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Re: dunc pppd configuration script

Just to clear up some confusion about dunc, I realize the
script has shortcomings and John is looking into taking over
the package so it can get properly attended to.  However,
its really quite useable in its current state -- even on a
bo system.  It's just an ash script that uses dialog, so it
should depend on _any_ version of libc since the dependant
packages already do.  It was built with debmake which
incorrectly added the libc dependency and I couldn't seem to
get rid of it.  Basically, since ash and dialog and ppp, etc
all depend on some version of libc, dunc doesn't need to.
It doesn't use the c library for anything, only the tools it
uses do.  As far as the core functionality goes, it should
work out of the box for most situations, but it is still a
bit broken when adding a deleting multpile connections.  It
also doesn't add defaultroute automatically, which it
probably should.  I'd be happy to work out any other
problems in the short term while John gets up to speed on it
if there is a significant demand.  Else, John will surely
tighten things up.

PPP options ...

I also want to address this issue about "standard" options
file locations.  It is impossible to manage multiple ppp
options sets in the same file unless the option requirements
are identicle.  Since unix is a multiuser system, it only
makes sense to use an organization where the system defaults
are considered, and user specific options configurable.  I
personally have three different connection requirements and
use dunc/dppp to manage them.  I couldn't do that all in the
same options file since the options conflict.  I had thought
of making a way to manage the system options file
automatically, but decided that providing a hook to just
edit it would be enough since the only people needing to 
manage this file would be sysadmins.  Incidentally, win95
and NT both provide a way to manage multiple connections and
the data is stored per user.  If the goal is to make setting
up ppp as simple as win95, then why all the hoopla about per
user configuration capability?

dppp ...

What dppp does is parse the options file created by dunc and
feed it (via xargs) to the pppd command, which automatically
considers the /etc/ppp/options file when run in this manner.
It does the same for the chat file, if there is one.  If
dunc actually worked better, had more options, and was
easier to navigate, I think it would be pretty good.  But I
also think that managing multiple connections per user (not
to mention per system!) is a big win, and forcing people
into having root permissions to setup their ppp connection
wouldn't sit well with many sysadmins.  I don't think I'd
want my users accidentally mucking around on their system as
root -- especially if they're connecting from home!  The
last thing I need to do is start making house calls.

Anyway, before I wrote dunc, I used my own options files and
chat files and scripts to connect and I though dunc was a
better way for me to manage my own stuff.  While writing it
I kept that in mind, and hoped that other people would feel
the same way.  I never got any real feedback on it directly,
so it never went any further.  John's new energy should help
move it forward, but he's still going to need users to use
the thing and provide feedback.  The fact that it doesn't
muck around in /etc/ppp at all (excpet if you run it as root
and need to write to pap,chap-secrets, but then it just adds
an entry to the end of the file), means that it won't break
anything systemic.  Because its basically safe to try out,
you can add a lot of value to it by using it -- at pretty
much no risk ot your system.  I'm tempted to say at
absolutely no risk, but I know better than that ;)

Sorry for the long post.



"Until we extend the circle of our compassion to all living 
things, we will not ourselves find peace" -Albert Schweitzer

Richard G. Roberto

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