Originally Published: Wednesday, 8 November 2000 Author: Alex Pearsall
Published to: learn_articles_firststep/General Page: 1/1 - [Std View]

Setting Up Networking in Linux: Mandrake

Want to figure out how to set up networking on your Mandrake machine? Look no further; Alex Pearsall has got you covered. Check it out!

Okay, so Linux-Mandrake is your choice of GNU/Linux weaponry, and you just set up this machine at your home/office, and the boss (or wife) needs to check web-based email on it, and it's up to you to get this box up on the local area network, with the proper gateway and network settings. The only catch is you don't have a clue where to start! You've looked at some of the HOW-TO's on Linux.com before, but they all seem to be written in cryptic acronyms that you can't understand, and the whole experiance has left your head spinning, and you wishing for a larger cup of coffee. Well, relax, my friend; this document will show you how to setup basic ethernet networking up on your Linux-Mandrake system.

First off, login to your newly installed system. Providing that you have a supported ethernet card on this machine (you checked this out before, but if not, check here). You are now ready to rock. The most basic installs of Linux-Mandrake come with a utility called "linuxconf". But the linuxconf that comes with Linux-Mandrake is cool as ice! Not only can you completely configure your system from a text-based terminal console, but if you're in X, a funky little GTK-powered tool will pop up! Either one is completely able to handle the task at hand.

In this document, we'll be covering the X window interface to netconf, as I assume most users have X setup on their box. If you don't, the text-based netconf tool is just as easy to use, but if you're having problems, you can email me at (rebelpacket@linux.com) and I'll try to help you out.

So, open up a terminal window in X (xterm) and su to root (will make you super-user) if you're not already logged in as root. Once you see a prompt like

[root@gorre rebelpacket]#

then you know you are ready to begin. Type "netconf" at the prompt, and wait a little bit until you see the tool pop up. You'll see tabs at the top and icons, and a "quit" or "help" button down below. Right now, we're interested in the "Basic Host Information" button. Click that to bring up the next dialog that will configure your ethernet card.

The first tab that will come up is going to ask you what your global hostname and domain is. If you're on a domain, and you have a hostname, here would be where you would want to put it in. My hostname and domain for example is "gorre.asleep.net". If you don't have a domain, you can either just put in a fake one or a single name for your computer. After you have done that, click the "Adaptor 1" tab.

This brings you to where you will configure the first ethernet card in your system (eth0). It asks you for the configuration mode. We are going to be using "manual" setup right now. If you need help setting up DHCP or BOOTP (very similar) again, email me with questions. Again, it will ask you to specify a name+domain name for this specific ethernet connection, then any aliases (nicknames or short names for your computer). After all that information is entered, you will see it asks you for your IP address. If you know this, just enter it in right there; if not, ask your system administrator for one.

Next is the netmask. This defines to what network(s) and to whom your computer will communicate. For most purposes the netmask "" is fine, but some networks might have different setups. When in doubt, ask your sysadmin for this variable as well. Next it will ask you for your net device. Since this is the first ethernet card in your box, and you're sure it's supported, you want to enter in "eth0" in this box. Below this, it will ask you the kernel-module that is to be loaded with your card. The kernel-module is, simply put, the driver that is loaded into the kernel to interface with your Network Interface Card (NIC). If you are unsure what this is, you can check the same documentation on the supported hardware page. After you have entered in all of the above information in the "Basic Host Information" popup, click "Accept." Next we will specify our default gateway to other networks (and/or the internet).

Click routing and gateways. Under the default gateway (all we will need to know for the most part) you will want to enter in your default gateway into the box proved for the address (should be a IP-address) and click "enable routing" to route packets to and from this computer as if it was a router of sorts. After you are done with that, click "Accept" and return back to the front popup window. Now you will also need to add in Domain Name Servers, (DNS Servers) so that your computer will know which server to resolve internet names into IP addresses for.

You can indeed do this through and with the graphical interface tool, but I have found that it's a little over-complexand isn't exactly what you need sometimes. I have always found that adding your DNS servers by hand is quicker and more efficient.

The names and paths for your DNS servers are located in /etc/resolv.conf The format for this file is the following:

search <domain>
nameserver <ip-address>
nameserver <ip-address>

The field represents the domain name you would have, like "linux.com" or something. If you are unsure, again, ask your system administrator for the information. The <ip-address> field is where the IP-addresses of your networks Nameserver (or external nameserver for that matter) goes. Usually these addresses end in a ".2" for primary nameservers, or a ".254" for secondary. Once again, if your in question about this address, ask your system adminstrator. If you are the system administrator and you don't know any of this stuff.. well.. uhhh.. you might want to check out the /*link here*/ administrative section of our site. Now close out the /etc/resolv.conf file we opened for editing, and save the changes. Now, if that is all set up right, your DNS is golden!

Back to netconf.

Click "Accept" to accept the changes and then "Quit" to exit netconf. It will then ask you if you want to activate the changes, preview them or not quit yet. Well, we are impatient and we want up on the network, so click "Activate the changes," and you should be good to rock and roll! Enjoy those bits and bytes zipping along your ethernet! You worked hard for them!

If you have any questions about this article, please email me Alex at Rebelpacket@linux.com.