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Lesson 7Configuring a modem
ObjectiveConfigure a Modem to create a new PPP Connection

Configure Modem to create a new PPP Connection

Configuring a PPP connection in Red Hat Linux involves two main methods: using a graphical tool or manually editing configuration files. Here's a breakdown of both methods:
Using a Graphical Tool (Red Hat versions with Network Administration Tool):
  1. Go to the "Network Administration Tool". This might be located under the System Settings or Network menu depending on your version.
  2. Click on the "Devices" tab and then "New".
  3. Select "Modem connection" from the Device Type list and click "Forward".
  4. The tool will try to detect your modem. If successful, configure the "modem device, baud rate, flow control, and modem volume". Otherwise, accept the defaults. "Uncheck" the touch tone dialing option if your phone doesn't support it.
  5. Click "Forward".
  6. If your ISP is pre-configured, select it. Otherwise, enter your "ISP account information" (username, password, etc.) obtained from your ISP.
  7. On the "IP Settings" page, choose to "obtain an IP address automatically (DHCP)" or set a static IP address.
  8. Click "Forward" and then "Apply" to create the connection.
  9. Save the changes using "File > Save".

Manually Editing Configuration Files (For experienced users):
This method involves editing configuration files like

(or `/etc/ppp/chap-secrets` depending on authentication). It's recommended for advanced users as mistakes can affect your network connectivity. Refer to Red Hat documentation for specific details on these files

Additional Tips:
  • You can initiate the connection using the `pon` command and disconnect using ` poff`.
  • Refer to your ISP for specific configuration details like login information and any special requirements.
  • Consider using a more recent method like PPPoE (Point-to-Point Protocol over Ethernet) if your ISP supports it. PPP is an older technology.

ifconfig been deprecated in Red Hat Linux

The "ifconfig" command has been officially deprecated in favor of the "ip" command suite in many Linux distributions, including Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) from version 7 onwards. This shift away from "ifconfig" towards "ip" and other tools like "ss" for socket statistics, is part of a broader move in the Linux community to adopt more modern and capable tools that offer better features and maintainability.
While the "ifconfig" command may still be available for use in RHEL 9.2, it's part of the net-tools package, which has been superseded by the iproute2 package that provides the "ip" command. The transition to iproute2 is due to its more extensive feature set and the fact that net-tools (which includes "ifconfig") has not been actively developed for some years.
Additionally, the shift towards the "ip" command and away from traditional ifcfg files in network configuration reflects a broader evolution in RHEL's network management. For instance, in RHEL 9, NetworkManager, which is a dynamic network control and configuration system, defaults to using the key file format for storing new connection profiles instead of the older ifcfg format. However, the ifcfg format is still supported, albeit not as the default storage format for new network profiles.
Therefore, while "ifconfig" might still be present and usable in RHEL 9.2, it is considered deprecated in favor of newer, more robust tools like "ip" for network interface and routing management. Users are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the "ip" command and other modern networking tools as they offer more functionality and align with the current direction of Linux networking.
Many users connect to the Internet via modem lines. Modem connections usually use the Point-to-Point Protocol (PPP) to connect computers with their Internet Service Provider (ISP). Before you connect to the Internet, you must set up Linux to find your modem.

Using modemtool

Linux needs to know which serial port a modem uses. You do this by setting a logical link[1] that points to the correct device file. Red Hat Linux provides modemtool, a GUI tool that makes this procedure easier. You simply select the port you wish to use and click OK. The image below shows you the modemtool interface.
Screenshot of modem tool
Screenshot of modem tool

Using the command line method

You can also set the logical link by issuing the ln -s command from a prompt. For example, to set /dev/modem to use the port /dev/ttyS0 you could execute ln -s /dev/ttyS0 /dev/modem as root. The next lesson shows you how to configure a PPP connection with RP3.
[1] Logical link: A type of file that is a reference to another real file.

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