Thanks Ladies & Gentlemen for all the excellent advice.
Share internet connection established with Motorola E815 cell phone via usb (through put somewhere around 700k).
I can use either a Compaq Pesario desktop or an HP dv900 series laptop.
The desktop is somewhat dated (s4020wm). It is dual-boot (Debian testing & xp) because I can't get the wife to leave windows behind it runs on xp most of the time. I would prefer to use this machine because it is stationary and hardwired to the wireless router (Netgear wnr834m). The laptop gets moved all over the place and the data cable connection on the cell is touchy and so it is easy to loose the connection.
I need to be able to share this connection from both Debian and xp. One of the problems I have to solve is that apparently xp when set up with ICS it starts dhcp and so I have read it can't be turned off. I also have two networked printers that need static ip's and an old Packard Bell desktop running w98 on my network. Occasionally I expect to have visitors with laptop connected too.
I already have the internet connection set up in both os's. From what I have read setting it up to share in linux with iptables seams a little daunting. I have looked at this how-to http://www.debuntu.org/iptables-how-...net-connection
. There is much I don't understand and my time is very limited. So several weeks reading to come to a through understanding are out of the question. Is this script safe to use as it is? How about some other good how-to's or tutorials?
I do understand that a dial-up line, which is basically what I have, is relatively safe from being cracked because it comes and goes and has it's ip changed all the time. So on the surface it seams safe to me to use the fore mentioned script as is.
A little history on the testing install on the desktop. It started out as stable (sarge), was upgraded to testing (etch) and most recently to testing (lenny). There are some upgrades that it still needs, for instance the kernel is 2.6.18 and really should be updated because I get the fuse error. There is also a package that persists in wanting to remove opera so I have not updated it either. And of coarse those that have bugs listed against them I have not installed.
One thing I have noticed that I will have to change in the script is the reference to the wan=eth0. Since my connection is established on /dev/ttyACM0 would I make that line read wan=/dev/ttyACM0 ? Seams logical to me, but.
Another issue I see, as mentioned before is that xp will force me to use dhcp from my linux os too. Anyone know of a good debian based how-to or tutorial for setting up dhcp? I will (I think) need to have 3 static ip's set up (the two printers and the wireless router). I know that through the d-link router (DI-604) I had in my setup at one time, that it would grant internet service to a static ip that was not defined in the filters. My son used that method to circumvent my parental controls one time by setting a static ip on his box.
Firewalls. In the past I have always had a hardware firewall between my cable modem and my network. Now that is not a viable option. What is a good one that is easy to configure through the gui? Besides the fore mentioned Netgear router has very pour firewall capabilities, the D-link is much better.
So mostly I am looking for advice before I jump in. Breaking my linux system is an option that I am not impressed with very much.
Several days later.
I have the system working in this configuration.
Desktop Preserio when running xp sharing it's internet connection and providing dhcp.
Netgear router acting as a switch (dhcp turned off) and wireless access point
HP laptop running both Debian and vista succussfully obtaining internet access through the Desktop's connection.
Old Pakard Bell is also obtaining internet through the Desktop.
Networked HP LaserJet 4si (not connected to a computer) prints fine.
Other printer has not been hooked to the system yet.
I have not begun to set up the desktop in linux yet. The question I have to start with is: should I start the setup proccess by configuring the desktop to provide dhcp first or share it's internet connection? Or does it matter?
Once again, thanks for all the advice, and thanks for listening while I talk my way through.