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Linux: Find out Ethernet card driver name

Under Linux, you use term called modules for device drivers. The driver can be loaded or unloaded as per your requirement using commands. Each driver or module gives the Linux information on how to control that particular Ethernet card. The name of each module (driver) is listed in the /etc/modules.conf file.

Command to find out Ethernet card driver name

You can try any one of the following command to find out your Ethernet card driver:

# dmesg | grep 'Ethernet driver'


8139cp: 10/100 PCI Ethernet driver v1.2 (Mar 22, 2004)

Or search a file called /var/log/dmesg:

# grep 'Ethernet driver' /var/log/dmesg


8139too Fast Ethernet driver 0.9.27
8139cp: 10/100 PCI Ethernet driver v1.2 (Mar 22, 2004)

You can also get driver name from config file:

# grep eth0 /etc/modules.conf


alias eth0 8139too


# vi /etc/modules.conf

Search for eth0 string.

In above example 8139too is driver loaded for eth0. You can find out more information about this driver using modinfo command:

# modinfo 8139too

modinfo program to show information about a Linux Kernel module. You can also find out all loaded modules or drivers using lsmod command:

# lsmod | less

lsmod is a program to show the status of modules in the Linux Kernel.

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{ 5 comments… add one }
  • Ed Windes August 29, 2007, 1:38 pm

    The “ethtool” program has an option which will show the driver your Ethernet device is using:

    # ethtool -i eth0
    driver: tg3
    version: 3.77
    firmware-version: 5752-v3.13
    bus-info: 0000:02:00.0

    • Eduardo November 4, 2010, 3:02 pm

      ethtool is the way to go, in my opinion. It also shows you bus information, which coupled with lspci can clarify which actual network card is using which driver.

  • Manoj October 21, 2011, 10:48 am

    A broken url in this page: http://theos.in/exploring-linux-kernel.html

  • Sirvesh February 26, 2013, 7:30 pm

    To find out the exact name of the Ethernet card that you are using :

    # lspci | grep -i Ethernet
    02:00.0 Ethernet controller: Intel Corporation 82545EM Gigabit Ethernet Controller (Copper) (rev 01)
    02:01.0 Ethernet controller: Intel Corporation 82545EM Gigabit Ethernet Controller (Copper) (rev 01)

    • Hemant Solanki January 31, 2016, 4:56 am

      It doesn’t provide driver or module information.

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