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Date:      Tue, 2 Sep 2003 14:37:19 +0200
From:      "Michael Vondung" <>
To:        <>
Subject:   PPP, LAN and Newbie Frustration.
Message-ID:  <000001c3714e$f48f5dd0$0100a8c0@equilibrium>

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This is my third month with FreeBSD, and while so far everything worked
mostly fine, I think I now hit a wall. Hard. Please note that I lack =
and networking background, so expect me to sound embarrassingly =

The current situation:

Over the past few weeks I used a network consisting of two machines. =
A is a Window XP Pro system with a dial-up connection to my ISP. Machine =
is a FreeBSD 4.8 system that shares XP's internet connection when =
This was easy enough to set up: I used the idiot-proof "set up a =
wizard in XP and enabled "Internet Connection Sharing", and in FreeBSD I =
Sysinstall DHCP-configure the Ethernet card. This works flawlessly.

However, this isn't what I really want. It makes little sense for the
FreeBSD box to run local IMAP and NTTP servers, connect through the XP =
to the net, and then serves mail and news to the very same XP machine. =
just not pretty or efficient, since it requires me to have the =
running 24/7, too.

The goal:

I'd like the FreeBSD to connect to the 'net, using a PPP dial-up =
and the XP box to share the (dial-up) Internet connection of the FreeBSD

So, yesterday I plugged an old, external ISDN modem into the FreeBSD
machine. It took me a while to get PPP working (with the help of a kind
freebsd-questions soul), but it eventually did work. It connects to the =
and it will also use this connection, but ONLY if the XP machine is also
"there" (even if not connected). If the XP machine is turned off or the =
interrupted, the FreeBSD box will not use its own Internet connection. =
suspect it has to do with resolv.conf listing the XP machine's internal =
address as nameserver? If I remove this, FreeBSD still can't resolve
addresses, even though ppp.conf has "enable dns".)

Roughly, what I'd like is this:

Have the FreeBSD box connect to the Internet via PPP (dial-up) whenever =
application on either the FreeBSD box *or* the Windows box requires a
connection to the Internet, and disconnect when it's been idle for a =
(I know how to set *this* in ppp.conf, but that's pretty much all I =
I'd like the FreeBSD system to "internally" use and the XP =

Some of the problems:

- I get a dynamic IP address whenever I connect to the ISP and I don't =
this address before I connect.

- I do not have a local DNS/nameserver. I understand that I can set one =
locally, but that I would need my ISPs nameserver IP for this. Also, how
would this help me if the host configuration is done before a PPP =
is established? Ideally, in addition, I'd like to use different ISPs.

- I am uncertain if it is all right that the host names of these two
machines are "fictive". With the old setup, both use =
(something Windows assigns, I didn't choose this.) Is it acceptable to =
something "made up"? (Let's say I own and name the boxes and, would this be all right even =
the machines have 192.x.x.x IP addresses and don't "really" exist as far =
the outside world is concerned?)

- I noticed that after setting up PPP, FreeBSD will automatically =
a PPP connection at boot time. It will only use the "papchap" =
and fail if I rename this entry. The problem is that the only change I =
to anything but /etc/ppp/ppp.conf is that I added ppp_enable=3DYES to
/etc/rc.conf. Where does it get the idea from to use the papchap entry =

- I am in the dark when it comes to configuring the XP side. This is
off-topic here, but if anyone has an idea, I'd be grateful for the
assistance. The wizard allows for two "modes": XP being the machine
connecting to the 'net, and XP using another machine's connection. It
doesn't actually ask for any IP addresses, or lets me assign any IP
addresses (it picks 169.x.x.x for itself when I make it a "client"). How
does one configure this manually? (I never thought I'd see the day where =
actually *want* textual configuration files -- but three months with =
changed this fundamentally.)

- To make matters worse, I don't really understand what netstat tells =
me, or
how to draw any conclusions from the information it provides. I did read =
man pages for netstat, PPP and so on, but frankly, it's over my head. I
know, I must sound pathetically helpless here. Rest assured, I feel =
this way, too! :)

What am I looking for?

Ideally, for easy-to-understand, step-by-step instructions! Seriously
though, I've tried the entire morning and afternoon to figure this out, =
it's clearly out of my scope. It is a pitiful experience to read
documentation and not understand it. I don't know which files to edit =
the FreeBSD side), and how to set up everything to work as outlined =

The future:

If/when I get this to work, I'll add a second 80GB disk to the XP =
and put FreeBSD on it, and then dual-boot. The current FreeBSD box would
continue to connect to the internet and happily serve the workstation,
whether it's running XP or FreeBSD. (I'll probably need help with =
setting up
FreeBSD on the workstation too, but for now I'd be thrilled if =
worked nicely together.)

If there is any information I can provide, please let me know what is

I do realise that I'm asking for quite a bit of help here, but I think =
beats giving up or turning to one of the easy-to-setup Linux distros (I =
-this- community and -this- OS).

My sincere thanks in advance.


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