Linux Step By Steps


How to configure/install a Simple Home Network with a Cable Modem for any Linux distro and a Windows (98 or 2K) PC

Written by Susan Macchia Jan/Feb, 2001
Updated, May 19, 2003


I had DELL Dimension V400, Pentium II that I bought with Windows98 in 1998.  It had a DEC 20401A ethernet card attached to a cable modem.  I added a 30G hard drive, on which I installed Caldera EDesktop 2.4.  I had another PC with Windows 98 that was built in pieces over the years (Pentium I, 120 mhz, 5G disk, and a DEC20401A ethernet card); I will call this the Noname PC.  I wanted the other PC to be able to use the printer and cable modem on my linux box.  And for other members of my family since the Linux box was my machine which I used for my work (and fun!).

I purchased a Linksys Etherfast NIC and put it in my linux box.  It used the same driver as the DEC NIC (tulip), but the linux box couldn't see the card.  After trying a variety of things, I put the Linksys card in the Noname PC and put the DEC card in my Linux box.  Now my linux box has 2 NICS that are the same.  When I did this I could see both cards but couldn't get out on the net because of where they were in the PCI slots.  So I swapped the cards and now I could see both cards and could proceed from here.

What to Do

I recommend putting 2 of the same cards in the Linux box and any other kind of cards in the second machine.

1) On the Linux box su to root and run ifconfig.  If you don't see both cards, run ifconfig -a, and add the card via Webmin or another GUI tool.  Redhat 8.0 has a GUI that you can access from the the desktop menu (select: System Settings | Network
This will open the Network Configuration utility).

2) Configure pmfirewall so that it lets in the range of internal address that you want to have access to the linux box (, for example).  pmfirewall can be found at: 
3) On the windows box do the following:
On newer distros, nslookup is deprecated.  You can use dig  to find out similar information.

4) Configure Netscape by picking Edit->Preferences Now you should be able to browse from the Windows box.  You should also be able to telnet and ftp to/from either box using the internal network addresses.

5) Modify /etc/hosts on the Linux box

You'll want to edit this file to add your windows box.  You will also probably want to add your own NIC

Mine looks like this: susan susan windows

You can also try to automatically create this with the following lines in /etc/rc.d/rc.local

IP=`ifconfig eth0 | head -2 | tail -1 | cut -d: -f2 | awk '{print $1}'`
cat << !EOF! > /etc/hosts localhost
$IP susan susan windows

Replacing the names with your own.