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Old 04-01-2010, 11:37 PM   #1
Registered: Jul 2005
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Question How can a Linux user get on-line wired? (Non-wireless)

Need I add that I am using a desktop computer? Debian. KDE. No Micro$oft or laptop available. I have an SMC router, if that helps. And yes, I've seen recent questions which appear similar--- but only if you missed the crucial qualifier, non-wireless, in the title of this thread.

I am not really a Linux newbie but I am new to DSL, so this forum seemed the best place to ask for help. Local help, such as it is, does not support linux (what a shock!).

A week ago I thought my best option might be to purchase a DSL line from the local telecom and use a DSL modem with DHCP to obtain a gateway to the internet via my ISP. Since I don't need wireless, I am dismayed to find that it is apparently impossible to obtain an ADSL modem off the shelf which is designed to physically connect to a computer via ssh over an ethernet cable connecting modem to computer. Especially because it seems possible that I might need very special firmware (ADAM2 might be what I would need, but I really have no idea.) The DSL provider, a telecom which partners with Micro$oft, is worse than useless to me, but they have a monopoly, so...

When I looked into one wireless modem which seems to be supported by the telecom (or was, some years ago), I found that apparently it has no security whatever by default (stupid default password and all that, just what you'd expect from a company which partners with Micro$oft). I cannot find out whether I can even expect to able to communicate with it via ssh over an ethernet cable, or at least via https over an ethernet cable. (Telnet? To configure a device unprotected by a firewall for perhaps 30 minutes? In 2010? Are you kidding me?!) So if I bought one, it might not work at all, and if it did, I might not know whether or not I have secured it properly.

I have been unable to find any company which might rent a DSL modem so that I can try to figure out whether I can get one to work.

If vendors truly do not make any non-wireless DSL modems anymore, if my only choice is really to purchase a wireless modem, which ones allow me to disable the wireless and use ethernet only, and how can I tell the wireless is really disabled? Or if that is impossible, which ones at least support WPA2? Which allow one to connect and configure the thing via ssh or htmls (or even html) via an ethernet cable? I couldn't find any information after quite a bit of searching.

I found one page from 2003 showing that one university was apparently advising their sysadmins to use WEP encryption with VPN for "complete security". At least half of that has changed, I guess. Wish I could set up VPN, but I haven't even mastered digital certificates.

And what is this about Port 087? It seems the only vendor I can buy from only makes DSL modems which keep this port open, even if you try to close it, so that anyone claiming to be the vendor can flash the modem with new firmware. I'd like to be able to get firmware updates, but I want to be able to convince myself I know the source of the code before I do anything to hardware I own!

Only one of the web pages I read was dated, so part of my confusion could well be that I was pulling up very old howtos or security warnings from 2002 or so.

I want dynamic IP (yes, I know I'll have to turn the modem off overnight to cycle the IP address) and I want to avoid wireless to the maximal extent possible.

Try to be nice, please.
Old 04-01-2010, 11:48 PM   #2
Registered: Feb 2009
Distribution: FreeBSD, OpenBSD, NetBSD, Debian, Fedora
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Download a set of cd images and burn them.
Certain distributions will have a network manger with a full menu. Probably you want to play with ubuntu, suse, or fedora seeing that they are made more for first time users.

You will be able to fill out the required areas on the tab.
In fedora you right click the connection manager and select edit connections.
Get the information from your provider and fill it in.
You can select auto connect or do the connection whenever you login to the desktop. The first- auto- may be better.
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Old 04-02-2010, 01:13 PM   #3
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Have a look at the SMC website. Your router probably has a built-in modem, so you do not need to buy one.

Debian should find the router if it's connected and switched-on at boot up. If it doesn't, run system-config-network (or whatever Debian has in the menu). Configure eth0 to use DHCP and for autostart.

Then start your web browser and go to (if that doesn't work, check the SMC website). That will enable you to configure the router with your user name and password as supplied by your ISP.

I hope all this works; you don't show your location, and I'm basing this on my use of a British Telecom router with ASDL in the UK.
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