Getting the Most from a Network Card

Most networks today are built atop Ethernet, a set of hardware standards for network devices. Some Ethernet hardware, such as cables, hubs, and switches, reside outside the Linux computer. Most such devices are "OS-agnostic"—they work equally well with any OS. (There are a few exceptions, though, such as stand-alone network print servers, which must support the network printing protocol you use.) The network hardware component that requires the most attention from a Linux perspective is the network interface card (NIC). This device requires support in the form of Linux drivers, and you may need to adjust Linux's configuration to use the card.

Note Most NICs are actual plug-in cards; however, there are a few exceptions. Some motherboards include Ethernet circuitry on-board. Laptop computers frequently use PC Card Ethernet devices. Universal Serial Bus (USB) Ethernet devices are also becoming popular. With a few wrinkles, such as the location of drivers in the kernel configuration utility, all of these devices are treated alike from a software point of view. For simplicity, I refer to all of these devices as NICs in this chapter.

0 0

Post a comment