Dial-up internet in Ubuntu 9.04 with Gnome-PPP

Q I'm trying to get on the internet with a dial-up connection in Ubuntu 9.04. After searching the forums, I tried to install Gnome-PPP and Wvdial using the package manager, but this asks for an additional six files to be downloaded from the Ubuntu archive. So - catch 22. No files, no internet: no internet, no files! I've downloaded the files manually using another computer, but where should they be located in Ubuntu so that they will be found by the package manager?

A There are two ways to deal with this, one of which you've partially done already. Instead of trying to identify and download the files manually, select the packages you need to install in Synaptic and then select Generate Package Download Script from the File menu. This creates a shell script that you can run on another Linux computer. Save the script as, say, gnome-ppp.sh on a USB stick, plug that stick into another computer, cd to the stick's directory in a terminal and run:

sh gnome-ppp.sh

This will download all the files you need on to the stick. If you then plug it back into the original computer, select Add Downloaded Packages from Synaptic's File menu and give it the directory containing the files on the USB stick, Synaptic will download them all for you. This is the only option when you have no other internet connection on the computer, but your dial-up connection will work from the basic Ubuntu installation because it includes the standard PPP command line software - Gnome-PPP is just a GUI front-end to this. Open a terminal and run:

sudo pppconfig

to see a configuration program that you can use to add an internet connection. Use the cursor keys to move between choices, Space to make a selection and Tab to move to the OK and Cancel buttons. Also ensure you select the option to write files on the last screen. Once the program's created a profile with a provider name, you can connect and disconnect using the pon and poff commands, like so:

sudo pon myisp

It's not as pretty as Gnome-PPP, but it works in exactly the same way and you can use it to install Gnome-PPP if you'd prefer to use the GUI on a day-to-day basis.

Follow us on Identi.ca or Twitter

Username:   Password:
Create Account | About TuxRadar