Connecting to a Remote Network Using PPP

To set up a PPP networking connection between two systems, you must have PPP software running at both ends. Typically, your ISP provides you with an account already set up, so that the PPP software runs automatically upon login. In that case, simply start the PPP software on your system after you log in to the remote system. In some cases, the ISP might use another authentication protocol PAP or CHAP. Those require some additional configuration on your Linux system.

The pppd program takes care of communicating with its peer—a remote PPP server — over a dial-up line. The pppd program's name stands for Point-to-Point Protocol daemon. (In UNIX, daemon refers to a program that runs in the background and performs some useful task.) The pppd program provides an option through which you can invoke another program, such as wvdial, that actually establishes the serial communication and completes the remote login process.

You can set up and activate a PPP connection through Fedora's graphical Internet Configuration Wizard or by editing appropriate configuration files and then running pppd from the command line. One good way to learn about pppd and wvdial is to use the Internet Configuration Wizard to set up and activate the connection and then examine the configuration files that the graphical configuration tool creates, as explained further in the following sections.

Gathering Information for a PPP Connection

Most ISPs provide PPP access to the Internet through one or more systems that the ISP maintains. If you sign up for such a service, the ISP should provide you the information you need to make a PPP connection to the ISP's system. Typically, this information includes the following:

♦ The phone number to dial to connect to the remote system.

♦ The user name and password you must use to log in to the remote system.

♦ The names of the ISP's mail and news servers.

♦ The IP address for your side of the PPP connection. (This IP address is associated with your PC's PPP interface — the serial port.) The ISP does not provide this address if the IP address is assigned dynamically using DHCP (this means the

IP address may change every time your system establishes a connection).

♦ IP addresses of the ISP's Domain Name Servers (DNS). The ISP does not provide these addresses if it assigns the IP address dynamically.

Of this information, the first two items are what you need to set up a PPP connection.

Using the Internet Configuration Wizard

Follow these steps to set up a PPP connection using the Internet Configuration Wizard:

1. Select Applications O System Tools O Internet Configuration Wizard from the GNOME desktop (if you are not logged in as root, you'll be prompted for the root password). The Select Device Type dialog box appears (see Figure 13-11). Click the Modem connection, and then click Forward.

Figure 13-11: Configuring a New Modem Connection.

2. The Select Modem dialog box shows information about your modem. Click Forward to continue.

3. The Select Provider dialog box appears. Fill in the connection information—the ISP's phone number, your login name, and password — in the text boxes. Click Forward to continue.

4. The IP Settings dialog appears. Fill in the requested IP settings. Typically, you would set it to automatically obtain IP settings from the provider. However, if you have static IP address, you can enter that information in this dialog box.

5. Click Apply to save the dial-up configuration information and close the Internet Configuration Wizard.

6. The Network Configuration dialog box appears with the name of the new dial-up connection in a list (see Figure 13-12). In this case, I have configured a PPP connection with the nickname MyISP. Click the connection name and click Activate. You can verify the PPP connection by typing the /sbin/ifconfig command (and looking for the ppp0 interface in the output) or by running a Web browser such as Firefox to access websites on the Internet.

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