Linux PPP and WCNet Dialup

NOTE: The information contained in this document is not (yet?) officially endorsed or blessed by the WCNet Help Desk. It is based completely on my own personal setup. (And if you have trouble with the highlighting used in this document, upgrade your Web browser to one with proper CSS support.)


Before You Start

If you are using a relatively modern version of RedHat (and probably other distributions), you may not need any of this. If have have Xwindows installed, you can use linuxconf (a graphical system configuration tool) to configure your PPP dialup including PAP authentication information. See your Linux distribution's documentation for further information.

Prerequisites & Background

This documents the PPP setup that I used under RedHat Linux versions 4.2 and 5.1 to establish PPP connections to WCNet. Though I am still actively involved in WCNet, I no longer use WCNet as my Internet Service Provider. I now live in Findlay, so a call to WCNet is long-distance for me.

I know of nothing in my setup that is specific to RedHat Linux. It should work on any distribution which meets the following criteria:

This document is not a tutorial. It is an example of something that worked for me. Use it as a reference--a working example. If you e-mail me and ask a question which is covered in the Linux PPP HOWTO, I will not answer it. In fact, I assume that you've already read the Linux PPP HOWTO and just had some trouble in figuring out how WCNet settings fit in. I will further assume that you have read the relevant manual pages (mainly those for chat and pppd). And, of course, I assume that you have a working modem that you've proven works with Linux. If you're not sure, fire up minicom and find out.

File Layout

All of the configuration files listed here go in /etc/ppp. It's that simple. Several Linux distributions appear to follow this convention, so I use it. There are three necessary files in my setup: dial, options, and pap-secrets.


This is the script which dials the phone, starts up chat and pppd and generally attempts to get things going. If everything is setup properly, just run it and it will connect you.


exec /usr/sbin/pppd debug file /etc/ppp/options.BRT /dev/modem \
115200 connect \
'/usr/sbin/chat -t 30 -v ABORT BUSY ABORT NO "" ATDT123-4567 "CONNECT"'

Of course, you'll need to replace 123-4567 with the right WCNet dialup phone number.


The options file is where any special PPP options are stored (rather than just putting them all on the command-line in dial file. The only thing I do is turn on locking, so my file is quite simple:


See the pppd manual page for the available options.


The pap-secrets file is where you store the PAP authentication information to use for your PPP connections. In this case, you need your WCNet user name and password. The example below assumes that your user name is ``jzawodn'' and your password is ``PaSsWoRd'':

# Secrets for authentication using PAP
# client        server  secret                  IP addresses
jzawodn         *       PaSsWoRd


You'll probably want to monitor your system logs (usually /var/log/messages or /var/adm/messages) and see what sort of diagnostic messages that pppd and/or chat generate.

Other Ideas

Have I missed something? Is there other stuff I should add to this document? Let me know.

Last modified: Sat Jan 16 23:47:27 EST 1999
$Id: wcnet-linux.html,v 1.7 1999/01/17 04:47:50 jzawodn Exp $
Copyright 1999, Jeremy D. Zawodny <>