Monitor diald from Anywhere on Your LAN

Find out what's happening when using IP Masquerade and diald to access the Internet remotely.
Future Enhancements

This solution meets the goal of providing link status information to the user, with minimal effort required by the user and no custom software on the client side. As with any project, though, there is room for continued improvement.

Possible future enhancements include upgrading to the latest version of diald and exploiting more of its features, such as reporting on the state of multiple connections. Another improvement might be to rewrite the “dæmon” in C++ rather than Perl. The existing version works, but it's not particularly elegant.

Also possible is the addition of remote link control via JavaScript buttons (e.g., Up, Down, Block, etc.), but this should be done carefully to avoid opening a security hole. Allowing external sites to see the status of the LAN's dialup link wouldn't necessarily be a security problem, but allowing external sites to control it would be. On my Linux box, I have IP masquerade set up such that the HTTP server is visible only from within the LAN. An alternative approach might be to use the security methods in Apache to limit access to sensitive web pages.

Conclusion

IP masquerade and diald are useful tools for allowing Internet access to an entire LAN, although sometimes it's nice to know what's going on remotely. By using the scripts presented here, even novice users on your LAN can enjoy some of the power of Linux without even knowing it's there.

email: beroset@mindspring.com

Ed Beroset (beroset@mindspring.com) works as a firmware manager at ABB Automation in Raleigh, NC. On the long commute to and from his Chapel Hill home, Ed often engages in another of his hobbies, amateur radio, as KF4UQX. His wife Marilyn is a psychotherapist and part-time software muse.

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