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Joined: 25 Apr 2002
Posts: 27
Location: Pullman, Washington; USA

PostPosted: Wed May 08, 2002 4:07 am    Post subject: Gentoo PPP Installation Instructions Reply with quote

Gentoo PPP Installation Instructions

1. About this method

This method explains how to install Gentoo Stage 3 using ppp and your modem. Stage 3 is necessary as in order to start ppp, you will need to compile a kernel with ppp support, and earlier stages require internet access in order to download the Portage tree and kernel sources. Unfortunately, as the Gentoo Linux CD Installation Guide says, at this point an i686 based computer is needed in order to use the Stage 3 tarball. You can download and burn the Gentoo 1.1a Stage 3 iso on a separate computer and then install the base system at home. (P.S. You can buy these for $4.99 from too if you don't have a burner you can use.) This method requires that you copy a few important files from the Gentoo mirror onto floppy discs before starting. The files needed will depend on which system logging daemon you wish to use (see below). Please read through this guide from start to end before beginning your installation.

Please have a copy of the Gentoo 1.1a Installation Instructions available and follow along.

2. Booting

Boot as instructed in the guide.

3. Load kernal modules

As we won't be using an ethernet connection, you can skip Code listing 1. Load the SCSI drivers (Code listing 2) if you need them.

4. Loading PCMCIA kernel modules

Not needed.

5. Configure installation networking

Skip Code listing 5, go to Code listing 6 and fill in your isp domain name and dns ip number(s).

Sections 6, 7, 8, and 9

Follow all instructions as given. Remember however, if you choose to use the XFS filesystem, you will need a driver for it later that will have to be burned on a cd (it's too large for a floppy!)

Sections 10, 11, and 12


13. Final steps: timezone

Do this step.

14. Final steps: kernel and system logger

Skip Code listing 24 as the kernel sources are already included in the stage 3 tarball.

Follow Code listing 25 for compiling your kernel. For ppp use, you will need to include a few options not mentioned in the Install Instructions:

Network device support-->
  • PPP
  • Async
  • Deflate
  • BSD decompress

As a reminder, if you want to be able to read pc-format floppy discs and cd's, you will need to include these options:

File systems-->
  • Joliet
  • Dos
  • msdos
  • vfat

If you want to be able to burn cd's, include these too!

  • scsi cdrom
  • generic

IDE etc-->
  • scsi emulation
  • say NO to ide cdrom

Note: you can type a question mark when on most items during the menuconfig to find out more about these.

For Code listing 26 you will need some binary packages copied onto floppies or burned onto a CD. Namely a system logging daemon, and maybe (depending on your system) a package for XFS and LVM. Be sure to have these ready before you start installation. Other packages can be brought in anytime after the system is built. For my system I chose sysklogd and XFS so I brought in these two packages:

  • sysklogd-1.4.1.tar.gz
  • xfs-cmd-20020330.tar.bz2 (won't fit on a floppy)

Make two directories which will be needed for emerging packages:
# mkdir /usr/portage/distfiles
# mkdir /usr/portage/packages/All

Copy the packages into your new /usr/portage/distfiles directory then when emerging just add the -k option in order to use the packages you just copied. For example:

# mount /dev/fd0 /mnt/floppy -t vfat
# cp /mnt/floppy/sysklogd-1.4.1.tar.gz /usr/portage/distfiles
# emerge -k sysklogd

15. Final steps: install additional packages

If you chose to use XFS and have the package burned on a cd, install it now.
# mount /dev/cdroms/cdrom0 /mnt/cdrom -t iso9660
# cp /mnt/cdrom/xfs-cmd-20020330.tar.bz2 /usr/portage/distfiles
# emerge -k xfsprogs

16. Final steps: /etc/fstab

Set up your file system table as instructed in Code listing 29 and the root password as in Code listing 30. Set up a hostname for your system as indicated. Skip ahead to Code listing 36 and complete this and all remaining steps.

Note: If emerge attempts to download your package, it most likely indicates that you have the wrong binary package for the portage tree included in your stage 3 tarball, or that your package was corrupted during download. You may want to try downloading all versions of the desired package from the Gentoo mirror, copying them over to your distfiles directory, and trying again.

17. Installation complete!

Your base system is now complete. Just follow the instructions to reboot your system.

18. Installing PPP packages

To start using your modem, you will need to add some additional packages to your base system. Many packages are available, but a very nice one to use with ppp is wvdial. The package names to pickup for these on the mirror are:

  • ppp-2.4.1-pppoe4.tgz
  • wvdial-1.41.tar.gz

Just copy these to your distfiles directory and install them as shown above.

19. Configuring your modem

Run the wvdial configuration program to setup wvdial, and edit the file it generates to add in your isp phone number, username, and password. Do not include the greaterthan and lessthan symbols around your phonenumber, username, and password. If unsure of how it should look, see the manual pages for an example (#man wvdial).

# wvdialconf /etc/wvdial.conf
# nano -w /etc/wvdial.conf

Be sure to remove the semicolons and extra space in front of the three lines you edit!

20. Connect!

To connect, just type wvdial. Then to check your connection you will need to login to a new terminal and try a ping command. To switch between terminals, just hold down the Alt key and press F2 (you are currently in F1.) Then just enter 'root' and your root password.

# wvdial
Switch to a new terminal
# ping yourISPdnsnumber -c 3

If your connection is OK, you should see some messages indicating that 3 packets were sent and received.

Note: if you decided to set up networking for a home lan, before attempting to connect, you will first have to remove a default lan route which was setup during the install:

# route del default

You are now set up to begin emerging all the packages your trusty modem and virtuous patience can handle! The wvdial package is set up to automatically redial your isp if disconnected, and emerge/portage is using the wget program so you don't lose big chunks of downloads if you get disconnected. Emerge also checks the md5 sums when it starts, so you don't even have to worry about that. To disconnect your modem when you are done, you can just switch back to that terminal (remember Alt-F1?) and type Ctrl-C. Enjoy and welcome to Gentoo Linux!
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Joined: 20 Aug 2003
Posts: 8
Location: Como - iTaLy

PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2003 4:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

maybe this one is simplyer (at least for knowledge-less people like me :P)

i just made the partitions and created the filesistem then reboot the system and let a live distro (e.g. knoppix) start

connect to the net from there (using kppp or whatever you want) and chroot


#mkdir /mnt/gentoo
#mount /dev/ROOT /mnt/gentoo
#mkdir /mnt/gentoo/boot
#mount /dev/BOOT /mnt/gentoo/boot

#mount -t proc proc /mnt/gentoo/proc
#cp /etc/resolv.conf /mnt/gentoo/etcresolv.conf
#chroot /mnt/gentoo /bin/bash
#source /etc/profile

then just emerge whatever you want! you're connected!
..::Rem Tene, Verba Sequentur::..
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Joined: 30 Mar 2003
Posts: 955

PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2003 6:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Awesome.. someone actually wrote a Dial Up Guide :D
Thanks libramark :D
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Joined: 23 Jun 2003
Posts: 59
Location: Sydney, Australia

PostPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2003 10:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just wanted to add a small note for some ISP's as not all of them seem to use the standard console login. The ISP I currently use won't work with that set up as they appear to use PAP over PPP. This is the relevant part of what I wrote in another forum....


Stupid Mode = yes
Phone = <phone number>
Username = <username>
Password = <password>

The line:

Stupid Mode = yes

tells WvDial not to wait for a login prompt and fires up pppd hoping for the best. This line is needed for PAP over PPP. I'm not sure, but for (some of) these ISP's it may be possible to remove the username and password lines.


user <username>

I included that line to make sure PPP gave the right username/password.


# Secrets for authentication using PAP
# client server secret IP addresses
<username> * <password>

That tells pppd what username/password to use for authentication.

Hope it helps if you have one of these ISP's as well!
May contain traces of nuts.
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