Suramya's Blog : Welcome to my crazy life…

September 5, 2011

Getting RTL8111/8168B PCI Express Gigabit Ethernet controller to work in Debian 6

Filed under: Knowledgebase,Linux/Unix Related,Tech Related,Tutorials — Suramya @ 11:28 PM

Once I got Debian 6 installed on my server I needed to connect it to the internet to download updates etc, however my network card wasn’t being detected correctly so I had to perform the following steps to get it to work correctly:

  • Download the latest Linux drivers for the RTL8111 Chipset from the Realtek site on a computer that can connect to the Internet.
  • Copy the file over to your new system via USB or smoke signals
  • Login as root to the server
  • Identify the kernel version that you are running, using the following command:
  • uname -a

    It will give you a result like the following:

    Linux StarKnight 2.6.30-2-686 #1 SMP Sat Aug 27 16:41:03 UTC 2011 i686 GNU/Linux

    Now you need to install the kernel source code for this version on the server. First we need to find the package name of the kernel source code, we do that by running the following command:

    apt-cache search linux |grep header |grep 2.6 

    If you have a 2.4.x kernel, replace grep 2.6 with grep 2.4. Once you have the package name install it using the following command as root:

    apt-get install linux-headers-2.6.30-2-686

    Make sure you replace linux-headers-2.6.30-2-686 with the package name you got.

    Once we have the kernel source installed we can go ahead and install the driver using the following commands:

    tar -jxvf
    cd r8168-8.025.00

    This will compile the drive and install it. I didn’t get any errors when I ran it, but if you do get errors try searching for the error message on Google, it usually provides a solution.

    After I installed the driver I tried initializing my network but kept getting the following error message:

    StarKnight:~# ifdown eth0
    ifdown: interface eth0 not configured
    StarKnight:~# ifup eth0
    Ignoring unknown interface eth0=eth0.

    Fixing it was fairly simple though, all I had to do was edit the /etc/network/interfaces file and add the following lines to it (This assumes you are using DHCP):

    auto eth0
    iface eth0 inet dhcp

    Once you add the lines, you can try starting the network again using the command:

    ifup eth0

    If all went well, you will be assigned an IP address and will now be able to successfully browse the net.

    Hope this helped.

    – Suramya


    1. This was a lifesaver – even nearly 2 years on from writing it. Thank you!

      System – Linux Mint 14

      Comment by Stilez — June 4, 2013 @ 7:08 PM

    2. Glad to hear that. Gives me incentive to start posting again on a regular basis 🙂

      – Suramya

      Comment by Suramya — June 9, 2013 @ 11:24 AM

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