Using Modems for PPP Internet Connections

You can use a modem to connect your Linux computer to the Internet using the Point-to-Point Protocol (PPP). Most Linux distributions today include tools to help you manage a PPP dial-up account. For instance, the K Desktop Environment (KDE), which is the default desktop on many Linux installations, includes a program called kppp, shown in Figure 18.3. When you click the Setup button in the main window, you get the kppp Configuration window shown in the foreground. You can enter information on your PPP account in this window much as you would enter information in a Windows PPP dialer. When you're done, you can connect to your ISP by clicking the Connect button in the main kppp window. Other GUI PPP dialers function in a similar fashion, although the details differ.

Depending upon the authentication method you use, you might need to take one additional step: You might need to add your username and password to the /etc/ppp/pap-secrets or /etc/ppp/chap-secrets file, depending upon whether your ISP uses PAP or CHAP authentication. These files are readable only by root, and they contain your sensitive passwords. An example is

# client server secret IP addresses rodsmith * password

This sample file allows the user rodsmith to log in to a PPP server using the password password. In most cases you want to leave the server field set to an asterisk (*), which allows a login to any server. If you're assigned a static IP address by your ISP, you can enter it in the final IP addresses field; otherwise, leave that field blank.

Part IV

Figure 18.3

The kppp program is a typical PPP GUI dial-up utility.

Figure 18.3

The kppp program is a typical PPP GUI dial-up utility.

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