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Configuring Red Hat for a Second PPP Connection

I cannot get a second PPP connection to work correctly. I used the X Window tool netcfg to set up ppp0 to connect with the University of South Florida. This setting seems to work properly, connecting and disconnecting fine. Then, I set up ppp1 to connect to Compuserve. This appears to connect okay, but I cannot shut down the modem without shutting down my Linux PC. When I look at the system messages file, I see that the scripts start out using ppp1 settings for the connection but once PPP is started it says it is connected to ppp0. I also see that ppp0 registers with the kernel and not ppp1 as it should. I have tried to figure out the various scripts involved but can't make heads or tails of them. I am new to Linux and don't understand the BASH scripting language well. Help.

—Mike Richards Red Hat 4.2

Red Hat's PPP number assignment scheme is broken. Their scripts don't guarantee that ppp1, labeled in the setup utilities, will be activated in the kernel as ppp1. This happens because PPP connections are assigned dynamically. Although you may have defined ppp1 in the Red Hat configuration utility, that setup will be registered as ppp0 inside the kernel if it is the only PPP connection active.

I need a little more detail about your setup to suggest the best fix to your problem, but here's how the scripts work under Red Hat. This may give you enough information to work out a solution.

The file /etc/rc.d/init.d/network is run at boot time with the argument “start”. It looks for configuration files of the form ifcfg* in the /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ directory. As a result, if you edit (as is common when not running X) one of those files with an editor that creates a backup file (e.g., ifcfg-eth0~), the Red Hat scripts will run the backup file as well as the new file. For each connection type (Ethernet, PPP, PLIP, etc.), there are “up” and “down” files that start and stop the connection. The network script runs the “up” script with the appropriate ifcfg file as an argument, e.g., /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ifup-ppp /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ifcfg-ppp0.

There is a corresponding “down” script to shutdown the connection called /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ifdown-ppp /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ifcfg-ppp0.

You can run these scripts from the command line for testing purposes.

—Larry M. Augustin, VA Researchl

My Mouse Won't Work

My new system came with a new Microsoft Mouse. This mouse doesn't work with Linux. After a couple of days of messing around, I've come to the conclusion that there is a problem with my model of the Microsoft Mouse—on the underside of the mouse is the designation Serial Mouse 2.1A. I have concluded that the problem lies with this mouse because the new system works perfectly well with my old Microsoft Mouse. Is something wrong with the new mouse?

—Ed Green Slackware 2.0.29 Walnut Creek

I don't have access to the newest mouse, so Francois Chastrette has helped a lot with this problem. We are working on a satisfactory solution to include in gpm 1.12 right now (end of August). By the time you read this Linux Journal, the new version of the mouse server should be available by FTP.

X support might take a bit longer as the X team has a huge package to manage. In the meantime, you can use the -R option of gpm to feed clean mouse packets to the X server.

—Alessandro Rubini