Tuesday, December 05, 2006


BSNL broadband using Linux

BSNL DataOne provides broadband services using ADSL. They provided me with a Sterlite modem that can be used for pppoe (since it is configured to operate in pure bridged mode). While only windows is supported officially, it is easy to use this modem with Linux. I am using OpenSUSE 10.1 on my laptop. The details for configuration are as follows:

You first need to install rp-pppoe. RPM for SuSE 10.1 is available. To configure, pppoe-setup can be used, which will ask for many simple questions. I had the modem connected to my lan card (which was configured as eth0). My answers were as follows.

Welcome to the Roaring Penguin PPPoE client setup.  First, I will run
some checks on your system to make sure the PPPoE client is installed

Looks good!  Now, please enter some information:
>>> Enter your PPPoE user name:dsaXYZXYZ

>>> Enter the Ethernet interface connected to the DSL modem
For Solaris, this is likely to be something like /dev/hme0.
For Linux, it will be ethn, where 'n' is a number.
(default eth0):eth0

We will try to detect if your modem is compliant with RFC 2516
or not. 3COM's 3CP4130 is *NOT* compliant, for instance.

Searching for a modem at interface eth0...
Found a RFC 2516 compliant modem, congratulations! :)
Do you want the link to come up on demand, or stay up continuously?
If you want it to come up on demand, enter the idle time in seconds
after which the link should be dropped.  If you want the link to
stay up permanently, enter 'no' (two letters, lower-case.)
NOTE: Demand-activated links do not interact well with dynamic IP
addresses.  You may have some problems with demand-activated links.
>>> Enter the demand value (default no):

Please enter the IP address of your ISP's primary DNS server.
If your ISP claims that 'the server will provide DNS addresses',
enter 'server' (all lower-case) here.
If you just press enter, I will assume you know what you are
doing and not modify your DNS setup.
>>> Enter the DNS information here: server

>>> Please enter your PPPoE password:
>>> Please re-enter your PPPoE password:

Please choose the firewall rules to use.  Note that these rules are
very basic.  You are strongly encouraged to use a more sophisticated
firewall setup; however, these will provide basic security.  If you
are running any servers on your machine, you must choose 'NONE' and
set up firewalling yourself.  Otherwise, the firewall rules will deny
access to all standard servers like Web, e-mail, ftp, etc.  If you
are using SSH, the rules will block outgoing SSH connections which
allocate a privileged source port.

The firewall choices are:
0 - NONE: This script will not set any firewall rules.  You are responsible
          for ensuring the security of your machine.  You are STRONGLY
          recommended to use some kind of firewall rules.
1 - STANDALONE: Appropriate for a basic stand-alone web-surfing workstation
2 - MASQUERADE: Appropriate for a machine acting as an Internet gateway
                for a LAN
>>> Choose a type of firewall (0-2): 0

** Summary of what you entered **
Ethernet Interface: eth0
User name:          dsa220513
Activate-on-demand: No
DNS addresses:      Supplied by ISP's server
Firewalling:        NONE

To start, stop and to view the status, pppoe-start, pppoe-stop and pppoe-status can be used. I expected the internet to work, since after running pppoe-start, status showed that I am connected. Messages in /var/log/messages also didn't contain any error. LAN card had acquired IP address from the DHCP of the modem. Modem's web configuration interface was accessible at

pppoe-status: Link is up and running on interface ppp0
ppp0      Link encap:Point-to-Point Protocol
          inet addr:  P-t-P:  Mask:
          RX packets:6727 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
          TX packets:5687 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
          collisions:0 txqueuelen:3
          RX bytes:6424287 (6.1 Mb)  TX bytes:826896 (807.5 Kb)

After some investigation I found that if I set my ethernet card (using YaST) to have static IP, and configure its default gateway as everything works fine. I am not sure what is the reason for this, as I have no experience with pppoe; but it works. I will try to dig in this and find out the reason.

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