Q: Is there support for PCI modems under Linux?

Am shopping for a new system, but everything seems to be going PCI, including yours. But I don't see much support for PCI in the PCI HOWTO. I would stay with ISA, but the motherboards for the faster Pentiums don't have many slots left. PCI boards are cheap, though: I see at Best Buy I can get a LinkSys EtherPCI combo card for $30, and a PCI 56k v.90 Zoom modem for $70. But will these work under Linux?

A: I'm not familar with the above cards, however PCI is well supported under Linux. Many ISA cards today are Plug and Play devices, which have numerous problems under Linux. The above devices should work given the following. You can manually set IRQs, COM port (modem), and the like, and the cards are listed in the Linux hardware HOWTO.

If price is the concern, ask yourself how much is your time worth. It can take days to get a poorly supported ISA card to work, while a supported PCI card will just work, if you have the right driver built into the kernel or you "insmod" the driver.

Beware, however, that almost all PCI internal modems for x86 PCs are "winmodems" (AKA host-controlled modems, soft modems, host-based modems, software modems, HSF modems, HSP modems, or controllerless modems), which lack some of the standard modem circuitry and rely on Windows "driver" software to supply the missing functionality, and therefore are essentially impossible to support on anything but Windows. For more information, see: