Get a Winmodem working with slmodem drivers

Q I'm entirely new to Linux, and am not particularly great with computers in general - any technical terms I've learned have all been in the space of a week! I was enticed by Debian 3.1 and decided to have a go at installing it over WinXP. I've managed to get to get to the GUI, and I've had a look around KDE and it looks brilliant. However, my modem doesn't work. I've discovered that it is a Winmodem, and that apparently I can install a driver called slmodem to make it work. But it is just so complicated! There are swathes of information but it's technical. I had a go at installing slmodem, following the advice on www.laclinux.com, and things seemed to be going OK until I needed to find a file /etc/modprobe.d/slmodem, which didn't exist. Here is some info about my system.

Machine IBM Thinkpad G40
OS Debian 3.1
Kernel 2.6.8
Modem Agere Systems AC'97(COM3)

lspci gives the following:

'0000:00:1f.6 Modem: Intel Corp. 82801DB/DBL/DBM(ICH4/ICH4-L/ICH4-M) AC'97
modem controller (rev 01)(prog-if 00[Generic])'.

I'd really hate to go back to Windows having looked at Debian Linux. Please help, because I am almost converted!

A The instructions you refer to are not particularly verbose; they presume a reasonable familiarity with installing from source and configuring by hand. Fortunately, you don't need to do any of this, as the slmodem drivers are already available for Debian. You can install them easily with Synaptic, but first you need to add the standard Debian repositories to your sources list. Add the following lines to /etc/apt/sources.list:

deb http://http.us.debian.org/debian/stable main contrib non-free
deb http://non-us.debian.org/debian-non-US/ stable/non-US main contrib non-free
deb http://security.debian.org/ stable/updates main contrib non-free

Now fire up Synaptic, search for 'sl-modem', right-click Sl-modem-daemon and mark it for installation, then press Apply to install this and all its dependencies. Synaptic will also take care of configuration for you, including creating the files mentioned in the Readme you read.

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