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Connecting With Linux
A brief primer on connecting with various distributions of Linux

MartNet Support - Connecting with Linux

1. General

2. What you will need

3. pppd configuration

4. Connecting

5. Disconnecting

6. If you have trouble

7. Resources, references, links, etc.

1. General

This document contains general instructions for configuring a linux system as a MartNet PPP client. It does not attempt to address issues specific to any particular linux distribution (Debian, RedHat, Slackware, etc.). Instead, it describes a method which should work for almost any linux system. Please refer to your distribution's documentation for information specific to that distribution.

2. What you will need

Your kernel must be compiled with ppp support. The kernels which come with most distributions have this. We recommend running linux kernel version 2.x or later

You will also need a copy of pppd, preferably version 2.x or later. Most distributions come with pppd, but you may not have it installed. To determine whether you have pppd, run the following command as root:

which pppd

If you get a response such as '/usr/sbin/pppd', then you already have it.

Finally, you will need a local phone number to be dialed. Check our dial-up numbers database for a number in your local calling area.

3. pppd configuration files

Each bullet item describes a file, and lists its contents.

  • /etc/ppp/chat.martnet - The modem init string in this file (the third line) should work for many modems, but you may need some additional settings as well. Check your modem's manual if you have trouble. flow control is an important setting; you want to be using "hardware" or "RTS/CTS" flow control.
      AT&F&C1&D2 OK ATDT 965-1902 CONNECT ""
  • /etc/ppp/options.martnet - the /dev/modem line below should be replaced with the device file for your modem's serial port. DOS's com1 would be /dev/ttyS0; com2 would be /dev/ttyS1, etc. Your linux distribution may have created a symbolic link from your device file to /dev/modem, in which case the entry below will work. You may also need to use a different port speed that 115200. Other common values are 57600, 38400, and 19200.
    Of course, you must also change martnet_login to your MartNet login name (remember, your full PPP login is martnet_login@martnet.com.).
    modem crtscts /dev/modem 115200 noipdefault user martnet_login@martnet.com
  • /etc/ppp/pap-secrets - This file contains your login and password information. By default, your password is stored in plain text. If other people use your system, make sure they cannot read this file. There are also ways to encrypt your password - check the pppd man page.
      * martnet_password 
  • /usr/local/bin/martnet - This is a tiny script which will initiate a connection to MartNet. After you create this file, make it executable with this command: 'chmod 755 /usr/local/bin/martnet'
    #!/bin/sh /usr/sbin/pppd
      file /etc/ppp/options.martnet connect 'chat -t 45 -f /etc/ppp/chat.martnet'
  • /etc/resolv.conf - This file tells your system what DNS servers to use.
    domain martnet.com
    nameserver XXX.XXX.XXX.XXX

    where XXX.XXX.XXX.XXX is your favorite nameserver. We suggest you add at least 2.

    For our most recent DNS numbers, please check this page

4. Connecting

You should now be able to connect to MartNet by running the last file you created: /usr/local/bin/martnet, or if /usr/local/bin is already in your PATH, by simply running martnet. You should hear your modem dial and connect. Soon after, a new network interface, ppp0, should appear when you run the ifconfig command.

5. Disconnecting

The quickest way to disconnect is with this command : killall -INT pppd. If you want to be more careful about disconnecting, look in your /var/run directory. In most cases, pppd puts its PID (Process ID) into /var/run/ppp0.pid. If this is the case, you can disconnect with the command : kill -INT `cat /var/run/ppp0.pid`.

6. If you have trouble

You can get a lot of information about what pppd and chat are doing from your system log files. Many linux distributions put their log files in /var/log, but they can be elsewhere. Check your /etc/syslog.conf file. If you are running Debian, for example, check /var/log/ppp.log . To see messages as they are added to the log, run tail -f /var/logl/ppp.log.

If you are having a lot of trouble, you will probably want to increase the amount of debugging output you get. For pppd, create a new line in your /etc/ppp/options.martnet file containing the word debug. For chat, add the -v option just before the -t option in the /usr/local/bin/martnet script.

7. Resources, references, links, etc.

There are many wonderful sources of documentation out there, and many different pieces of software for connecting, disconnecting, and monitoring PPP sessions with Linux. Here are some of both:

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