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Old 07-05-2008, 03:11 AM   #1
Steve W
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BT Broadband compatible with Linux?


Not sure which thread to post this question on - Hardware or Networking.

Quick question: Does anyone know if, in the United Kingdom, BT Broadband Option 1 (which comes with their standard wired router) is compatible with Linux (specifically Ubuntu)? I'm on dialup at the moment, with an external modem, and want to go to Broadband. I have heard before that USB broadband modems can be tricky to get working in any OS other than Windows - and one option is to go straight to a router connected through the Ethernet port of the PC. So does this mean their router will work with Linux straight up? Obviously, none of their "installation software" they supply will be applicable to Linux... but would most versions of Linux handle broadband connection stuff themselves, given the right broadband modem?

I don't want to commit to ordering the thing if it isn't going to work and I needed a different "Linux friendly" setup...

Steve
 
Old 07-05-2008, 03:20 AM   #2
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100% Compatible.
Turn on plug in, boot, done
 
Old 07-05-2008, 03:51 AM   #3
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I had no problems connecting to the standard wired router whatsoever.
 
Old 07-06-2008, 04:08 AM   #4
Steve W
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OK, thanks for putting my mind at rest. BT are missing a trick here - on their website they state clearly the versions of Windows that their system is compatible with, and even the Mac OS versions. But fail to mention Linux at all. It wouldn't cost them anything to mention Linux compatibility too would it?!



Steve
 
Old 07-06-2008, 04:15 AM   #5
reddazz
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve W View Post
OK, thanks for putting my mind at rest. BT are missing a trick here - on their website they state clearly the versions of Windows that their system is compatible with, and even the Mac OS versions. But fail to mention Linux at all. It wouldn't cost them anything to mention Linux compatibility too would it?!



Steve
If they mention Linux, then it means that they have to officially support it. Years back I used BT Broadband, but I bought my own ethernet based modem/router because at that time their USB modems didn't always play along nicely with Linux.
 
Old 07-06-2008, 04:40 AM   #6
tredegar
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Yup, that Speedtouch was a pig to get running with linux, but the newer "HomeHub" has Ethernet, and is easy, but I gave mine away because I wanted a multi-port ethernet & wireless router (DG834G - nice), and that was a breeze to set up.

The reason BT do not mention linux is that they do not want to support it:

They do not want to have to say "Open your favourite browser and point it at your router's address which is 10.0.0.2. Login to your router. Under "WAN Setup", enter your login name and password. Click OK. You are connected".

They want to be able to say:

"Reboot windows, Open IE ..., Click the Network Wizard ..., Reboot windows..."
 
Old 07-06-2008, 05:26 AM   #7
pixellany
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tredegar View Post
The reason BT do not mention linux is that they do not want to support it
It's quite possible that they really know nothing about Linux......eventually, all the people snapping up low-end Asus EEEs and similar are bound to get their attention.

Why not call them and ask about Linux support? Offer to write some installation guides for them?
 
Old 07-06-2008, 06:17 AM   #8
tredegar
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It is surprising ( not really perhaps, where's the advertising budget for linux? [Joke]) how few people have heard of linux.
I was in a mobile phone shop last week, I wanted a "Mobile Phone Broadband Data USB dongle-thingy".
They had them. I explained I was running linux, and wanted to check the chipset by plugging one into my EEE. "What's linux?" he said. So I showed him. Plugged in the dongle, lsusb showed it to be a Huawei E620G. "Fine" I said, and bought it, because I knew I could get it working.
All he cared about was that he'd made a sale.

Quote:
Why not call them and ask about Linux support? Offer to write some installation guides for them?
Because BT is big, and boring, and mostly run from call centres in India.

Also, the truth is that BT doesn't need to support linux, as their current kit (wireless and ethernet modem/router) "just works" with linux:
Plug in their box, plug in ethernet, turn everything on. Power up your linux PC. Login to the router with http://whatever.it.says-on.the-box Enter your BT username and password. Click OK. You are connected. You don't need any of their windows software. But keep the CD because it has a pdf of the modem's manual, and you'll need that if you want to play with the firewall.

Since they stopped supplying Alcatel's horrible Speedtouch USB modem, I don't think I have seen a single post from someone who couldn't get connected to BT with linux.
 
Old 07-08-2008, 02:14 PM   #9
Steve W
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Thanks, Tredegar. And thanks for the specific info on how to get the router running once I get it!

It does sometimes peeve me when people in general, and people in the computer "trade", express lack of knowledge of Linux - although as you say it's not surprising considering the lack of publicity there is for it.

WHSmiths round our way seems to be leading a charge - there are regularly two Linux titles in their magazine display, plus two OpenOffice titles (yeah, two! Incredible!), and an occasion Linux Format Special, the latest of which is called the "Linux Startup Pack", complete with DVD of Ubuntu and glossy guide on how to try it out/install it and how to get started in Linux.

So, well done WHSmiths. Even though, when they were out of stock once, I asked the assistant at the book desk and she said "Oh, you mean those Lye-nux magazines....". It's pronounced Lin-ux, dear... LINUX....!

I recently purchased a little portable hard drive from Play.com, and was so impressed with it I wrote a little review for it (http://www.play.com/PC/PCs/4-/325630...k/Product.html), giving Linux a plug at the same time. Right above a reviewer saying how the software supplied doesn't work with Vista.....!

Maybe if we all keep on plugging, people will eventually get wise...

Steve
 
Old 07-08-2008, 02:20 PM   #10
XavierP
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Smiths have always carried the Linux mags - I bought the first issue of Linux Format from my local Smiths and, IIRC, it was a PC mag that I bought there that first got me interested in it. Heady days.

Not to derail with a pronunciation fight, but although the correct pronunciation is Lin-ucks, even Lin-us has said that it doesn't matter as long as people use it.

It is becoming more popular though, gradually.
 
Old 07-08-2008, 02:23 PM   #11
pixellany
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve W View Post
Maybe if we all keep on plugging, people will eventually get wise...Steve
No--they won't, but more of them will use Linux......

Watch what happens with low-end mini-laptops:
OLPC, Everex, Asus EEE, HP, .... , ....

In addition to the normal slow growth in all sectors, we'll be seeing more users who use Linux without even knowing it.
 
Old 07-08-2008, 02:41 PM   #12
Steve W
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I think there is some credence to the argument that - within the next 5-10 years - the "operating system" of a computer will become irrelevant to the ordinary user, as more and more applications are run online, over the web. Googleapps and others, for example. If something is running over the web ("in the cloud", I think is the latest jargon for it), then it doesn't (or shouldn't) matter whether you are running Linux, Windows or a Macintosh, with IE, Firefox or Safari, since it should all just work the same. In theory, at least.

So, if the OS is irrelevant - who's going to pay 200 plus to buy one from Microsoft, when Linux is free of charge....?
 
Old 07-08-2008, 03:41 PM   #13
tredegar
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Quote:
And thanks for the specific info on how to get the router running once I get it!
If you encounter problems (and I do not think you will), just post here, and I'll be happy to pick your question up.

I tried repeatedly to buy a couple of copies of the LXF "Linux Startup Pack" at WHS (to give away to some dithering, and addicted to but exhausted by windows, colleagues), but they were "Sold Out".

I thought this was a "good thing", although it was a personal annoyance: I have just given them some kubuntu "Live DVDs" to try instead.

@pixellany,
Too true. I was an early adopter of the EEE way back in November last year. It is perfect, for what it is. I have lost count of the people I have "sold" it to, but I have personally bought five for re-allocation. All the users are happy bunnies, and they don't care that it's linux, all they care is that "It works!". I am happy because they are not nagging me for "support".

Quote:
we'll be seeing more users who use Linux without even knowing it.
Indeed. What is running most peoples modem / routers? It's linux (Eg the small print that came with my Netgear DG834G said something like "This device is running linux, if you wish to download the sourcecode, it is here: Link". I DL'd it, looked at it, and just thought: Good.

But I am reminded of what Arpanet, and then the "Internet" was like before we had that first spam email from those lawyers in the US (I wish I had saved a copy of that historic first spam: I was completely stunned that such an abuse could even be contemplated - I must dig through the attic sometime), and before AOL came "online". Ouch.

So the point I am making here (and probably going off-topic - but I'll shut up soon) is that more people using linux is both good and bad.
Good, because I think open source software is the way forwards and
Bad, because we'll see a lot more "Heeeeellllp me plz" on LQ
 
Old 07-08-2008, 03:46 PM   #14
tredegar
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Steve W,
You have posted whilst I was composing this.

OK. This is now definitely "off topic", but I do not want any web application wordprocessing my documents or anything else, because they can read what I am writing. If I am writing to my bank, my employer, or my family then that is none of their business, and I would rather do it on an application on my PC, that is private.

The people using gmail and similar need to wake up and read the small print instead of clicking "I Accept".
 
Old 07-09-2008, 09:12 AM   #15
jamesapnic
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Quote:
If they mention Linux, then it means that they have to officially support it.
Lets face it, who can blame them with the plethora of distributions and ways of doing things. Its not like windows where there is a single set way to get something to work and everyone runs one of a small subset of versions.
 
  


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