Cable modem connection not working after booting up

Q I just installed SUSE 9.3, and am having a couple of networking problems. I've got the system all running smoothly so far but I'm trying to share my internet connection with two other computers running XP. I'm also trying to have my Linux machine identify my XP network for mapping drivers and view shared folders and so on. I have a problem with my cable modem: now and again my internet connection does not work after booting up. Can you recommend a good book that covers issues like this without too much technical stuff?

A You need two network interfaces on the computer - one to the local network and one to the internet. The former would be your local Ethernet, the latter your cable modem, which could be Ethernet or USB. You can set up connection sharing from SUSE's Yast. First you need to make sure your internet connection is working properly on the SUSE machine, then turn on routing by going to Network Services > Routing in Yast and ticking the Enable IP Forwarding button at the bottom. Press Finish and it's all done. Now you need to tell the other computers where to look for their internet connection.

On each computer, set the gateway address to the IP address of the local interface on the SUSE computer. Browsing shared folders on your windows machines is easy if you use the default KDE desktop. Open a file manager window and type smb:/ (that's a single slash) in the location bar. You'll see a list of your workgroups (usually only one) and you can browse through here to access the various shared folders. If you want to share folders to be accessed from the Windows computers you will need to set up Samba. Go to Internet & Network > Samba in the KDE Control Centre, click the Administrator button for root access and set up any directories or printers you wish to share. Make sure your workgroup name, in the Base Settings tab, is the same as on the Windows boxes.

Finally, your intermittent cable modem problem may be a timing issue. Is this a USB modem? Does it have an Ethernet option? If the answer to both is yes, it would be best to add another Ethernet card to your computer and connect the modem that way. If you are stuck with USB, it is likely that the connection is not coming up fast enough to be ready when the computer boots. In this case, the quick solution is to unplug and reconnect the modem from your USB port. This should force it to reconnect to the ISP. As for reading material: do you have a boxed version of SUSE? The SUSE manuals are some of the best around, and have the advantage of being specific to your distro.

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