TCU supports Linux connectivity to the internet for QuickNet

The support for Linux at QuickNet will be a growing as Linux become more and more popular. Currently, RedHat is supported. We plan to support other Linux versions (like CalderaLite, Slackware, SUSE) in the future.

Currently, you may contact The Computer Underground at 485-0506. If staff are not available at the current time, please contact QuickNet. Mark Nielsen, the president of TCU, will be available at late nights and on weekends if other staff from TCU are not available. Mark may also be reached at and he answers his e-mail daily.

In extreme situations where these instructions don't work, you may bring your computer into TCU and we will setup your computer for free to get it connected to QuickNet's services. NOTE: You must be using RedHat 5.0 or higher and you must have an internal ISA non Plug-And-Pray modem or an external non WinTel modem. Please setup an appointment with Mark if you need assistance.

Setting up ppp for RedHat Linux

Only ISA non Plug-And-Pray modems are supported with Linux. A 56k non-WinTel modem will work. If you have questions about which type of modem you should buy, please contact The Computer UnderGround and we will provide you with an internal 56k modem for around $60 or an external modem for around $100.

After you have started your Linux computer as "root",  start xwindows by logging into the console and then by entering "startx" at the prompt. A control panel should appear on your left hand side. If your control panel does not appear, then your xwindows session may not be working right, you haven't logged in as "root", or someone changed your xwindows settings.

Choosing your modem

The first option to choose in the control-panel is "Modem Configuration". There is a button that looks like a modem and if you leave your mouse over the button, it should display the title of the button. Next, click on the button to bring up the "Modem Configuration" menu. Choose the com port your modem is conencted to and then press "Ok". If you wanted to do it manually, you could do this -- FOR EXPERTS ONLY:
  1. # For com1
  2. rm /dev/modem
  3. ln -s /dev/cua0 /dev/modem
  4. # For com2
  5. rm /dev/modem
  6. ln -s /dev/cua1 /dev/modem

Setting up PPP using the ppp0 device in your control-panel

Here are the steps I did to get ppp setup. I did this as root and I will later explain how to use ppp as a normal user.

  1. The control panel should be there, choose network configuration.
  2. In this program, choose "Interfaces".
  3. Click on "Add".
  4. Choose "ppp".
  5. Enter in the phone number, username, and password.
  6. Click on "Use pap authentication".
  7. Click on "done".
  8. Click on "save".
  9. Now we need to set your DNS up correctly. Click on "Names" in the top menu of the Network Configurator. You should see "Nameservers" there.
  10. Enter "" as one of the entries unless you have the number which should have been given to you by your ISP. is a bad choice and should only be used as a last resource. Also, if you enter, you must have your DNS server installed locally and running in order for it to work. For QuickNet users, enter "" and also "". These two numbers only work for people who dial in.
  11. For QuickNet users, also enter "" in the "Domain" entry.
  12. Click on "Save".
  13. Click on "Interfaces" in the top menu.
  14. Now click on "Activate" for the ppp option you just made.
To activate and deactivate the modem as root, again, in the control-panel, choose "Network Configurations", then choose "Interfaces", select "ppp0", then click on "Activate" or "Deactivate" or turn the modem off and on.

Letting non-root users use the modem

Now if you want to let users activate and deactivate it,
  1. In your contro-panel, choose "Network Configurations", then choose "Interfaces",  and highlight your ppp entry which is usuallly named "ppp0".
  2. Click on edit.
  3. Click on "Allow any user ..."
  4. Click on done, click on save, click on save again.
Now a normal user can activate and deactivate network devices with usernetctl or usernet. I recommend usernetctl. For the device ppp0, here are the commands assuming you used the steps above...
  1. usernetctl ppp0 up
  2. usernetctl ppp0 down
There is also a product called Diald which will connect your computer to the internet if someone tries to get to the internet. This product is beyond the free support for Linux for QuickNet. If you wish for TCU to setup your computer using Diald, you may bring it in, we will charge $25. Please contact the president of TCU for further information. You may want to also try to figure out diald yourself by looking at this DIALD HowTo webpage.

My experiences with PPP in RedHat has been very good. Anytime there is no connection, it redials. This includes busy signals and when it gets disconnected. You have to wait about 10 seconds before it redials.

Other sources for ppp, slip, and roadrunner

I plan to have more info about how to setup stuff for ppp  later.
  1. Rob Funk's stuff on ppp, slip, and others including an up and down script.
  2. Mark Carroll's ppp scripts.