I have a distribution of Linux installed and running on an old laptop. The distribution I have currently is Mepis. When I bought the laptop, it came with a modem card and an ethernet card. But I lost what I understand is called a "dongle" the wire that connects the ethernet card to a network cable.
So I ventured down to Fry's Electronics and I was convinced to go ahead and just by a brand new Ethernet card. I bought a D-Link DFE-690T. It did not work. And it came with an installation CD and an instruction manual that stated that the requirements are to be run on either a Mac or a Windows OS.