In addition to checking with DSL Reports, you might want to consult with your neighbors and M

co-workers. You might find their experiences informative, particularly with respect to installation quirks that might be local in nature.

When you contact the ISP, I recommend you make it clear that you run Linux. The best ISPs have no problems with users running Linux. Many don't forbid Linux, but they also don't support the OS. Although this might not sound very bad initially, it can be a major problem if you call to report a problem but are denied help because of your choice of OS. A few ISPs are actively hostile towards Linux, and might forbid your using it. Although not as bad as Linux hostility, many DSL ISPs—particularly those who market their service towards residential users—forbid running servers on DSL-connected computers. Most Linux distributions run several servers by default, so you might be running a server and not even know it. It's often desirable to intentionally run one or two servers on DSL-connected computers. For instance, you might want to run a secure shell (SSH) server, so you can log into your home system from work. You should know what your ISP allows and forbids before signing up for service.

The fact that most Linux distributions run several servers by default is a potential security problem. I strongly recommend that anybody who runs a Linux computer that's connected to the Internet for more than the briefest periods investigate Linux security. A good book on this topic is Maximum Linux Security, (Sams Publishing, 1999).

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