[UFO Chicago] ppp0 hanging

Nate Riffe inkblot@movealong.org
Tue, 29 Jan 2002 20:20:45 -0600

Quoting John Kilbourne:
> I added the "adsl-start" line to /etc/rec.local, and am able to get to
> the web ok after booting, but ppp0 interface still times out in the
> boot process. What is making the boot process not see ppp0, or not see
> it right after eth0? (and what is ppp0?)

In general ppp0 is a dialup link using the Point to Point Protocol
(PPP).  When there are multiple links, there are also ppp1, ppp2, etc.

However, there is a technology called PPP over Ethernet (PPPoE) which is
popular with certain broadband ISPs.  That's probably what you're
seeing, and personally, I don't have any experience with actually using
PPPoE; I only know what it is and that the driver for it in Linux is
still marked as "Experimental" in the kernel configurator.

The premise behind PPPoE is that when your computer is off, it is no
longer using its IP address, even if the DSL is technically still
active.  So ISPs devised this scheme (an evil scheme I think) so that
when you turn your computer on, it "connects" and when you turn it off
it "disconnects" from the ISP.  That way, when your computer is not on,
its IP address can return to the pool of available addresses and be
reassigned to another user.  I think it's evil for two reasons: First of
all, it is yet another potential point of failure in broadband services
that implement it (a problem which you are experiencing in the form of
timeouts), and secondly it is a violation in principle of the "Always
On" quality that broadband providers are selling to people.

> To respond to some of the comments about newbies and the linux
> community, my experience has been very positive, not just at UFO. The
> problem is not that people aren't helpful, it's that I can't
> articulate the request for help in a way that is effective. The
> discipline of formulating questions has screened a good portion of
> them from the outside community. In other words, I figure out the
> answer, though usually in the 2 minutes immediately following a post.

This is actually quite common even for people who know what they're
doing (finding the answer right after asking for help, that is).  Don't
worry about it.


--< ((\))< >----< inkblot@movealong.org >----< http://www.movealong.org/ >--
"In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really
good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they actually change their
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politics or religion."            -- Carl Sagan, 1987 CSICOP keynote address