3c509 ISA on client...

Jacob Yeh jyeh at alumni.rice.edu
Sat Jun 24 01:17:57 BST 2006

Hello all,
First of all, a bit of an introduction: my name is Jacob Yeh and I'm
an Ubuntu/Edubuntu newcomer.  First found out about Ubuntu about 1
year ago and have been hooked on it (actually, Kubuntu is my preferred
flavor).  Started getting interested in Edubuntu and LTSP, esp.
looking for ways to help low-income urban areas with computer labs.
As sort of a crash-test in Edubuntu, I've put Edubuntu Dapper on a
1GHz Athlon machine (only 512MB RAM) and gotten donations from friends
and family for some older client machines (300-400Mhz Pentium
III/Celeron machines).

One of my "client" machines contains an 3Com 3c509 ISA card.  Now I've
read up enough to know that Edubuntu/LTSP works much better on PCI
ethernet cards, but people have had success with 3c509.  I've changed
the dhcp.conf file to include the correct option 128/129 lines and
I've read somewhere that I would need to include the 3c509 module on
the server.  Without much documentation, I've tried to chroot to the
/opt/ltsp/i386 root on the server, added "3c509" to the
/etc/mkinitramfs/modules file and even run "update-initramfs" (which
seems to re-make the Edubuntu client i386 kernel).

It seems to find the pxelinux.cfg file, loads the vmlinuz kernel, and
loads the initrd.img, boots the kernel.  But then it hangs.  On the
Ubuntu splash screen it has the two lines
loading essetinal drivers.....[ok]
mounting root file systems.....[there is no "ok"]

Now when I replace the 3c509 ISA with another ethernet card (this one
uses the PCI slot), it etherboots fine, gets past that point (there is
an "ok" for the "mounting root file systems" and many more after that)
and I can login to the server.

Any ideas?

Jacob Yeh

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