Configuring a DialUp Connection Manually

Ubuntu includes some useful utilities to get your dial-up connection up and running. In this section we will take a look at two options that will have you on the Internet in no time.

The first way is to configure a connection using pppconfig, a command line utility to help you to configure specific dial-up connection settings.

Enter the following command:

$ sudo pppconfig

Before you connect for the first time you need to add yourself to both the dip and dialout groups by using the commands:

$ sudo adduser YOURNAMEHERE dip $ sudo adduser YOURNAMEHERE dialout

Once this has been done it is just a simple matter of issuing the pon command to connect, and the poff command to disconnect. You can create as many different profiles as you need, and can launch specific ones by using the command pon profilename, again using the poff command to disconnect.


Many software modems will not work with Linux because the manufacturers will not release programming information about them or provide Linux drivers. An external serial port modem or ISA bus modem will almost always work; USB and PCI modems are still problematic. It is suggested that you do a thorough Google search using your modem's name and model number to see how others have solved problems with that particular modem. Links to software modem compatibility sites appear at the end of this chapter.

An alternative to using pppconfig is to use the dialog within network-admin to configure and activate/deactivate the dial-up connection. Open up network-admin tHRough the System menu under the Administration sub-menu. Select your modem in the list and click properties. The first thing you will need to do is to enable the connection by ticking the Enable this connection box, as shown in Figure 18.4.

Figure 18.4. Simple and to the point, network-admin makes configuring a dial-up connection easy. To start with, enable the connection!

Figure 18.4. Simple and to the point, network-admin makes configuring a dial-up connection easy. To start with, enable the connection!

Make sure an enter your ISP's phone number as well as your username and password; essential information if you are to succeed at getting on to the Internet!

Next, click on the modem tab to specify details about your modem and to also configure the speaker volume (Figure 18.5). Most telephone systems use tone dialling nowadays, so make sure this is selected over the older pulse style dialling. I like to have the speaker volume on low, so it is not too intrusive but it allows me to quickly troubleshoot any problems by listening when I am connecting.

Figure 18.5. Keep the speaker volume turned down low otherwise you'll hear incessant screeching during the dial-up process.

Interface properties m

Interface properties

General Modem Options

Modem settings

Modem port: ยก/dev/modem



Dial type: Tones


Volume: Low




The final step is to configure some general options for the connection, mainly to do with how Ubuntu works with the connection. If you are using a laptop, then you will probably want to un-tick Set modem as default route to the Internet whilst you are on a LAN, otherwise you may struggle to see anything! Tick it when you are expecting to use your dial-up connection though, and Ubuntu will use this connection to get out onto the Internet. I would suggest keeping the second option ticked, mainly because the nameservers will be automatically assigned to you when you connect to your ISP and should prevent any problems whilst surfing. Finally, if you have a bad line and are constantly getting kicked off then it might be an idea for you to tick the retry connection option so Ubuntu will attempt to keep you connected should your connection drop out for whatever reason. See Figure 18.6 for a look at the Options tab.

Figure 18.6. A couple of choices here will ensure uninterrupted surfing time.

Figure 18.6. A couple of choices here will ensure uninterrupted surfing time.


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