Chapter 10. Questions and Answers

10.1. Questions about Dialing
10.1.1. I can't get KPPP to work. KPPP tells me pppd has died or that a timeout has expired. What's going on?
10.1.2. pppd died - The remote system is required to authenticate itself ...
10.1.3. pppd dies with 2.4.x Linux kernel
10.1.4. Why does KPPP tell me Unable to open the modem?
10.1.5. Why does KPPP tell me it can't create a modem lock file?
10.1.6. Why is KPPP installed with the setuid bit on?
10.1.7. What do I do when KPPP just sits there and waits with the message: Expecting OK
10.1.8. The connection works fine, but I can't start any applications!
10.1.9. KPPP reports a successful connection, but Konqueror just says Unknown host hostname, and Netscape® reports The server does not have a DNS entry.
10.1.10. How do I make KPPP send a \n or a \r
10.1.11. How can I stop KPPP complaining: Can't create lock file?
10.1.12. Why is my modem making so much noise when dialing?
10.1.13. I turned the modem volume to “Off” and verified the modem commands, but I still hear that awful noise during dialing. Why?
10.1.14. KPPP keeps reporting unusual modem speeds like “115200” or “57600”
10.1.15. Why does KPPP report “Unknown speed”
10.1.16. I get a slow connection speed
10.1.17. I get a REALLY slow connection speed!
10.1.18. My phone line needs pulse dialing instead of tone dialing (or vice-versa). How do I change that?
10.2. Questions about Telephone Cost Rules
10.2.1. How do I write a telephones cost rules file?
10.2.2. I have written a telephone cost rules for my region. Where can I submit it so that others can make use of it?
10.2.3. Can my phone cost rulefile contain fractional time units like "(0.17, 45.5)"?
10.2.4. My country observes other “moving” holidays than Easter.
10.3. Questions about the System Logs
10.3.1. I see a message saying Serial line is looped back. What does this mean?
10.3.2. The logs show Signal 15
10.3.3. What about Receive serial link is not 8-bit clean
10.3.4. and can't locate module ppp-compress? What's this?

10.1. Questions about Dialing

10.1.1. I can't get KPPP to work. KPPP tells me pppd has died or that a timeout has expired. What's going on?
10.1.2. pppd died - The remote system is required to authenticate itself ...
10.1.3. pppd dies with 2.4.x Linux kernel
10.1.4. Why does KPPP tell me Unable to open the modem?
10.1.5. Why does KPPP tell me it can't create a modem lock file?
10.1.6. Why is KPPP installed with the setuid bit on?
10.1.7. What do I do when KPPP just sits there and waits with the message: Expecting OK
10.1.8. The connection works fine, but I can't start any applications!
10.1.9. KPPP reports a successful connection, but Konqueror just says Unknown host hostname, and Netscape® reports The server does not have a DNS entry.
10.1.10. How do I make KPPP send a \n or a \r
10.1.11. How can I stop KPPP complaining: Can't create lock file?
10.1.12. Why is my modem making so much noise when dialing?
10.1.13. I turned the modem volume to “Off” and verified the modem commands, but I still hear that awful noise during dialing. Why?
10.1.14. KPPP keeps reporting unusual modem speeds like “115200” or “57600”
10.1.15. Why does KPPP report “Unknown speed”
10.1.16. I get a slow connection speed
10.1.17. I get a REALLY slow connection speed!
10.1.18. My phone line needs pulse dialing instead of tone dialing (or vice-versa). How do I change that?

10.1.1.

I can't get KPPP to work. KPPP tells me pppd has died or that a timeout has expired. What's going on?

Did you read this manual carefully? Here are once more the most common pitfalls:

  • Click on the Details button. KPPP will you give an excerpt from the PPP log messages (may not work on non-Linux® systems, or even on some Linux® distributions). The log will help you to track down the bug.

  • Make sure that pppd is the actual pppd binary not a script

  • Make sure that pppd is setuid root. You may set this mode by issuing chmod u+s pppd as root.

  • Make sure that your /etc/ppp/options file exists and that it doesn't contain any conflicting entries. If in doubt: Leave this file empty.

  • Make sure that you don't use the option lock as an argument for pppd (KPPP is already taking care of device locking).

  • Remove the lock option from both your /etc/ppp/options and ˜/.ppprc files!

  • Using the symbolic link /dev/modem may cause some conflicts. Eliminate this source of trouble by using the real device, i.e. /dev/cuaX or /dev/ttySX.

    Note

    COM1 equals ttyS0, COM2 is ttyS1 and so on.

  • Make sure you set the right permission. In case of trouble you might want to run it as root first and then later, when everything is working fine give it less harmful permission if you can not afford to run KPPP setuid root. The proper way to proceed would probably be creating a modem group.

  • You might be launching pppd too early, i.e. before the remote server is ready to negotiate a PPP connection. If you are using a login script, you should use the built-in terminal to verify your login procedure. Some providers will require you to issue a simple Send or Send ppp to launch PPP. Some users even reported, that they had to append Pause 1 or Pause 2 to their script to solve timing conflicts.

If nothing helps, you might obtain some debugging info from your systems log by issuing:

# tail /var/log/messages

10.1.2.

pppd died - The remote system is required to authenticate itself ...

Typical error message in system log:

pppd[699]: The remote system is required to authenticate itself
pppd[699]: but I couldn't find any suitable secret (password) for it to use to do so.
pppd[699]: (None of the available passwords would let it use an IP address.)

As far as I can tell there are two causes for this problem:

  • /etc/ppp/options contains the auth option. Simply put a # comment in front and try again.

  • Your system already has a default route. Have you set up a local network? In this case recent versions of pppd will behave as if auth had been specified. To override this you may add noauth to the pppd arguments in kppp' setup dialog. Alternatively you could take down the local network prior to dialing in. I'd be thankful if someone could provide instructions on how to peacefully combine the two network connections.

10.1.3.

pppd dies with 2.4.x Linux kernel

Typical error messages in the system log:

pppd[1182]: pppd 2.3.11 started by user, uid 500 
pppd[1182]: ioctl(PPPIOCGFLAGS): Invalid argument 
pppd[1182]: tcsetattr: Invalid argument 
pppd[1182]: Exit. 

Install pppd 2.4.0b1 or better. See Documentation/Changes in the kernel sources for more info.

10.1.4.

Why does KPPP tell me Unable to open the modem?

This means that KPPP doesn't have permissions to open the modem device or that you selected a modem device on the Modem Tab Dialog that is not valid. First make sure you selected the right modem device. Once you are sure you have selected the right modem device, you must give KPPP the right permission to access the modem device and to be able to modify /etc/resolv.conf in case you want KPPP to configure DNS correctly for you. If you can afford to run KPPP setuid root this would solve all access problems for you, if not you will have to figure out what the right permissions are for your purposes. In order to give KPPP setuid root permissions do the following:

% su root
# chown root:root $KDEDIR/bin/kppp
# chmod +s $KDEDIR/bin/kppp
# exit

10.1.5.

Why does KPPP tell me it can't create a modem lock file?

This in most instances means that you have installed KPPP without setuid bit on while you, the person executing KPPP, doesn't have write access to the lock file folder which by default is /var/lock. This for example is the case on Red Hat® systems. Check the modem dialog for the precise location you have chosen. The solution is easy -- either run KPPP setuid if you can afford to, or give regular users write access to /var/lock or create a modem group that will have access to the /var/lock file.

10.1.6.

Why is KPPP installed with the setuid bit on?

There is no need for the setuid bit, if you know a bit of UNIX® systems administration. Simply create a modem group, add all users that you want to give access to the modem to that group and make the modem device read/writable for that group. Also if you want DNS configuration to work with KPPP, then /etc/resolv.conf must be read/writable by the members of that group. The same counts for /etc/ppp/pap-secrets and /etc/ppp/chap-secrets if you want to use the built-in PAP or CHAP support, respectively.

The KPPP team has lately done a lot of work to make KPPP setuid-safe. But it's up to you to decide if you install and how you install it.

You might also want to read the Security section.

10.1.7.

What do I do when KPPP just sits there and waits with the message: Expecting OK

Have you played with the CR/LF setting? Try CR, LF or CR/LF.

Alternatively, your modem might need some time to respond to its initialization. Open the Modem Commands dialog on the Modem tab and adjust the Pre-Init and Post-Init delays. See if you are successful when drastically increasing their values, and then do some fine-tuning later.

10.1.8.

The connection works fine, but I can't start any applications!

You have probably selected the Auto Configure Host Name option, and the X Server has problems connecting to your newly named host. If you really need this option (and chances are you really don't), you are unfortunately on your own to set up the appropriate authorizations. Issuing xhost + before starting the connection would do the job, but be warned of the security risks involved, since this effectively gives everyone else access to your X Server.

10.1.9.

KPPP reports a successful connection, but Konqueror just says Unknown host hostname, and Netscape® reports The server does not have a DNS entry.

Try pinging another server by its IP number, e.g. ping 195.0.254.76. If that works, you could try the following:

  • Check if you have provided KPPP with at least one DNS address.

  • Check the contents of /etc/host.conf. There should be a line saying something similar to order hosts, bind. The bind keyword advises the resolver library to include a name server query when performing an address lookup. If such a line is not there, try adding it.

10.1.10.

How do I make KPPP send a \n or a \r

Just send an empty string such as in the following script:

Send                            # send an empty string
Expect           ID:            
Send             itsme
Expect           word:
Send             forgot
Expect           granted
Send             ppp

10.1.11.

How can I stop KPPP complaining: Can't create lock file?

This happens because you don't have permissions to create a lock file. If you chose to use a lock file, you must have write permission to the folder (typically /var/lock). This is of course no problem if you have given KPPP setuid permissions. Please read the section on Lock files.

10.1.12.

Why is my modem making so much noise when dialing?

Click on Setup, then Modem. You can control the modem volume here in three steps: Off, medium and high. For most modems, medium or high result in the same volume. If changing this setting doesn't work, make sure the correct settings for your modem are specified in Setup, Modem, Modem Commands.

10.1.13.

I turned the modem volume to Off and verified the modem commands, but I still hear that awful noise during dialing. Why?

The volume initialization string can get lost if your modem can't cope with the speed it is receiving commands from KPPP. Increase the value of Post-Init Delay in Setup, Modem, Modem Commands.

10.1.14.

KPPP keeps reporting unusual modem speeds like 115200 or 57600

Many modems only report the speed of the serial line and not the speed over the telephone line as default. You must configure these modems to report the true line speed by adding some commands to the modem init or dial strings. For many modems this command is ATW2. If you want to add it to the dial string (which normally starts with ATD), the new dial string would be ATW2D.

10.1.15.

Why does KPPP report Unknown speed

New modems often have very complex connection messages like CONNECT LAP.M/V42.bis/115000:RX/31200:TX, and KPPP cannot parse this message correctly. Turn on Show Log and you'll see the connection speed.

10.1.16.

I get a slow connection speed

If you are not satisfied with the modem speed, make sure you've set the connection speed (you can reach it by clicking on Setup, Device, Connection Speed) to 57600 or higher. Make sure your serial ports support higher speeds. Many older systems based on i486 do not work correctly if you set the speed to 115200. If you have an old 8250 UART chip, it won't work. If you have a 16550 or 16550A it should work flawlessly.

Additionally, you should consult your modem manual to look for init strings that enable a high speed mode.

10.1.17.

I get a REALLY slow connection speed!

If data drips on at a rate of just a few bytes per second, you should check your hardware setup. If moving your mouse speeds up the transmission this is definitely a hardware issue!

You can obtain some information about your serial port with setserial -a /dev/ttySx and check for interrupt conflicts with other components of your system.

10.1.18.

My phone line needs pulse dialing instead of tone dialing (or vice-versa). How do I change that?

You must modify your modem dial string. Nearly all modems support the following AT commands:

ATDT

Selects tone dialing

ATDP

Selects pulse dialing

10.2. Questions about Telephone Cost Rules

10.2.1. How do I write a telephones cost rules file?
10.2.2. I have written a telephone cost rules for my region. Where can I submit it so that others can make use of it?
10.2.3. Can my phone cost rulefile contain fractional time units like "(0.17, 45.5)"?
10.2.4. My country observes other “moving” holidays than Easter.

10.2.1.

How do I write a telephones cost rules file?

Just follow the TEMPLATE rules file supplied with KPPP. You should be able to find a copy in $KDEDIR/doc/HTML/yourlang/kppp/. Use the -r KPPP command line option to check the syntax of your proposed rules file.

10.2.2.

I have written a telephone cost rules for my region. Where can I submit it so that others can make use of it?

10.2.3.

Can my phone cost rulefile contain fractional time units like "(0.17, 45.5)"?

Yes this is possible. But you shouldn't use unusually small time units below a tenth of a second, because this would result in higher CPU load, although you probably won't notice on a modern CPU.

10.2.4.

My country observes other moving holidays than Easter.

In that case, you need to write new code that allows for the computation of that holiday. Please have a look at ruleset.cpp and emulate the easter example. Then send in the patches!.

10.3. Questions about the System Logs

10.3.1. I see a message saying Serial line is looped back. What does this mean?
10.3.2. The logs show Signal 15
10.3.3. What about Receive serial link is not 8-bit clean
10.3.4. and can't locate module ppp-compress? What's this?

10.3.1.

I see a message saying Serial line is looped back. What does this mean?

Short answer: You didn't start the PPP software on the peer system.

10.3.2.

The logs show Signal 15

If you see the following lines, you've probably just received a timeout error from KPPP. KPPP has been waiting for the PPP interface to come up and gave up after the specified timeout. pppd was signalled to shut down, with signal number 15, i.e. SIGTERM.


pppd[26921]: pppd 2.3.5 started by me, uid 500
pppd[26921]: Using interface ppp0
pppd[26921]: Connect: ppp0 <--> /dev/ttyS0
pppd[26921]: Terminating on signal 15.
pppd[26921]: Connection terminated.
pppd[26921]: Exit.

10.3.3.

What about Receive serial link is not 8-bit clean

The PPP daemon is alarmed by the fact that all the data it receives has bit 8 set to zero. In most cases this simply indicates that the remote PPP server isn't running yet. You might still be confronted by a login prompt that echoes back all the data sent by your pppd.

10.3.4.

and can't locate module ppp-compress? What's this?

Do you see the following messages?


modprobe: can't locate module ppp-compress-21 
modprobe: can't locate module ppp-compress-26 
modprobe: can't locate module ppp-compress-24

Just add the lines:


alias ppp-compress-21 bsd_comp 
alias ppp-compress-24 ppp_deflate 
alias ppp-compress-26 ppp_deflate 

to your /etc/conf.modules file.