14.3. Configuration

Using the YaST runlevel editor, determine whether PCMCIA should be started when the system is booted. This module can be started with System+Runlevel Editor.

The following three variables are defined in the file /etc/sysconfig/pcmcia:


Contains the name of the module that controls the PCMCIA controller. Normally, the start script should determine the module automatically. If this fails, enter the module here. Otherwise, this variable should be left empty.


This variable was designed for parameters for the pcmcia_core module. However, these parameters are rarely used. The options are described in the manual page of pcmcia_core. Because this manual page refers to the homonymous module from the pcmcia-cs package from David Hinds, it lists more parameters than the module from the kernel actually supports, namely all parameters beginning with cb_ and pc_debug.


Enables and disables the acoustic signals of the card manager.

The files /etc/pcmcia/config and /etc/pcmcia/*.conf contain the assignment of the drivers to PC cards. First, config is read and then *.conf in alphabetic order. The last entry found for a card is used. Details about the syntax of these files are available in the manual page of pcmcia.

The files designated as /etc/sysconfig/hardware/hwcfg-<configuration name> contain the assignment of drivers to CardBus cards. These files are created by YaST when configuring a card. More information about the configuration names is available in /usr/share/doc/packages/sysconfig/README and in the manual page of getcfg.

14.3.1. Network Cards

Ethernet, wireless LAN, and TokenRing network cards can be configured with YaST like normal network cards. If your card was not detected, select the card type PCMCIA in the hardware settings. All other details regarding the configuration of the network are provided in 22.4. “Network Integration”. Information about hotpluggable cards is provided in 22.4.6. “Hotplug and PCMCIA”.

14.3.2. ISDN

Like other ISDN cards, ISDN PC cards can also be configured with YaST to a large extent. It does not matter which of the listed PCMCIA ISDN cards is selected, as long as it is a PCMCIA card. When configuring the hardware and selecting a provider, the operating mode must always be hotplug, not onboot. ISDN modems also exist in the form of PCMCIA cards. These are modem cards or multifunction cards with an additional ISDN connection kit. They are treated like modems.

14.3.3. Modem

Normally, there are no PCMCIA-specific settings for modem PC cards. A soon as a modem is inserted, it is available under /dev/modem. Some of the PCMCIA modem cards are softmodems that are not supported by Linux. If drivers are available for these cards, they must be installed in the system.

14.3.4. SCSI and IDE

The suitable driver module is loaded by the card manager or by hotplug. As soon as a SCSI or IDE card is inserted, the connected devices can be used. The device names are determined dynamically. Information about available SCSI and IDE devices is available under /proc/scsi and under /proc/ide.

External hard disks, CD-ROM drives, and similar devices must be switched on before the PCMCIA card is inserted in the slot. Use active termination for SCSI devices.

[Warning]Removing SCSI or IDE Cards

Before a SCSI or IDE card is removed, all partitions of the connected devices must be unmounted with the command umount. If you forget to do this, you will only be able to access these devices after rebooting the system.