Installing Intel Network Card Drivers under Debian

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This article will describe the installation of the Intel(R) PRO/1000 Linux drivers under Debian Lenny.

Since new network cards are not supported by the Debian standard kernel as a rule, loading the current drivers from the Intel web site will be necessary. The drivers must first be compiled for the kernel in use. To avoid the process of compiling, we provide Debian packages with the drivers for 32- and 64-bit systems.

Supported Hardware

Network cards supported by the e1000e module:

  • Intel® 82583 PCI-E, 82571/2/3/4/7/8 or 82566/7-based PCI-E gigabit network

Adjusting the sources.list file

Add TK-Mirror to the sources.list file (if not already present)

echo "deb squeeze tks" >> /etc/apt/sources.list
apt-get update

Creating a Backup

The original e1000e.ko kernel module will be overwritten. For that reason, creating a copy of the old module would be advisable.

cp /lib/modules/`uname -r`/kernel/drivers/net/e1000e/e1000e.ko /lib/modules/`uname -r`/kernel/drivers/net/e1000e/e1000e.ko.orig

Installation with TK Kernel 2.6.32-5

apt-get install e1000e-2.6.32-5
depmod -a

Loading the Drivers

Check the version of the driver.

modinfo e1000e | grep version


version:        1.4.4-NAPI
srcversion:     F3AE734BF9B60BE9BE2460E
vermagic: SMP mod_unload modversions 686

Load the driver module:

modprobe e1000e

Installing without a Network

If a network card is not available, the drivers can be installed with the help of a USB stick. To do so, simply load the drivers from the following address and copy them to the stick.

Mount the USB stick from the server:

mkdir /mnt/usb
mount /dev/sdb1 /mnt/usb
  • Alternatively:
    • If the server cannot be accessed physically, the data can also be integrated using the IPMI module.
    • A "virtual storage device", where the data is located, can be mounted with the help of "console redirection".

Install the driver package:
The drivers in the package have been compiled for the Debian kernel version 2.6.32-5-amd64 (2.6.32-35squeeze2). If you have installed from a current Debian CD, this kernel will have been installed.

Check which Debian kernel has been installed:

root@testing:~# dpkg -l | grep linux-image
ii  linux-image-2.6-amd64               2.6.32+29                    Linux 2.6 for 64-bit PCs (meta-package)
ii  linux-image-2.6.32-5-amd64          2.6.32-35squeeze2            Linux 2.6.32 for 64-bit PCs
cd /mnt/usb
dpkg -i e1000e-2.6.32-5_1.4.4_amd64.deb
dpkg -i igb-2.6.32-5_3.1.16_amd64.deb
dpkg -i ixgbe-2.6.32-5_3.4.24_amd64.deb

Check the version:

modinfo e1000e

Load the driver:

modprobe e1000e

Additional Information

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