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11.3 Using wvdial

ISPs use a variety of dialogs to make a PPP connection. Often the most difficult part of configuring your computer to make a PPP connection is specifying dialog options consistent with those required by your ISP, which may not be especially helpful in explaining the necessary options to you.

For example, most ISPs use one of three PPP login procedures: PAP (Password Authentication Protocol), CHAP (Challenge-Handshake Authentication Protocol), or ordinary user/password authentication. PAP is currently the most popular of the three procedures. If you ask the tech support person at your ISP what login procedure your ISP uses, the tech support person may have no idea what you're talking about, because most users run Microsoft Windows, and Windows Dial-Up Networking handles the login procedure transparently.

The wvdial program transparently establishes a PPP connection in much the same way as Windows Dial-Up Networking. It understands a variety of possible dialogs used by ISPs. In most cases, it will analyze data sent by your ISP and respond with the proper data in the format required by the ISP.

To use wvdial, be sure that you've established your nameserver configuration, as described in Chapter 10, Setting Up a Linux-Based LAN. Then, issue the following commands

route del default
wvdial &

The command generates quite a bit of output, which makes further use of this virtual terminal distracting. The simplest solution is to switch to another virtual terminal, by pressing Alt- n, where n stands for the virtual terminal (1-7). Alternatively, you can direct the output of the command to a file, by typing this command in place of the one given earlier:

wvdial 2>/tmp/wvdial.messages &

Of course, you'll need to consult the file if something goes wrong with wvdial. Do so by using the more command:

more /tmp/wvdial.messages

Once your connection is up, you can browse the Web and access other Internet services, as described later in this chapter. For now, simply verify that your connection is working by issuing the command:


The ping command should report that echo packets were successfully received from the server. If not, check your nameserver configuration.

When you want to log off your ISP, issue the following command:

killall wvdial

Previous: 11.2 Configuring Your Modem Learning Debian GNU/Linux Next: 11.4 PPP Client
11.2 Configuring Your Modem Book Index 11.4 PPP Client

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