August 4th, 2005, 10:15
I've tried several times to install NetBSD. While I did manage to get it on the machine and running, I never succeeded in using it much, because I'm just not that bright. I've done hours and hours of reading, but too many terms are unfamiliar, and my expectations are all wrong. In a couple of weeks I may get my hands on an a spare older machine, and I wouldn't need to have it up right away. I can tinker with it for awhile.

Still, I'm going to need some guidance. My searching has not turned up anything that points out the basics of configuring NetBSD as a dialup workstation. I'm pretty sure some of you here can help me out, if you have the time and inclination. I've gotten as far as afterboot, but that's basic system level stuff. Nor do I need to know about server-related tasks (except those used on desktops), but just a plain old workstation implementation.

Anyone got good links, or can take a moment to share experience?

August 4th, 2005, 10:55
All from: http://www.netbsd.org/guide/en/


Also, Id read on pkgsrc, the NetBSD package collection.

Keep in mind, I havn't read the above, or ever run NetBSD but they seem to be something like what you're looking for :)

August 4th, 2005, 18:01
Thanks. This pushes me to refine my request.

X I can do in my sleep. I've been playing with that since RH 5.0. The dialup section was useful, showing NetBSD is still in the Dark Ages on such things -- and some like it that way. The scripting is rather old fashioned, with no setup tools at all. I might need some help identifying how NetBSD labels the various kinds of modems. Audio and print are interesting, but not essential.

The things that beat me up begin with the stand-alone dialup firewall. I've not found a single example geared to just that. FreeBSD has a concrete example with comments to clarify what each rule does, in an article called "Dialup Firewall". Does NetBSD have some sort of default firewalling in action?

The other thing is terminal and Xterm settings. This can get dicey, since most serious users despise what newbies want from their system. For example, if I attempt to enable UTF-8 in my FreeBSD Xterms, it will fail every time. The system just is not designed to handle it well. Regarding the console, I can make FreeBSD emulate somewhat the Linux framebuffer by giving me a slightly better resolution of 100x37 in VESA mode 800x600. It can be applied to all virtual consoles. To my knowledge, NetBSD can't do that. I may be wrong, because what I managed to find was so obscure and murky, so laden with arcane terms, I couldn't figure it out. There are way too many different parameters, too many places where settings have to be made, and a general assumption if you don't already know, you shouldn't be asking.

In general, none of the BSDs seem to care much about the desktop user's console needs, because there's too much emphasis on making it work for server environments. Those two are at cross purposes; what works for servers is a major hindrance for desktoppers, and vice versa. I am aware of FreeBSD's efforts to mitigate that somewhat, but can't tell about NetBSD. (I'm not ready to ask about OpenBSD.) Also, I wonder about using the mouse on the console, which is pretty simple in FreeBSD -- it's just about automatic for USB mice.

Package handling I can probably get. I was able to install additional packages, but the version of NetBSD I was playing with complained of major conflicts between pieces of KDE, and I had to carefully add one package at a time in a specific sequence from the disk.

The idea is not so much to criticize, but to ask if there's a way to tame the beast. If not, it's pointless to try. I can accept that answer, too.

September 13th, 2005, 20:25
Hi Bumbler:

NetBSD is challenging to install but is a fine and very stable desktop environment. As for the ppp dialup part , here are my scripts from my working NetBSD 2.0 STABLE desktop:

all these go in /etc/ppp/
# this is the file /etc/ppp/chap-secrets
# chown root /etc/ppp/pap-secrets
# chown root /etc/ppp/chap-secrets
# chmod 600 /etc/ppp/pap-secrets
# chmod 600 /etc/ppp/chap-secrets

user * $your-isp-provided-password-goes-here
# this is the file /et/ppp/pap-secrets
# chown root /etc/ppp/pap-secrets
# chown root /etc/ppp/chap-secrets
# chmod 600 /etc/ppp/pap-secrets
# chmod 600 /etc/ppp/chap-secrets

user * $your-isp-provided-password-goes-here


# /etc/ppp/options (do chmod 644 to this file).



# Create the file /etc/uucp/port with the following lines:

type modem
port modem
device /dev/tty01
speed 115200

# (substitute the correct device in place of /dev/tty01).

# Write the command cu -p modem to start sending commands to the modem. For exam

# cu -p modem
# Connected.
# OK
# ~.
# Disconnected.
# #

#In the previous example the reset command (ATZ) was sent to the
# modem, which replied with OK: the communication works.
# To exit cu(1), write ~ (tilde) followed
# by . (dot), as in the example.

# This is the file /etc/ppp/ppp-start
# chmod u+x ppp-start ppp-stop
if [ -f /var/spool/lock/LCK..$MODEM ]; then
echo ppp is already running...
pppd call $POP
tail -f /var/log/messages


# This is the file /etc/ppp/ppp-stop
# chmod u+x ppp-start ppp-stop
if [ -f /var/spool/lock/LCK..$MODEM ]; then
echo -f killing pppd...
kill -HUP `cat /var/spool/lock/LCK..$MODEM`
echo done
echo ppp is not active

now make the directory /etc/ppp/peers
do: # chmod 700 /etc/ppp/peers
place the following files in /etc/ppp/peers/
this is for AT&T, my old ISP
# this file gets the name att (or the name you give for your isp),
# which is the same entry at POP=att,
# in the file ppp-start. That is ppp-start calls this file.

connect '/usr/sbin/chat -v -f /etc/ppp/peers/att.chat'
user 759185639@worldnet.att.net
remotename worldnet.att.net

# /etc/ppp/peers/att.chat
# Replace 3038452650 with the phone number for your ISP below.
'' ATDT3038452650

September 13th, 2005, 20:32
Wow. That was worth waiting for -- it showed me I don't want to try it. Maybe I'll wait for the day I'm close enough to civilization to have broadband. Thank you very much, jond.