The shared memory mode will offer less CPU usage (i.e. more efficient) than the programmed i/o mode.

In general it is not a good idea to put a NE2000 clone at I/O address 0x300 because nearly every device driver probes there at boot. Some poor NE2000 clones don't take kindly to being prodded in the wrong areas, and will respond by locking your machine. Also 0x320 is bad because SCSI drivers probe into 0x330.

Donald has written a NE2000 diagnostic program (ne2k.c) for all ne2000 cards. See Diagnostic Programs for more information.

If you intend on using this driver as a loadable module you should probably see Using the Ethernet Drivers as Modules and also 8390 Based Cards as Modules for module specific information.

NE2000-PCI (RealTek/Winbond/Compex)

Status -- Supported

Yes, believe it or not, people are making PCI cards based on the ten year old interface design of the ne2000. At the moment nearly all of these cards are based on the RealTek 8029 chip, or the Winbond 89c940 chip. The Compex, KTI, VIA and Netvin cards apparently also use these chips, but have a different PCI ID. The linux kernel v2.0.33 has support to automatically detect all these cards and use them. (If you are using a kernel v2.0.30 or older, you should upgrade to ensure your card will be detected.)

Note that you have to say `Y' to the `Other ISA cards' option when running make config as you are actually using the same NE2000 driver as the ISA cards use. (That should also give you a hint that these cards aren't anywhere as intelligent as say a DEC 21040 card...) In the future, a PCI-only NE2000 driver will be included in the kernel source for these cards. The driver is currently available for testing at:

Some newer motherboards don't enable all the PCI cards at power-up, and this generally causes the card to be detected, but to fail the probe. Code to enable such cards is due to be added to the v2.0.34 ne.c driver, based on that which is in the above PCI-only driver.

If you have a NE2000 PCI card that is not detected by the driver, please contact the maintainer of the NE2000 driver as listed in /usr/src/linux/MAINTAINERS along with the output from a cat /proc/pci and dmesg so that support for your card can also be added to the driver.


Status -- Not Supported

These are ISA 100Mbps cards based on the National Semiconductor DP83800 and DP83840 chips. There is currently no driver support, nor has anyone reported that they are working on a driver.

NE1500, NE2100

Status -- Supported

These cards use the original 7990 LANCE chip from AMD and are supported using the Linux lance driver. Newer NE2100 clones use the updated PCnet/ISA chip from AMD.

Some earlier versions of the lance driver had problems with getting the IRQ line via autoIRQ from the original Novell/Eagle 7990 cards. Hopefully this is now fixed. If not, then specify the IRQ via LILO, and let us know that it still has problems.

DMA selection and chip numbering information can be found in AMD LANCE.

More technical information on LANCE based cards can be found in Notes on AMD...


Status -- Not Supported

This card uses a lowly 8MHz 80186, and hence you are better off using a cheap NE2000 clone. Even if a driver was available, the NE2000 card would most likely be faster.


Status -- Supported

These are just AMD PCnet-PCI cards ('970A) chips. More information on LANCE/PCnet based cards can be found in AMD LANCE.

5.27 Proteon

Proteon P1370-EA

Status -- Supported

Apparently this is a NE2000 clone, and works fine with Linux.

Proteon P1670-EA

Status -- Supported

This is yet another PCI card that is based on DEC's Tulip chip. It has been reported to work fine with Linux.

See the section on the 21040 chip ( DEC 21040) for more driver information.

5.28 Pure Data

PDUC8028, PDI8023

Status -- Supported

The PureData PDUC8028 and PDI8023 series of cards are reported to work, thanks to special probe code contributed by Mike Jagdis The support is integrated with the WD driver.

5.29 Racal-Interlan

Racal Interlan can be reached via WWW at I believe they were also known as MiCom-Interlan at one point in the past.


Status -- Semi-Supported

This is an EISA 8390 based shared memory card. An experimetal driver for v2.0 is available (from me, pg). It is reported to work fine, but the EISA IRQ and shared memory address detection appears not to work with (at least) the early revision cards. In that case, you have to supply them at boot; e.g. ether=5,0,0xd0000,eth0 for IRQ 5 and shared memory at 0xd0000. The i/o base is automatically detected and hence a value of zero should be used.

This driver will appear in the v2.1 kernels at some time in the near future.


Status -- Semi-Supported

This driver, by Jan-Pascal van Best ( supports the old 8 bit MiCom-Interlan cards. You can get the driver from:

NI5010 Driver

Jan-Pascal has got very little feedback on this driver and would appreciate it if you dropped him a note saying if it worked or not.


Status -- Semi-Supported

Michael Hipp has written a driver for this card. It is included in the standard kernel as an `alpha' driver. Michael would like to hear feedback from users that have this card. See Alpha Drivers for important information on using alpha-test ethernet drivers with Linux.

Michael says that ``the internal sysbus seems to be slow. So we often lose packets because of overruns while receiving from a fast remote host.''

This card also uses one of the Intel chips. See Programming the Intel Chips for more technical information.

NI6510 (not EB)

Status -- Semi-Supported

There is also a driver for the LANCE based NI6510, and it is also written by Michael Hipp. Again, it is also an `alpha' driver. For some reason, this card is not compatible with the generic LANCE driver. See Alpha Drivers for important information on using alpha-test ethernet drivers with Linux.

EtherBlaster (aka NI6510EB)

Status -- Supported

As of kernel 1.3.23, the generic LANCE driver had a check added to it for the 0x52, 0x44 NI6510EB specific signature. Others have reported that this signature is not the same for all NI6510EB cards however, which will cause the lance driver to not detect your card. If this happens to you, you can change the probe (at about line 322 in lance.c) to printk() out what the values are for your card and then use them instead of the 0x52, 0x44 defaults.

The cards should probably be run in `high-performance' mode and not in the NI6510 compatible mode when using the lance driver.

5.30 Sager

Sager NP943

Status -- Semi-Supported

This is just a 3c501 clone, with a different S.A. PROM prefix. I assume it is equally as brain dead as the original 3c501 as well. Kernels 1.1.53 and up check for the NP943 I.D. and then just treat it as a 3c501 after that. See 3Com 3c501 for all the reasons as to why you really don't want to use one of these cards.

5.31 Schneider & Koch

SK G16

Status -- Supported

This driver was included into the v1.1 kernels, and it was written by PJD Weichmann and SWS Bern. It appears that the SK G16 is similar to the NI6510, in that it is based on the first edition LANCE chip (the 7990). Once again, it appears as though this card won't work with the generic LANCE driver.

5.32 SEEQ

SEEQ 8005

Status -- Supported

This driver was included into early 1.3.x kernels, and was written by Hamish Coleman. There is little information about the card included in the driver, and hence little information to be put here. If you have a question, you are probably best off e-mailing

5.33 SMC (Standard Microsystems Corp.)

Please see Western Digital for information on SMC cards. (SMC bought out Western Digital's network card section quite a while ago.)

5.34 Thomas Conrad

Thomas Conrad TC-5048

This is yet another PCI card that is based on DEC's 21040 chip.

See the section on the 21040 chip ( DEC 21040) for more information.

5.35 Western Digital / SMC

The ethernet part of Western Digital has been bought out by SMC. One common mistake people make is that the relatively new SMC Elite Ultra is the same as the older SMC Elite16 models -- this is not the case. They have separate drivers.

Here is how to contact SMC (not that you should need to.)

SMC / Standard Microsystems Corp., 80 Arkay Drive, Hauppage, New York, 11788, USA.

Technical Support via phone:

        800-992-4762 (USA)
        800-433-5345 (Canada)
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        800-SMC-4-YOU (USA)
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Technical Support via E-mail:

FTP Site:


WD8003, SMC Elite

Status -- Supported

These are the 8-bit versions of the card. The 8 bit 8003 is slightly less expensive, but only worth the savings for light use. Note that some of the non-EEPROM cards (clones with jumpers, or old old old wd8003 cards) have no way of reporting the IRQ line used. In this case, auto-irq is used, and if that fails, the driver silently assings IRQ 5. You can get the SMC setup/driver disks from SMC's ftp site. Note that some of the newer SMC `SuperDisk' programs will fail to detect the real old EEPROM-less cards. The file SMCDSK46.EXE seems to be a good all-round choice. Also the jumper settings for all their cards are in an ascii text file in the aforementioned archive. The latest (greatest?) version can be obtained from

As these are basically the same as their 16 bit counterparts (WD8013 / SMC Elite16), you should see the next section for more information.

WD8013, SMC Elite16

Status -- Supported

Over the years the design has added more registers and an EEPROM. (The first wd8003 cards appeared about ten years ago!) Clones usually go by the `8013' name, and usually use a non-EEPROM (jumpered) design. Late model SMC cards will have the SMC 83c690 chip instead of the original Nat Semi DP8390 found on earlier cards. The shared memory design makes the cards a bit faster than PIO cards, especially with larger packets. More importantly, from the driver's point of view, it avoids a few bugs in the programmed-I/O mode of the 8390, allows safe multi-threaded access to the packet buffer, and it doesn't have a programmed-I/O data register that hangs your machine during warm-boot probes.

Non-EEPROM cards that can't just read the selected IRQ will attempt auto-irq, and if that fails, they will silently assign IRQ 10. (8 bit versions will assign IRQ 5)

Cards with a non standard amount of memory on board can have the memory size specified at boot (or at `insmod' time if using modules). The standard memory size is 8kB for an 8bit card and 16kB for a 16bit card. For example, the older WD8003EBT cards could be jumpered for 32kB memory. To make full use of that RAM, you would use something like (for i/o=0x280 and IRQ 9):

        LILO: linux ether=9,0x280,0xd0000,0xd8000,eth0

Also see 8013 problems for some of the more common problems and frequently asked questions that pop up often.

If you intend on using this driver as a loadable module you should probably see Using the Ethernet Drivers as Modules and also 8390 Based Cards as Modules for module specific information.

SMC Elite Ultra

Status -- Supported

This ethercard is based on a new chip from SMC, the 83c790, which has a few new features. While it has a mode that is similar to the older SMC ethercards, it's not entirely compatible with the old WD80*3 drivers. However, in this mode it shares most of its code with the other 8390 drivers, while operating slightly faster than a WD8013 clone.

Since part of the Ultra looks like an 8013, the Ultra probe is supposed to find an Ultra before the wd8013 probe has a chance to mistakenly identify it.

Donald mentioned that it is possible to write a separate driver for the Ultra's `Altego' mode which allows chaining transmits at the cost of inefficient use of receive buffers, but that will probably not happen.

Bus-Master SCSI host adaptor users take note: In the manual that ships with Interactive UNIX, it mentions that a bug in the SMC Ultra will cause data corruption with SCSI disks being run from an aha-154X host adaptor. This will probably bite aha-154X compatible cards, such as the BusLogic boards, and the AMI-FastDisk SCSI host adaptors as well.

SMC has acknowledged the problem occurs with Interactive, and older Windows NT drivers. It is a hardware conflict with early revisions of the card that can be worked around in the driver design. The current Ultra driver protects against this by only enabling the shared memory during data transfers with the card. Make sure your kernel version is at least 1.1.84, or that the driver version reported at boot is at least smc-ultra.c:v1.12 otherwise you are vulnerable.

If you intend on using this driver as a loadable module you should probably see Using the Ethernet Drivers as Modules and also 8390 Based Cards as Modules for module specific information.

SMC Elite Ultra32 EISA

Status -- Semi-Supported

This EISA card shares a lot in common with its ISA counterpart. A working (and stable) driver is available for v2.0 kernels upon request from the author of this document. Thanks go to Leonard Zubkoff for purchasing some of these cards so that Leonard and myself could add linux support for them. The driver will be included with a future release of the v2.1.x linux kernel as well.

SMC EtherEZ (8416)

Status -- Supported

This card uses SMC's 83c795 chip and supports the Plug 'n Play specification. It also has an SMC Ultra compatible mode, which allows it to be used with the Linux Ultra driver. Be sure to set your card for this compatibility mode. See the above information for notes on the Ultra driver.

For v1.2 kernels, the card had to be configured for shared memory operation. However v2.0 kernels can use the card in shared memory or programmed i/o mode. Shared memory mode will be slightly faster, and use considerably less CPU resources as well.

Note that the EtherEZ specific checks were added to the SMC Ultra driver in 1.1.84, and hence earlier kernel versions will not detect or handle these cards correctly.

SMC EtherPower PCI (8432)

Status -- Supported

NB: The EtherPower II is an entirely different card. See below! These cards are a basic DEC 21040 implementation, i.e. one big chip and a couple of transceivers. Donald has used one of these cards for his development of the generic 21040 driver (aka tulip.c). Thanks to Duke Kamstra, once again, for supplying a card to do development on.

Some of the later revisons of this card use the newer DEC 21041 chip, which may cause problems with older versions of the tulip driver. If you have problems, make sure you are using the latest driver release, which may not yet be included in the current kernel source tree.

See DEC 21040 for more details on using one of these cards, and the current status of the driver.

Apparently, the latest revision of the card, the EtherPower-II uses the 9432 chip. It is unclear at the moment if this one will work with the present driver. As always, if unsure, check that you can return the card if it doesn't work with the linux driver before paying for the card.

SMC EtherPower II PCI (9432)

Status -- Semi-Supported

These cards, based upon the SMC 83c170 chip, are entirely different than the Tulip based cards. A new alpha-test driver named epic100.c is due to be included in kernel v2.0.34 to support these cards. For more details, see:

SMC 3008

Status -- Not Supported

These 8 bit cards are based on the Fujitsu MB86950, which is an ancient version of the MB86965 used in the Linux at1700 driver. Russ says that you could probably hack up a driver by looking at the at1700.c code and his DOS packet driver for the Tiara card (tiara.asm). They are not very common.

SMC 3016

Status -- Not Supported

These are 16bit i/o mapped 8390 cards, much similar to a generic NE2000 card. If you can get the specifications from SMC, then porting the NE2000 driver would probably be quite easy. They are not very common.

SMC-9000 / SMC 91c92/4

Status -- Supported

The SMC9000 is a VLB card based on the 91c92 chip. The 91c92 appears on a few other brand cards as well, but is fairly uncommon. Erik Stahlman ( has written this driver which is in v2.0 kernels, but not in the older v1.2 kernels. You may be able to drop the driver into a v1.2 kernel source tree with minimal difficulty.

SMC 91c100

Status -- Semi-Supported

The SMC 91c92 driver is supposed to work for cards based on this 100Base-T chip, but at the moment this is unverified.

5.36 Xircom

For the longest time, Xircom wouldn't release the programming information required to write a driver, unless you signed your life away. Apparently enough linux users have pestered them for driver support (they claim to support all popular networking operating systems...) so that they have changed their policy to allow documentation to be released without having to sign a non-disclosure agreement, and apparently they will release the source code to the SCO driver as well. If you want to verify that this is the case, you can reach Xircom at 1-800-874-7875, 1-800-438-4526 or +1-818-878-7600.

However, at the moment nobody has rushed forth offering to write any drivers, so all their products are still unsupported.

PE1, PE2, PE3-10B*

Status -- Not Supported

Not to get your hopes up, but if you have one of these parallel port adaptors, you may be able to use it in the DOS emulator with the Xircom-supplied DOS drivers. You will have to allow DOSEMU access to your parallel port, and will probably have to play with SIG (DOSEMU's Silly Interrupt Generator).

5.37 Zenith


Status -- Supported

The built-in Z-Note network adaptor is based on the Intel i82593 using two DMA channels. There is an (alpha?) driver available in the present kernel version. As with all notebook and pocket adaptors, it is under the `Pocket and portable adaptors' section when running make config. See Programming the Intel chips for more technical information. Also note that the IBM ThinkPad 300 is compatible with the Z-Note.

5.38 Znyx

Znyx ZX342 (DEC 21040 based)

Status -- Supported

You have a choice of two drivers for cards based on this chip. There is the DE425 driver written by David, and the generic 21040 driver that Donald has written.

Note that as of 1.1.91, David has added a compile time option that may allow non-DEC cards (such as the Znyx cards) to work with this driver. Have a look at README.de4x5 for details.

See DEC 21040 for more information on these cards, and the present driver situation.

5.39 Identifying an Unknown Card

Okay, so your uncle's cousin's neighbour's friend had a brother who found an old ISA ethernet card in the AT case he was using as a cage for his son's pet hampster. Somehow you ended up with the card and want to try and use it with linux, but nobody has a clue what the card is and there isn't any documentation.

First of all, look for any obvious model numbers that might give a clue. Any model number that contains 2000 will most likely be a NE2000 clone. Any cards with 8003 or 8013 on them somewhere will be Western/Digital WD80x3 cards or SMC Elite cards or clones of them.

Identifying the Network Interface Controller

Look for the biggest chip on the card. This will be the network controller (NIC) itself, and most can be identified by the part number. If you know which NIC is on the card, the following might be able to help you figure out what card it is.

Probably still the most common NIC is the National Semiconductor DP8390 aka NS32490 aka DP83901 aka DP83902 aka DP83905 aka DP83907. And those are just the ones made by National! Other companies such as Winbond and UMC make DP8390 and DP83905 clone parts, such as the Winbond 89c904 (DP83905 clone) and the UMC 9090. If the card has some form of 8390 on it, then chances are it is a ne1000 or ne2000 clone card. The second most common 8390 based card are wd80x3 cards and clones. Cards with a DP83905 can be configured to be an ne2000 or a wd8013. Never versions of the genuine wd80x3 and SMC Elite cards have an 83c690 in place of the original DP8390. The SMC Ultra cards have an 83c790, and use a slightly different driver than the wd80x3 cards. The SMC EtherEZ cards have an 83c795, and use the same driver as the SMC Ultra. All BNC cards based on some sort of 8390 or 8390 clone will usually have an 8392 (or 83c692, or XXX392) 16 pin DIP chip very close to the BNC connector.

Another common NIC found on older cards is the Intel i82586. Cards having this NIC include the 3c505, 3c507, 3c523, Intel EtherExpress-ISA, Microdyne Exos-205T, and the Racal-Interlan NI5210.

The original AMD LANCE NIC was numbered AM7990, and newer revisions include the 79c960, 79c961, 79c965, 79c970, and 79c974. Most cards with one of the above will work with the Linux LANCE driver, with the exception of the old Racal-Interlan NI6510 cards that have their own driver.

Newer PCI cards having a DEC 21040, 21041, 21140, or similar number on the NIC should be able to use the linux tulip or de4x5 driver.

Other PCI cards having a big chip marked RTL8029 are ne2000 clone cards, and the ne driver in linux version v2.0 and up should automatically detect these cards at boot.

Identifying the Ethernet Address

Each ethernet card has its own six byte address that is unique to that card. The first three bytes of that address are the same for each card made by that particular manufacturer. For example all SMC cards start with 00:00:c0. The last three are assigned by the manufacturer uniquely to each individual card as they are produced.

If your card has a sticker on it giving all six bits of its address, you can look up the vendor from the first three. However it is more common to see only the last three bytes printed onto a sticker attached to a socketed PROM, which tells you nothing.

You can determine which vendors have which assigned addresses from RFC-1340. Apparently there is a more up to date listing available in various places as well. Try a WWW or FTP search for EtherNet-codes or Ethernet-codes and you will find something.

Tips on Trying to Use an Unknown Card

If you are still not sure what the card is, but have at least narrowed it down some, then you can build a kernel with a whole bunch of drivers included, and see if any of them autodetect the card at boot.

If the kernel doesn't detect the card, it may be that the card is not configured to one of the addresses that the driver probes when looking for a card. In this case, you might want to try getting scanport.tar.gz from your local linux ftp site, and see if that can locate where your card is jumpered for. It scans ISA i/o space from 0x100 to 0x3ff looking for devices that aren't registered in /proc/ioports. If it finds an unknown device starting at some particular address, you can then explicity point the ethernet probes at that address with an ether= boot argument.

If you manage to get the card detected, you can then usually figure out the unknown jumpers by changing them one at a time and seeing at what i/o base and IRQ that the card is detected at. The IRQ settings can also usually be determined by following the traces on the back of the card to where the jumpers are soldered through. Counting the `gold fingers' on the backside, from the end of the card with the metal bracket, you have IRQ 9, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 10, 11, 12, 15, 14 at fingers 4, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38 respectively. Eight bit cards only have up to finger 31.

Jumpers that appear to do nothing usually are for selecting the memory address of an optional boot ROM. Other jumpers that are located near the BNC or RJ-45 or AUI connectors are usually to select the output media. These are also typically near the `black box' voltage converters marked YCL, Valor, or Fil-Mag.

A nice collection of jumper settings for various cards can be found at the following URL: Ethercard Settings

5.40 Drivers for Non-Ethernet Devices

There are a few other drivers that are in the linux source that present an ethernet-like device to network programs, while not really being ethernet. These are briefly listed here for completeness.

dummy.c - The purpose of this driver is to provide a device to point a route through, but not to actually transmit packets.

eql.c - Load Equalizer, enslaves multiple devices (usually modems) and balances the Tx load across them while presenting a single device to the network programs.

ibmtr.c - IBM Token Ring, which is not really ethernet. Broken-Ring requires source routing and other uglies.

loopback.c - Loopback device, for which all packets from you machine and destined for your own machine go. It essentially just moves the packet off the Tx queue and onto the Rx queue.

pi2.c - Ottawa Amateur Radio Club PI and PI2 interface.

plip.c - Parallel Line Internet Protocol, allows two computers to send packets to each other over two joined parallel ports in a point-to-point fashion.

ppp.c - Point-to-Point Protocol (RFC1331), for the Transmission of Multi-protocol Datagrams over a Point-to-Point Link (again usually modems).

slip.c - Serial Line Internet Protocol, allows two computers to send packets to each other over two joined serial ports (usually via modems) in a point-to-point fashion.

tunnel.c - Provides an IP tunnel through which you can tunnel network traffic transparently across subnets

wavelan.c - An Ethernet-like radio transceiver controlled by the Intel 82586 coprocessor which is used on other ethercards such as the Intel EtherExpress.

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