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exit3219 06-04-2005 10:01 AM

Beginner's guide to connecting to the Internet
[What is bold is important]

OK. First of all, where have I inspired from:
1. //Yes, I use Debian, and I know it's not for beginners. :tisk:
2. //This site is really amazing. The #1 resource for info about different modem's Linux/UNIX compatibility.
3. //TLDP: _THE_ Linux Documentation Project. This site (although outdated IMO) contains data about everything you want / need to know about Linux.

Now something more: I know that what I have done to get on-line is by far not the best way. So please, this is the reason I post this in a FORUM, and not on a WEB-PAGE: for getting replies from pro's like you! :study:

So this is how I got started.
Being a DOS borned (1989) and Windows childhood-ed (It was ~1997 when I first tried to understand what a computer really is), I had no idea about how it is being done in Linux. It was this simple to me: Start > Connect To > [My ISP].

So I began Googling. [And I mean Googling big-time!] I finally came across the #1. in my list. Reading, reading, what's the point? Don't ask me! <add>

First things to know:
1. The command

gives you a lot of info about what hardware do you have in your box. Make it

lspci -v
for even more info.
2. The command

lists all the messages that wondered your eyes at boot time. It throws a pretty long output, so make sure you pipe it to less:

dmesg |less

These is not read-use-and-forget info! You will use these commands pretty often in your 'Linux life'! :Pengy:

Second thing to know (mostly for Window$ "users", assuming you know that all the devices are located in /dev/):
COM1 = /dev/ttyS0
COM2 = /dev/ttyS1
COM3 = /dev/ttyS2
and so on...

Now let's talk about your modem. Is it serial? USB? External? Winmodem? Message limit is 25000 chars, so you'll better read #2 & #3 from my list.
(If you might want to know what I have: US Robotics 56K Internal Faxmodem [True hardware, no cheap Winmodem!])

Third thing to know:
1. A Winmodem will probably fail to work under Linux.
2. External serial modems are the best out there. (Yes, I know, I use an internal modem myself :twocents: )

So this is how I made my modem work under Debian:

1. Use lspci -v to determine my modem's I/O port and IRQ and use Window$ to confirm it. [Reference: I/O: 0x800; IRQ: 11]
2. Use dmesg to notice that it detects my modem at startup and says:

ttyS4: I/O port: 0x800  IRQ: 11
, or something like that.
3. Discover that I don't even have a ttyS4 in /dev/.

cd /dev;./MAKEDEV ttyS4
to create ttyS4.

setserial ttyS4 uart 16550A port 0x800 irq 11
to configure ttyS4 to point to my modem (The UART was just a wild guess)
6. Have a fight with my parents because I stayed at the computer all day ;)

Then I continued reading #1 and I've found out that I didn't know my ISP's DNS server IPs. BOOM! Now what?!

Don't panic! [And don't let the kernel panic, either! :D]

I edited /etc/chatscripts/provider, /etc/ppp/peers/provider according to #1 and I've created a link from ttyS4 to modem, like this:

cd /dev; ln -s ttyS4 modem

Then I wondered what to do for another few days (pon and poff didn't work), and I've read that there is an 'intelligent' tool, called wvdial, to help me. It should be already installed, but if it's not the case, do

apt-get install wvdial
to install it.


to go 'home' ;)
2. wvdialconf my-isp.conf //This will scan your serial ports, looking for a modem. If it succeeds, it will build the my-isp.conf configuration file. If it fails, there's already something wrong!!!
3. Manually edit my-isp.conf to add the phone #, user name & password
4. Connect to the internet with

wvdial --config my-isp.conf
!!!!! :cool: //Note that will lock your console. You can do several things:
  • switch to another: ALT + Fx
  • switch to the X window system: ALT + F7
  • send wvdial to background (you must know how to kill it later!): CTRL + Z

Congratulations! You have successfully connected to the Internet! Happy Surfing! ;)
5. Press CTRL + C to stop wvdial, and to free the phone line!

NOTE: I'm still a :newbie: , so any of your comments / opinions are WELCOME! Criticize me, make me cry, I don't care! I want to learn Linux!

craigevil 06-04-2005 10:20 AM

"Configuring a PPP interface"

exit3219 06-05-2005 09:48 AM

I've read through that tutorial you gave me, but it didn't help me too much. pon doesn't work and I still use wvdial. Besides, when I try to change the console while I'm dialing-out, my monitor says 'Frequency <don't know what>' and shuts down immediately. All I can do is reset.

I still have lots to learn about Linux... :D

exit3219 06-05-2005 10:38 AM

OK, so I used pppconfig, which created /etc/chatscripts/DNT-test and /etc/ppp/peers/DNT-test (My ISP is DNT).
And now pon gets me on-line. But there's something else:
1. I cannot make the modem shut-up. It almost deafs me with those annoying rings. I tried to include 'ATM0' in Advanced Options, Modeminit, in pppconfig, but that didn't help.
2. When I run poff, and then start Mozilla, it probably tries to connect, because I hear the modem again. How can I get better control over this, like in Window$, connect, disconnect etc.? I mean I have to always check my phone when in Linux, to make sure I'm off-line and I won't have to pay extra $$.

This :newbie: appreciates your help.

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