So, This has probably been hashed out several times on the Internet, but I figure one more time wont hurt.

I decided to install Ubuntu Server 8.04 LTS on one of my Linux machines. After installation, the ethernet card refused to work. It was detected by the kernel, there was a light on the switch, but no joy. Under Debian and Fedora, this card had worked fine.

The motherboard in this machine is a Intel DG41TY with a RealTek RTL8168B ethernet chipset. Apparently, the version of the kernel shipped with 8.04 doesn’t like this chipset, and requires a driver direct from RealTek.

# Uncomment cdrom source for apt
vi /etc/apt/sources.list
# Install build packages
apt-get install build-essential
apt-get install linux-headers-server
# Install Driver
bzcat r8168-8.016.00.tar.bz2 | tar xf -
cd r8168-8.016.00
# Grab a DHCP lease

It seems to work fine after that.

This particular chip is known to be problematic in other ways. Notably, Windows will turn it off during a shutdown, and the Linux driver won’t be able to start it back up. However, I’m not planning on dual booting, so that shouldn’t be an issue.

This isn’t the only trouble I’ve had with Ubuntu server. The installer failed to mount my /boot partition, causing GRUB to fail since / was on an LVM. It then commenced to install LILO which I haven’t seen since my salad days running Slackware. I thought Ubuntu was supposed to be easy?