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Author Topic: Network support question...  (Read 1636 times)

Offline tclfan

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Network support question...
« on: August 18, 2010, 06:19:06 AM »
Although I indicated this fact on a few occasions in the past I would like to ask now explicitly, perhaps not understanding Linux architecture enough to answer this question myself:

Question is: What is this in TCL that TCL has better network support than other Linux distros?

My testing various (lightweight only, I do not want to touch bloat anymore) Linux distros, such as SliTaz, Austrumi, Zenwalk, Kolibri, etc., on variety of hardware, It was easy to notice that only TCL detects and configures network hardware across the board. None other detected network hardware across the board, which puts in question of capability of being univerally usefull without installing network drivers, configuring, etc...

This means to me (empirically determined, not supported by any theory that I have handy at the moment), that TCL has something in the base support that other distros do not have...
This is not a trivial difference but rather a key differentiator on which TCL depends its functionality - installing extensions for one.

Although I asked this question in the past, I have not seen answers. Perhaps someone can shed some light on this secret?

Offline bmarkus

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Re: Network support question...
« Reply #1 on: August 18, 2010, 08:24:32 AM »
Network devices are handled by the Kernel ususally by modules and not by the distribution, except some funny (wireless) drivers. In every new Kernel releases there are new drivers, more and more devices are supported. TC 3.0 comes with a relatively new Kernel, so expected to supports devices which are not supported by older Kernel versions.
Béla
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Offline tclfan

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Re: Network support question...
« Reply #2 on: August 18, 2010, 09:36:57 AM »
Hi BMarkus,
I appreciate your insight. However, I have been observing this behavior across all TC releases, 2.X and 3.0. 
I did not assemble a matrix of network hardware detected and configured by various releases of several Linux distros, noting the kernel level to make it scientific. However the kernel level seemed the same, and the distros were the latest available.
Each time I stick the LiveCd in 4 or 5 machines (mostly older ones) I experienced the same behavior: Only TCL was able to detect and configure all network hardware (sometimes multiple cards in tested machines). This led me to thinking there is something more to it than the kernel level.

Example: Stick any standard PCMCIA network card in a laptop and boot SliTaz, TCL, Austrumi and Zenwalk. Only TCL detects and configures this network, although I can be hardly pressed to find any difference in kernel level. And this is just an example - there are many cases like this particularly with older network hardware.

I was suspecting special attention to network support has been done in TCL, as TCL has particular dependency on network to start with...

In any case, this behavior is certainly good - only TCL is reliable in terms of being able to boot and install applications on variety of hardware. Every other distro works on one machine, but not on another in terms of network.

This is my experience, although still mysterious to me.

Offline bmarkus

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Re: Network support question...
« Reply #3 on: August 18, 2010, 09:45:57 AM »
Well, kernel configuration can be different also even using the same kernel version.
Béla
Ham Radio callsign: HA5DI

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Offline tclfan

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Re: Network support question...
« Reply #4 on: August 18, 2010, 10:47:21 AM »
Hi BMarkus,
Thank you! This starts to make sense for me...
Now whom am I supposed to thank for this wonderfully configured kernel? I suppose it is RobertS... to have the vision that network support is key here...
This is one example of what sets TCL apart from other distros...

Offline curaga

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Re: Network support question...
« Reply #5 on: August 18, 2010, 11:55:47 AM »
Blame me for the kernels :)

Robert wrote the script that runs dhcp for all found cards, which would be different to other distros as well.
The only barriers that can stop you are the ones you create yourself.

Offline tclfan

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Re: Network support question...
« Reply #6 on: August 18, 2010, 01:19:27 PM »
Hi Curaga,
Thank you. This synergy kernel/DHCP script works fantastic. Network support is the single most important feature to be taken care of and TCL did it right. You can stick TCL in any machine and it works, which I cannot say of any other Linux distro that I tried!