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Howto: Setup realtek 8139 + Compact Flash adapter on Thinkpad 600

I have an old Thinkpad 600. Not long after I got it I bought a very generic 10/100Mbps Cardbus LAN card for it from Dick Smith Electronics here in NZ. This was in the era of linux 2.4 kernels. I was pleasantly surprised that simply by enabled PCMCIA and Cardbus support in the kernel and having the Realtek 8139 (8139TOO) PCI network card driver in there too, that the card was recognised and seemed to run perfectly.

The other day I bought a PCMCIA Compact Flash adapter. I thought that simply adding the IDECS thingo into the kernel that it would magically work. It didn't. The card was not recognised at all. A cardctl ident didn't show anything.

Now, in the world of PCMCIA on linux there are essentially two options now; 1) Use the kernels own PCMCIA drivers, or 2) use the drivers from the pcmcia-cs package. From my somewhat vague reading on the topic, I assumed that the ide_cs stuff probably just didn't work with the kernel drivers, so my best bet was to use the pcmcia-cs stuff instead.

I downloaded the latest pcmcia-cs package (v3.2.4 as I write this). Downloaded it, compiled it (against a 2.4.20 kernel), rebooted my slackware 8.1 setup and voila it now recognised my Compact Flash adapter(NB: In the kernel I did not set CONFIG_PCMCIA, but I think I had hotplug PCI turned on). But the big downer is that my Realtek 8139 card did not work. it turns out that the standard pcmcia-cs pacakge does not include a driver for the 8139 cards.

Some googling and I found this site describing how to get a Conceptronic 100TCL Cardbus card running under a 2.4 kernel. It was also a Realtek 8139 chipset card. The instructions on this page basically describe using Donald Becker's old drivers but inserted into the pcmcia-cs modules area. I've included a copy of the tar.gz from that site here. The only changes to those instructions was to change the Ethernet adapter definition in /etc/pcmcia/config:

   card "realtek 8139"
      manfid 0x0000, 0x024C
      bind "realtek_cb"

pablo , 2003-09-04 17:50:54