Today I had to install CentOS 64 bit on a desktop built on an ASUS P5N32-E SLI motherboard. This motherboard features a nForce 680i SLI chipset and other fancy stuff that are likely to cause trouble to Linux distributions, specially old versions.
I decided to go for CentOS 4.2 just because I had it available on a DVD from a magazine, it was 64-bit and as an entreprise distribution it should be stable.
Installation was straightforward although I had to specify the drivers to use for hard disk (sata_nv) just before it started.
Upon login into my new installation I noticed I didn’t had any ethernet interfaces configured. This motherboard has two gigabit ethernet interfaces. They should use forcedeth driver from nvidia but they’re not working. Loading forcedeth manually didn’t do it . Also using options msi=0 msix=0 also didn’t do it.
So I decided to download the most recent kernel package for CentOS 4 which is kernel-smp-2.6.9-78.0.8.EL.x86_64.rpm. I downloaded from another computer to an usb stick and copied over to my CentOS 4 host. Then as root I executed the command: rpm -i kernel-smp-2.6.9-78.0.8.EL.x86_64.rpm and rebooted.
After booting using the new kernel the system was able to find my ethernet devices. Aditionally it also found my onboard sound card.
After configuring them I was able to get network on my new system.