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Old 03-11-2008, 02:24 PM   #1
ham_man
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External Modem will not initialize - /dev/ttyS0


Zoom modem that I've used months and months will not initialize in RHEL based distros. This is probably something simple. I have used dial-up with this modem in COM1 with several versions of Mepis, several versions of PCLOS, Mandriva, Debian and others. (I'm sort of a distro junkie) If I do have issues it has been the need to change AUTH to NOAUTH in etc/ppp/options. However, I am testing out StartCOM5 and Centos 5.1, both based on RHEL 5. They are identical in their refusal to initialize the modem. Init codes are the same as the other distros that work properly.

So does anyone have an idea where they moved the ppp config file. The etc/ppp/options is a one liner for LOCK - not really any help. I am guessing teh the problem may be related to AUTH if I can find where RHEL is stashing it nowdays. If that isn't it, maybe a security setting. Have tried disabling the firewall - no good. The other point is that the PC is a standalone - no network connection. I have deleted the eth0 network connection, thinking that a failure there was preventing the ttyS0 device from being recognized. I make it active and have given myself root privledges, but nothing has been the ticket.
I am open to suggestions. And I would really like to know where the PPP options really are and what they are calling them now in these 2 distros.

Thanks!
 
Old 03-11-2008, 05:29 PM   #2
harry edwards
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I might be leading you in the wrong direction: however, I know serial ports are controlled by udev in RedHat/CentOS. I am unsure whether the ppp settings are also controlled by udev. This may help:

http://www.redhat.com/magazine/002dec04/features/udev/
 
Old 03-12-2008, 01:43 PM   #3
ham_man
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No modem initialization

Thanks for the tip Harry, I had fogotten about the udev standard. I immediately went to KPP to check out the dev options. There are many options but udev was not any of them. Actually, every option other than ttyS0 gets a no modem found error. So it does see it, sort of, but when it starts to do the initializtion it never completes.
I reinstalled last night but it didn't help. I am going to reinstall again without SELinux tonight. It is only a guess, no solid reason to think that it will change anything. I did find the NOAUTH parm in the vwdial config file (I don't have my notes in front of me so I can't provide the actual file name and location)
I may load up Fedora 8 just to see if I can get a clue from that.

Anyway, if you or anyone has other ideas on how to get an external modem to initialize in Fedora or a RHEL-based distro like CentOS or StartCom I would LOVE to hear from you!
 
Old 03-12-2008, 02:15 PM   #4
Larry Webb
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Give me the model of Zoom modem, a lot of the live distros come with a driver installed by default. I am guessing that Fedora may not but you can look in your repository and there should be a couple of drivers listed there. You will need one of these drivers if you do not have a hardware modem.
 
Old 03-13-2008, 01:25 PM   #5
ham_man
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Larry,
I will get the model number from the external hardware modem when I get home tonight. I haven't had this problem before but that is ok. That modem has worked with nearly every distro that I've installed or ran live. But that is fine. If all it takes is the appropriate driver to be loaded, I'm good with that. It does pose a question, however. I don't consider Zoom to be an out of the ordinary modem brand. If it is not included in these distros, do you think it is simply a matter of not including any or only a few modem drivers? Most people use broadband, and are on a network, so maybe not including modems for dialup is not considered very necessary any longer. That is more of an acedemic question, but relevent for those of us who use dialup because it is our only option. I know if I had a reasonably priced option, I would not be on dialup! In any event, I'll post the modem info later. Thank you.

Last edited by ham_man; 03-13-2008 at 01:26 PM.
 
Old 03-14-2008, 04:49 AM   #6
ham_man
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Modem Model number

Zoom V.92/V.90 Faxmodem
Model 3048c
Series 0269
 
Old 03-14-2008, 06:57 PM   #7
Larry Webb
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When I looked it up it tells me it has a "conexant chip" which means with some of the distros you may need to install a driver. This is usually no problem, most of the distros that do not install the driver by default have one in there repository. As for the name you will have to search, (Suse) lists a couple as "slmodem" and "smart link" and I can not remember the other one.
 
Old 03-14-2008, 07:03 PM   #8
dxqcanada
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You do not need a driver for an external modem.

Can you communicate to the modem through the /dev/ttyS0 device using a terminal app ?
ie minicom, cu ... etc.
 
Old 03-16-2008, 01:02 PM   #9
ham_man
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Some success, but not a complete solution yet

I have reinstalled CentOS 5.1 about 7 or 8 timers this morning. What I discovered is that if I install it with all of the defaults, basically only Gnome with Firewall and SELinux on, the modem will activate. One clarification point is that once activated there is no need to use KPPP or any other dialer program. That is one of the things that was tripping me up a bit. So just launching a browser after activation works fine. It was nice after 2 weeks of trying to have some success.
So, I also installed with Gnome and KDE along with the firewall and SELinux enabled. Again success.
However, if I try to load anything else at install time like stuff I want, server programs, system tools, development tools, the modem will not activate. To be more prescise, I launch the network config tool and add the modem connection on dev/ttyS0. The problem occurs when attempting the activation. I get in the system-config-network panel:

"Failed to activate VWDial_belle1 with error 8"

VWDial_belle1 is my supplied name.
Where can I find the error code explainations or does anyone know what "error 8" is? Actually I having trouble locating the system-config-network file (I'm assuming it is a config file). I could take a snapshot of it working and then again not working if I could locate it. I would still need to know what the heck error 8 is.

Thanks to all who have helped me muddle through this so far.
I am again humbily asking for assistance.
 
Old 03-17-2008, 05:27 PM   #10
harry edwards
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The error 8 may be the return value of pppd. The man page says that a return value of 8 corresponds to "The serial port could not be opened." which sounds like it can't open the port that your modem is on.

Could it simply be the permissions assigned to /dev/ttyS0, run

Code:
ls -l /dev/ttyS0
Ensure you have read write permissions, by default udev only permits root access to the port.
 
Old 03-19-2008, 12:44 PM   #11
ham_man
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Modem problem solved.

Thanks to everyone that has helped me work through the various possibilities with this problem. I solved it this morning before going to work.
I had noticed that during boot up that a FAILED message was displaying on XEND. Did a google and it was identified as a Red hat Visualization module. Which is also one of the installation group options. I did yet another re-install (#17 I think)with all of the groups and custom install apps that I wanted but excluding Visualization. It worked. The modem initializes at it is supposed to.

So the coutermeasure for CentOS 5.1 installation when you will require the use of a dial-up modem is to not select Visualization for installation.

It would be very good for the CentOS and possibly all RHEL derivitive distribution communities, if someone could continue my work. Visualization may indeed work with modem usage if the correct parameters that are in conflict could be identified and corrected.

For me, I have a workable CentOS 5.1 environment that can leverage the internet resources through a painfully slow dial-up modem connection.

Again thanks for all of the assistance from the forum community. I hope that this experience will help other users in the future. Lee
 
Old 03-20-2008, 04:48 AM   #12
ham_man
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Virtualization not Visualization

Must have been too early when I was writing yesterday. It was the Virtualization module (XEND) that had the ttyS0 port. Sorry for the error.
 
  


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