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Debian tutorial (fwd)

Hi guys,

The tutorial really needs to be merged with the work Ossama and John did
for their New Riders book, then the whole thing placed on the web as a
whole, to avoid too much duplication. I think the printed book covers this

Anyway, just a thought. I don't have time to deal with it right this
minute, but maybe someone is interested.


---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Wed, 08 Sep 1999 15:20:56 +0000
From: Muhammad Yusuf <muhammadyusuf@dial.pipex.com>
To: hp@debian.org
Subject: Debian tutorial

Hi, I've just been reading the Debs tutorial, and noticed the PPP
section (13.3) is not complete.
Would you be interested in looking at some notes on PPP connection on
Debian I wrote for a few friends to help them get connected? I attach
it in htm format.
This may be of some interest/use. Please feel free to use or any of it
that you wish.

The tutorial is great, by the way - and should make an excellent intro
to those new to Debian.


Internet Configuration:

If you are new to GNU/Linux, writing your own configuration scripts to enable your system to connect to the Internet may seem daunting, but it is fairly
simple and does not take much time. Once done, and your connection is up and running, you will have a sense of achievement - something you do not
get by simply clicking on an icon. You will also have developed a better understanding of how your system - and GNU/Linux - works. You will have
completed your first adventure in a new world.

Several web browsers are installed by default  on Debian- including Mozilla and Amaya [go Programs-Apps-Net].  Amaya is good, but  remember that
this is still 'beta' software and so may have some 'bugs' - once connected to the Internet, you can download the latest version (currently 2.1) from

Before you start your Internet configuration you will need to have connected a modem to a serial port (or installed an internal modem) and know:
(1) the telephone number of your ISP
(2) your login name and password
(3) details of the DNS servers - domain name (e.g. dial.pipex.com) and the primary and secondary DNS (e.g.
(4) the port your modem is set on (e.g. ttyS1)
(5) the type of authentication - either CHAP or PAP.

The important configuration files for internet connection on Debian are: (1) /etc/ppp/peers/provider; (2) /etc/ppp/chap-secrets [or pap-secrets]; (3)
/etc/resolv.conf; (4) /etc/chatscripts/provider. These are the files you must check and if necessary edit. You should also check the /etc/ppp/options file
and make sure that 'lock' (some way down the file) is commented out - place a # in front of it if one is not there.

Please note: what follows is for a 'stand-alone' system with a modem connected to a serial port.  You should also have Apache installed and configured for your system. To configure it, in an xterminal  enter


If the configuration does not work then it is probably due to a missing server name. It is important that /etc/apache/http.conf contains the line:

Server Name         localhost
You may need to 'uncomment' this line by removing the # and inserting 'localhost'.

You will need to edit the following fils:

(1) .../provider

Under 'debug' you will find the lines you may have to edit. Note: the text in square brackets is  not in these files, but  notes to inform you what the line
means, or what to add/change. For clarity the actual content of the files is given in bold.

/dev/ttySx      [Note- change this to the port your modem is on: for example to /dev/ttyS1

115200         [Note:- modem speed. Usually set to this.]

defaultroute        [Note:-  if this is not present, add]

noipdefault           [Note:- if this is not present, add

user <your ISP login name>    [Note:- if not present, add  followed by a space and then your login name. If your login name has characters
e.gUk/zza29 - enclose in '    ' ( e.g. 'UK/zza29' )]

(2) .../chap-secrets [or pap-secrets if PAP is used]

Make sure this contains your ISP login name followed on the same line (after some spaces) by * and then your ISP password, e.g.:

'UK/zza29'       * mypassword

[Note: you  should add another line below this, exactly the same, if you enclosed your login name as above, but this time leaving out the '   ' .]

(3) .../etc/resolv.conf

This should be empty (or anything else commented out with #) except for

Nameserver     <xxx.xx.xxx.x>
Nameserver      <xxx.xx.xxx.x>

'Nameserver' should be followed - after some spaces - by first the primary and  then the secondary numbers given to you by your ISP (e.g. Thus the line would read:


(4)  /etc/chatscrips/provider


" " ATZ

there should be

OK  ATDT<number to be dialled>
Connect  \d\c

Note: you might also want to check that the /etc/ppp/peers/provider file has the line:

connect  "/usr/sbin/chat  -v  -f  /etc/chatscripts/provider"

Once these files are configured, you can connect to the Internet by opening an Xterminal,  entering the su command, and typing


To disconnect, enter


(Note: watch, or open, the Xconsole window, for it will tell you a lot.)

If you have all these scripts configured correctly, and still cannot connect, check the following:

(a) /etc/hosts

This should contain only one line such as:        <machinename>   localhost

The 'machine name' is the name you gave the system during the install -  to find it, type


in an xterminal.

(b) /etc/hosts.conf

This should contain only:

order        hosts,bind
multi         on

(c) /etc/networks

This should have only:



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