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Old 03-21-2005, 09:37 PM   #1
Registered: Sep 2004
Location: Des Moines, Iowa
Distribution: Slackware, Mandriva, Debian derivatives, +BSD/ Solaris/ Minix/ plan9/ GNU/HURD...
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Red Hat Linux and QWest DSL--any hope?

Here's my new situation:

In my multi-computer household, I have recently invaded the only box connected to the internet. I have installed a second hard drive on it, installed Red Hat Linux 9.0 on the second hard drive, and have it set up to dual boot, with a floppy disk inserted for Linux boot, and no floppy for (default - and I DO mean "fault"!) Windows. Yipee!

Now my problem is: The Windows system will access the internet just fine, but the Linux system doesn't. I know I have a lot of tweaking with Linux and reading the man pages and books yet to go before I completely understand what I'm doing with it online. But before I start:

My PC connects through QWest DSL through a USB port connected to the *Windows* hard drive. It is conceivable that I could plug an ethernet connection in the router box and link that to an ethernet card in the PC (I have about four or five ethernet cards scattered around, I'd be bound to stumble on something that way.)

But besides that, I had a chat with the QWest tech support who bluntly told me that they do not support Linux, only Windows. So my question is, should I even waste time barking up all these trees? Is it even going to be *possible* to do this with no help from the ISP? Is there some way I could run Linux, without Windows, but access the Windows' hard drive USB port? I already have found that I can mount the Windows drive from my Linux drive and view/copy/write files just like it was part of Linux.

Because of limited space on both drives and it's a rather old system, I do not want to risk hosing the whole thing by trying to get Windows and Linux to share the same drive on different partitions. This PC (like all our computers) is assembled from spare parts and duct tape and I never want to try anything too "risky" with my limited knowledge!
Old 03-21-2005, 10:05 PM   #2
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If you use an ethernet connection instead of the usb connection you'll have a much easier time setting it up. Linux being installed on a different HDD on the same machine is the same as having it all on one drive as far as linux is concerned. It has access to all the same hardware regardless.

Most likely, the problem you have is not having the correct driver module for the dsl modem. Using an ethernet NIC will solve this because you'll only need to drive the NIC and not the modem which will act as a simple router.

Last edited by masonm; 03-21-2005 at 10:08 PM.
Old 03-21-2005, 10:11 PM   #3
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"My PC connects through QWest DSL through a USB port connected to the *Windows* hard drive."

USB ports do not connect to hard drives. The Windows hard drive is irrelevent to your problem. You want to set up Linux to communicate with a QWest DSL on a USB port or on an ethernet port as masonm suggests.

Steve Stites
Old 03-21-2005, 10:29 PM   #4
Registered: Oct 2003
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Qwest does not support Linux but many of their support folks will try. Especially those who are more senior but these people take calls referred to them, by those who actually answer phones.

As for your task:
Use a NIC. Maybe I'm archane but NICs are meant for network connections -- that's why they are NICs. Despite how robust USB support is, on Linux, if you stick to following a rule like this one, getting off the ground with Linux will be easier. You can return to acrobatics later, once you're proficient at taking off and landing, safely.

You need to do the following, as root: (Forgive me if you know this already but do NOT use your web browser as root. This means, if you need to browse for info, be sure you don't go looking for it without changing who you are, as a user.)

Create the following file:

Put the following lines in it:

# next line only if not using DHCP; substitute the value with an IP that works for you
#default LAN address on ActionTec ADSL modems with qwest

Once the file is created, do this:
/etc/rc.d/init.d/network restart

Redhats GUI for configuring NICs includes a number of parameters that are obsolete. Not all of those, above,
may be necessary but I don't recall, exactly, so I'd include all of them.

Redhat has a bad habit of hiding all the blood and guts behind guis. I dropped it for that reason. The reason for mentioning this is to add that, if you continue using it, whenever you get something set up with a GUI, make a note to return to it in order to find out what is really going on at the file and filesystem levels. This level is where you will find the beauty you've heard of, with respect to Linux. Having access to the file-level information is that beauty.

You may wish to go to the following URL and print the page, before doing the above stuff.

If you get an error saying that the box doesn't know what "eth0" is, you need to define the alias. There is some info on doing this, here:

Finally, remember that Google is everyone's friend. But, when you are new to Linux, it is your guardian angel. Try the following syntax:
"keyword1 keyword2 ... keywordN site:domainname.tld"

Remember too, to try the site search engine at this URL, first:
Old 03-21-2005, 10:47 PM   #5
Registered: Sep 2004
Location: Des Moines, Iowa
Distribution: Slackware, Mandriva, Debian derivatives, +BSD/ Solaris/ Minix/ plan9/ GNU/HURD...
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Original Poster
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USB ports do not connect to hard drives.
O O P S! You're right! On closer inspection (I shut down and attacked it with a screwdriver immediately upon reading your reply), the hard drive (original with the PC, which is an eMachines, by the way) is only mounted flush against the port, with a sneaky cable back in there going to the motherboard.

Thank you. And now that I have THAT straight...
Old 03-21-2005, 11:05 PM   #6
Registered: Sep 2004
Location: Des Moines, Iowa
Distribution: Slackware, Mandriva, Debian derivatives, +BSD/ Solaris/ Minix/ plan9/ GNU/HURD...
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Original Poster
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wow! thank you *very* much, johnboy, I'm sure that I'm barking up the right tree now, at least.

Oh, I know all about the command line. My own *personal* Linux computer runs from the command line most of the time, and I only startx when I want the GUI for something (like testing a game I'm writing in SDL, or designing a new web page banner in Gimp, for instance).

But this is the *family* computer I'm working on, now, and I didn't want to confuse everybody with a black screen and text prompt, so this one boots GUI only. As I gradually get everybody aclimated to Linux, I can ease them onto the command line. By the time I have the kids showing off smart-alecky sed scripts for Mom, I'll have everyone converted, and we can delete Windows off of the last PC in the house it survives on, and my Master Plan WILL BE COMPLETE! Bwah-hah-hah-HAAAAA!

Thank you!


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