probe order of compiled-in NIC drivers

Carsten Gehrke carsten at
Wed Nov 13 11:49:23 PST 2002

At 10:35 13-11-02, you wrote:
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: Dagmar d'Surreal [mailto:dagmar at]
> > Sent: Wednesday, November 13, 2002 1:00 PM
> > To: BLFS Support
> > Subject: Re: probe order of compiled-in NIC drivers
> >
> > "I would prefer not to change any of these parameters".
> >
> > That doesn't leave us much room to work with, now does it?
> >
> > Add to your /etc/modules.conf:
> >
> > alias eth0 (tlan driver module name)
> > alias eth1 (tulip driver module name)
> >
> > This was covered by the Ethernet HOWTO and the Multiple Ethernet
> > Mini-HOWTO (if you can still find that one anywhere)
> >
> > --
>He is compiling the nic drivers into the kernel so the modules.conf file
>will have no effect.  I am wondering two things.
>1.  Why don't you want to compile the drivers as modules?

I have no real need for that facility.  The less stuff is in the kernel, 
the better.  The kernel I made has _no_ support for loadable modules at all.

>2.  Why does it matter what nic card is eth0 or eth1?

That's the way it's been, and I have other kernels I've built that support 
them that way.  This is the first one without module support.

I'm mainly trying to understand what goes on in the kernel.  For instance, 
why don't the boot parameters (ether=...) work for these cards?  It seems 
they work in other circumstances, at least according to the postings on 
various newsgroups.  Is there a difference between ISA and PCI cards that 
is not documented in the HOW-TOs (I've gleaned that from the same 
newsgroups)?  Is there a way to change the names of the cards after the 
system has booted (also alluded to in some of the postings)?  For instance, 
I found mention of using ioctl to change the name, but a look at Stevens 
and at the /usr/include/bits/ioctls.h show a lack of SIOCSIFNAME, so it 
doesn't seem possible with that function.

Right now I am looking at two possible solutions:

1) Possibly the Makefile controls the order of module initialization.

2) Find out how the boot parameters are processed, and write a patch for 
the drivers to recognize these and change the name.

Carsten Gehrke     LFS No.: 190    using Linux since kernel 0.98
carsten at

Unsubscribe: send email to listar at
and put 'unsubscribe blfs-support' in the subject header of the message

More information about the blfs-support mailing list