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Basic Linux Training

Lesson 14: Linux and the Internet

Table of Contents

Your PPP Connection

Although there is a tremendous amount of technical detail to TCP/IP and telecommunications, setting up your connection to the Internet is very simple. The textbook covers SLIP, so we'll discuss PPP here. Since almost all of the class is coming from a DOS/Windows background, I have included some notes about installing Netscape also.

To establish a PPP connection to the Internet through your ISP, you have to login: as root to set up a few scripts:

  1. check your local permissions (to prevent others from logging onto your system while you are connected to your ISP)

  2. and to allow you to access your own machine

  3. identify your local network
            ISP dotted quad

  4. identify your machine's name
            your machine's name

  5. identify your ISP's name and nameserver (dotted quads)
            search name of your ISP
            nameserver dotted quad address of your ISP nameserver

  6. identify your local host
   your machine name

  7. identify your mail server
            mail server

  8. your username and password
            your username+password

  9. your dialup script and login
            TIMEOUT 5
            "" ATZ
            OK ATDT phone number of your ISP
            ABORT "NO CARRIER"
            ABORT BUSY
            ABORT "NO DIALTONE"
            ABORT WAITING
            TIMEOUT 45
            CONNECT ""
            TIMEOUT 5
            NAME user login name
            WORD your password
            IN command line for launching PPP

    Curiously, pppd comes pre-installed with Slackware, but not Red Hat. If it's not included with your distribution you can download the tarball ppp-2.2.0g.tar.gz from

  10. you will also have to edit ppp-on which may be in /usr/sbin or /
You should be able to dial in and get connected. Simply enter
        ~$ ppp-on
then, you can check it using
        ~$ ifconfig or route

To disconnect, type in

        ~$ ppp-off

There are some problems with kernel 2.0.29 so you may want to install patches 30 through 33. You may need to also upgrade to ppp-2.2.0g.tar.gz and update your pppd. Apparently the kernel 2.0.29 does not work with older versions of pppd.

Your ISP may be using a different login process. You'll know if you keep getting disconnected after a few seconds after you dial in. The best way is to dial in manually using minicom or seyon to read the prompts so you can adjust your scripts for what your ISP asks; simply edit your /etc/ppp/ppp-on-dialer file to match what your ISP wants.

If you're having trouble with these scripts, I highly recommend that you download PPPKit-0.7 from or you can get it from to write the scripts for you. This is as simple as it gets setting up ppp.


Netscape versions 3.x through 4.03 do not run well with the latest libraries, but there is a possible work around to this problem.

The library that causes the trouble is called In the library the memory management functions check whether the freed memory was allocated or not; if not, a bus error occurs.

As with most problems, there is a patch available at - Netscape fix. This file contains the library you need, (, and also contains the correct paths and symbolic links. Download this file and unpack it as root in the root (/) directory.

This patch only fixes the memory allocation bug.There is also an especially nasty Java bug. [Playing badly written Java applets can cause your whole system to seize up.]

If you're interest in the Navigator 5 source code (about 8.7 MB), you can download it from, but remember that you will need gcc installed and upwards of 50 MB free space. Pre-compiled binaries may also be available - caveat emptor


Textbook: Running Linux
  • Chapter 14: TCP/IP and SLIP, p.443-471

    • This chapter may be too technical for you to absorb in one reading. Setting up your connection properly can be done without fully understanding all the high tech mechanics and protocols. If you are not using an ethernet, read pages 443 to 451, skip the section on Configuring TCP/IP with Ethernet (pages 451 to 462), then continue reading from SLIP Configuration through the end of the chapter.

  • Chapter 15: The World Wide Web and Mail, p.479-519

    • Again, there is a lot of technical detail you may not need to know immediately.

  • Bibliography, The Internet, p.601

Textbook: A Practical Guide to Linux

  • Chapter 7: Networking and the Internet

Terms and Concepts:

Define and add these to your glossary:

  • dotted quad
  • host
  • IP address
  • loopback
  • network address
  • subnetowrk address
  • broadcast address
  • subnet mask
  • datagram
  • DNS
  • BIND
  • sendmail
  • TCP/IP
  • UDP
  • TCP
  • IP
  • protocol
  • inetd
  • telnetd
  • ftpd
  • named
  • routed
  • gateway
  • packet
  • routing table
  • ppp-on or ppp-go
  • ppp-off or ppp-down
  • ppp-info
  • ping
  • ifconfig
  • netstat
  • arp
  • rc.inet1 and rc.inet2
  • /etc/fstab
  • /etc/hosts
  • /etc/hosts.allow
  • /etc/hostx.conf
  • /etc/hosts.deny
  • /etc/HOSTNAME
  • /etc/inittab
  • /etc/networks
  • /etc/passwd
  • /etc/resolv.conf
  • /etc/ppp/chatscript
  • /etc/ppp/pap-secrets
  • /etc/rc.d/rc.sysinit
  • /usr/doc/ppp
  • Network File System - NFS
  • Network Information System - NIS
  • gopher
  • finger
  • HTTP
  • URL

Online: - HOWTO Index

NET-3 HOWTO (3 documents)


PPP HOWTO (3 documents)

PPP over minicom mini-HOWTO

temporarily here as a plain text file while being converted to HTML and/or SGML

SLIP-PPP Emulator mini-HOWTO

mini-HOWTO Windows Modem Sharing - PPP Setup Tips - Dialup Tips - The 5 Minute Linux PPP HOWTO - Linux PPP Page - Mini-PPP How-To - Linux Netscape Help Page -AT&T WorldNet Users Reference Desk - Olympic Peninsula LUG Technical Support

Go to Basic Linux Index

Date last revised: 4 June 1998

Copyright © 1997, 1998 Henry White. All Rights Reserved.
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