Re: 3Com 3x90x series network cards.

Yui-wah LEE (clement@ux3.sp.CS.CMU.EDU)
Mon, 3 Feb 1997 11:59:56 -0500 (EST)

> Hey, I was trying to get a 3c590 PCI card, and ended up with a 3x900 PCI
> network card. Does this actually work? It's called an "etherlink XL"
> I grepped for XL and 900 in /Documentation and /drivers/net and came up blank.

3c90x is "a lot like" 3c59x, according to the latest Ethernet HOWTO
(, so you can
used a updated version of 3c59x.c with these cards.

> 3c900 / 3c905
> Status -- Supported
> These cards (aka `Boomerang', aka EtherLink III XL) have been recently
> released to take over the place of the 3c590/3c595 cards. Cameron
> Spitzer of 3Com writes that the ``3C900 has a scatter gather bus master
> controlled by a descriptor ring in main memory. Aside from that, it's a
> lot like 3C590.''
> You may still be able to get a couple of these cards at a reduced price
> through one of 3Com's evaluation deals, if you are quick.
> To use this card with v2.0 kernels, you must obtain the updated 3c59x.c
> driver from Donald's site at:
> Vortex-Page (
> This updated 3c59x driver allows you to use the 3c900 in a 3c59x
> compatible mode, and has been reported to be quite stable. Note that
> this updated driver may be snuck into the v2.0 source tree at a later
> date.)
> On the same WWW page, you will also find the experimental boomerang.c
> driver which uses some of the enhancements of the 3c900 over that which
> is available on the 3c59x cards. Since this is a new/experimental
> driver, you may be better off in using the updated 3c59x.c if system
> stability is a primary concern.

I am currently using the *updated* 3c59x.c on kernel 2.0.18 and 2.0.28
without problem. The one I use is dated 12/23/96 and was grabbed
*seperately* from the above cesdis site -- in my case, it was not yet
in the main source tree. (just grap it and overwrite the old

-- Clement