Best of Technical Support

Our experts answer your technical questions.
Poor FTP Speeds

I am getting very poor FTP speeds, but speeds of remote X applications are fine, 1.5MB/sec. I am using a Linksys Pocket Ethernet adapter on LPT1 and the de620 driver. Typing the command more /proc/dev/net shows “no lost”, and colls packets... dmesg shows “etho: Page out of sync! Restoring...” During FTP testing, I got a few “Illegal Packet size -4! Illegal Packet size 24!” messages when I changed the window size for that route by adding:

-net netmask
dev eth0 window X X= default,
8000, 800, 400, ...

The adapter seems to be working well from the X application testing, but FTP is useless. It starts fine (first set of packets) and quickly slows to a crawl, never to pass 2MB. Any ideas? —James T. Billups III, Red Hat 5.0

All I can think of is that you are running with a bi-directional printer port. Try changing this port back to “normal” (sometimes referred to as SPP) in your CMOS setup, or on your I/O card if it's not a built-in motherboard-type printer port and see if that helps. The source code for the de620 driver includes some comments that indicate this is the mode your printer port should be in when using this adapter. —Erik Ratcliffe,

Ugly Back Slashes

My question is about /etc/issue. I edited this file to show the name of my computer and it contains some backslash characters. I had to write these as \\ (double backslash) because one backslash is used as an escape character. But, when I access my computer through TELNET, both backslashes appear and look quite unpleasant. Is there any way of avoiding this? —Mihai Bisca

Your getty and telnetd parse the /etc/issue file in a different way. Create an /etc/ file to provide a message for telnetd, while /etc/issue is reserved for local use. Naturally, this depends on the internals of getty and telnetd, and yours may be different from mine. —Alessandro Rubini,

Blank Screen

Whenever I try to run X Windows, I get a blank screen after some disk action. I've tried the S3 server, an S3 card, the SVGA generic, the VGA generic and the unsupported VGA generic; all give me the same blank screen. I know my settings are right for everything else. I can continue working in other VCs, but they are all blank as well. I know I'm using them, because I get beeps at the right time, etc. I guess it's a problem with my video settings, but I've tried everything and can't fix it. —David Tilleyshort, Slackware 3.4

Odds are there is a mismatch between the frequency settings you have passed in your X configuration and the frequencies supported by your monitor. Make sure you have the correct frequency ranges for your monitor in the XF86Config file; check the documentation that came with your monitor to be sure. If you don't have the documentation, a good generic set of ranges for a low-end multi-frequency SVGA monitor are 31-38 horizontal and 50-90 vertical.

One side note: some “green PC” monitors actually shut down after X starts. There may be parameters which can be passed to your X server to disable this behavior; check the various README files and documentation on XFree86 Org's web site: —Erik Ratcliffe,

Establishing an ISP Connection

I can establish an ISP connection. I cannot use a browser, FTP or TELNET. I get an error message like “cannot find URL”. I am using Xisp to connect and have made a symbolic link from /dev/modem to /dev/ttys1. Can you help me? —Ric Stattin, Caldera 1.2

Chances are your name server isn't entered in /etc/resolv.conf. The format of this file is as follows (from comments in resolv.conf generated by LISA):

# possible entries are:
# gethostbyname syscall is used to
# search <list_of_domains> Search list for
# hostname lookup.
# nameserver <ip_addr> Define which server to
# contact for DNS lookups. If there are
# multiple nameserver lines (Max=3),
# they are queried in the listed order.

There is also a “domain” entry (of which you can have only one). So, a sample resolv.conf file might look like this:


These entries will need to be changed for individual setups, of course. The name server IP address will need to be obtained from your system administrator or ISP. Once you have this information in the /etc/resolv.conf file, you should be able to connect to remote hosts by name. —David M. Brown,


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