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NOTE: CentOS Enterprise Linux is built from the Red Hat Enterprise Linux source code. Other than logo and name changes CentOS Enterprise Linux is compatible with the equivalent Red Hat version. This document applies equally to both Red Hat and CentOS Enterprise Linux.

Chapter 5. Connecting to the Internet

Perhaps the most important change in communication since the telephone, the Internet is a large part of our world today. Red Hat Enterprise Linux has the tools necessary to allow you to connect to that world.

There are many types of Internet connections, including:

ISDN Connection

An ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network) connection uses high-speed, high-quality digital telecommunication lines as opposed to an analog modem connection. This special phone line must be installed by a phone company.

Modem Connection

A modem connection uses a normal phone line to establish a connection to the Internet. Digital data is modulated into analog signals and sent over phone lines.

Wireless Connection

A wireless connection uses a wireless access point (WAP) or peer-to-peer network with a wireless network card.

xDSL Connection

An xDSL (Digital Subscriber Line) connection uses high-speed transmissions through telephone lines. There are different types of DSL such as ADSL, IDSL, and SDSL. Internet Configuration Wizard uses the term xDSL to mean all types of DSL connections.

Ethernet Connections

Some xDSL and cable modem connections require users to set up their connections via Ethernet. The ethernet card in your Red Hat Enterprise Linux system communicates with the xDSL or cable modem, which communicates in turn with your ISP.

This chapter discusses setting up a modem (or dial-up) connection in detail. The procedures for creating connections of the remaining types is similar, but may require additional steps or information from your Internet Service Provider (ISP).

Your own ISP may have specific connection requirements for their service which differ from the instructions in this chapter. Before connecting, check with your ISP for any specific instructions that they provide, including the following information:

  • The phone number that your modem must dial to connect to your ISP if you are using a modem.

  • Your login name and password for your account if you are using an xDSL or modem connection.

  • A gateway address. Some ISPs may require you to configure a master address (called the gateway) that authenticates your computer and allows it to connect to the Internet.

  • DNS entries: DNS means Domain Name System. DNS servers act as a road map for the Internet. When you use the Internet, the DNS tells your machine where to send its traffic. DNS tracks IP (Internet Protocol) addresses; each computer connected to the Internet must have an IP address, which is a unique set of numbers like 2xx.2xx.2x.2. You may receive one or more DNS entries from your Internet provider when you sign up.

5.1. The Internet Configuration Wizard

Figure 5-1. Internet Configuration Wizard

Red Hat Enterprise Linux includes the Internet Configuration Wizard. The Internet Configuration Wizard is available from the Applications (the main menu on the panel) => System Tools sub-menu, or from a shell prompt via the command internet-druid. This tool guides you step-by-step through the process of establishing a new Internet connection.

When you first start the Internet Configuration Wizard, you are required to enter your root password.

Each of the types of connections are listed in the left pane of the window. Select the type of connection to establish, then follow the steps of the wizard.

The next section of this chapter goes through the details of creating a dial-up connection as an example.

  Published under the terms of the GNU General Public License Design by Interspire