PPP and Red Hat v4.1

PPP and Red Hat v4.1

Post by Jim Mose » Fri, 04 Jul 1997 04:00:00

After some "experimentation" I have finally gotten the PPP interface to
work reliably. I could not figure out at first why the boot up sequence
made NO mention of "PPP line discipline registered". This is a boot up
message telling the user the kernel is PPP capable. In Red Hat 4.1
(kernel version 2.0.27) I have to actually start the daemon using the
                cd /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts
                ./ifup-ppp ifcfg-ppp0 &

This "script" apparently activates the PPP daemon and dials the ISP
provider that you have setup when you ran the netcfg program. It appears
the /etc/ppp/ppp-on script is duplicative. In my old Slackware version
the PPP daemon was started at boot up but sat silently in background
until the ppp-on script was executed.

The documentation that came with this Red Hat version (a 223 page book
with the Red Hat symbol on the front cover) talks about PPP/networking,
according to the index, on pages 9,32,100ff. The problem is that when
you follow the instructions at page 100 and "activate" the PPP link, it
dials the ISP, CONTINOUSLY. Most Linux users(99.9%) do NOT want to do
this. To find out how to make this work only when I wanted to connect to
my ISP I had to go to the Red Hat WWW site to get the documentation
called "PPP-Tips". Thank goodness that I had another machine that was
network capable.

This seems to be a rather quirky/clunky way to handle PPP. I suspect
that most people with Linux boxes that have an ISP use the PPP interface
to connect to their ISP. Why not have the daemon started and ready to go
(without dialing) rather than have to start it up whenever you want to
connect to your ISP??

When I installed Red Hat 4.1 I was very impressed with the installation
program. It was simple and very straightforward. Especially the printer
installation portion. Trying to install a printer under my "old" version
of Slackware was a nightmare. However...when I installed Red Hat 4.1
and attemnpted to dial my ISP after setting up the parameters in netcfg
it told me "no PPP support in this kernel". After looking at the
loadable modules list in the kernel configuration menu and seeing that
PPP was absent,I came to the conclusion that I would have to recompile
the kernel (which took over 2 hours). This,apparently, was unnecessary.

The bottom line here is that people who distribute/maintain software
should follow the KISS rule. (Keep It Simple Stupid).

Jim M.


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