Configuring pppd in Linux, Part II

After showing you how to configure your modem in Part I, Tony moves on to show you how to connect to the Internet.

This process certainly can look quite scary; the amount of knowledge you must have to connect to the Internet using Linux seems ludicrous, especially if you compare it to the simplicity of the Windows Remote access interface; the comparison makes you wonder whether it was worthwhile doing everything by hand.

In my opinion, there are two main advantages in configuring everything by hand. The first one is that you can (and should) go through the many options of pppd to optimize your connection. The second is that from now on when you use a graphical interface to configure your internet access, you know exactly what is going on, and you can fix problems if the automatic process doesn't seem to work properly.

Before I finish, I would like to point out that there is a command-line program (no GUI) that automatically does everything I have explained in this article (find the modem, connect to the provider with the right parameters, etc.). The program is called wvdial ( When I discovered it a few years ago, I found it rather amazing. I would suggest it to impatient people who want to connect to the Internet quickly without going through the hassle of knowing everything about pppd, chat, etc.


Tony Mobily ( is the technical editor of Login, an Italian computer magazine. He is an LCI (Linux Certification Instructor, and knows how to use English, Italian, C, Perl and a few other languages. He works as a trainer and system administrator and is training as a dancer.



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Re: Take Command: Configuring pppd in Linux, Part II

Anonymous's picture

Really helpful