Desktop FreeBSD Part 9: FreeBSD and Broadband

By Ed Ed | Posted at 22:10

Of all the tasks in FreeBSD, setting up a broadband connection is probably one of the easiest. All the various BSDs are built around networking, and most broadband connections operate pretty much like an extended LAN, using the same hardware, often called an "ethernet" connection: something that looks like fat phone lines, which plug into similarly fat-looking sockets which resemble telephone jacks.

If you are paying attention during initial installation, you'll see an opportunity to setup networking. If you miss it, you can always go back to the installer by invoking on the commandline (logged in as root): /usr/sbin/sysinstall. On the menu that opens, look for Configuration, which allows you to make changes after installation. On the next menu, select Interfaces, which brings you to the same window you get when you say "yes" to that option during the installation.

At this point, you will be presented with a list of interfaces which FreeBSD has detected. These interfaces are a combination of letter abbreviations followed by a number, always starting with zero. If there is only one of each interface, each will have a zero on the end. If your machine possess anything resembling a serial port, FreeBSD assumes it can be used for networking, calling it a plip interface. FreeBSD also assumes you could have a dialup modem on the machine somewhere, and will offer a ppp interface, as well as the older sl (slip) interface, but you aren't likely to be using that.

If FreeBSD can detect an ethernet device or wireless device, it will offer one of a long list of interfaces usually identified by a two- or three-letter code. For example, a standard wireless card on a laptop will be labeled as wi0, and a second one would be wi1, and so forth. The "wi" means wireless. Most of the time, the interface abbreviation will be based on the chipset used. An example would be the "rl" (lowercase RL) interface, which indicates RealTek 8129/8139 chips. The list of possible abbreviations is quite long. If you see anything beyond the standard interfaces listed previously, FreeBSD has decided it found something it knows how to use. If you know you have an ethernet device and FreeBSD doesn't see it, you'll have to research loading the driver module manually, and there's no room to cover that here. Rest assured, FreeBSD has a driver for most ethernet hardware.

When you have determined which item is your broadband connection interface, use the arrow keys to highlight the item and hit ENTER. Running through the scripted process, sysinstall will ask a series of questions. Unless you know, you can usually accept the default answer on each one. Most broadband services require you to use something called DHCP, a protocol whereby your computer periodically asks the ISP to supply an IP address it should use when connecting to the Internet. If your broadband provider says you need DHCP, make sure to answer "yes" to that question. The last thing you'll see is a gray page with blocks to be filled.

We discuss elsewhere the Host name you should give your machine (see #7 on that page). To summarize, unless your provider has told you what to use, it's best to choose something fake, something that is not recognized on the Internet as a valid machine name. I recommend you choose a simple four- to eight-letter nickname, followed by a dot, then local.bsd. My own machine at this time is crunch.local.bsd. Most likely the rest of the blocks will be filled in, especially if your machine is already plugged into a working broadband connection. If not, it's okay to leave the other blocks blank. By using DHCP, most details are taken care of automatically.

Once you are finished, hit the TAB key until you highlight the OK button and hit ENTER If you are still in the initial installation of FreeBSD, the last question should be asking if you want to bring up that interface. Unless you have a good reason not to, you'll probably want to say "yes" to that. You should also see some questions about whether this machine will serve as a gateway, FTP server, etc. These are outside the scope of this tutorial, so I'll advise you to say "no" to everything.

If your connection does not have a router, or a smart modem which serves as a router, you may need a firewall. The firewall you'll use for your broadband service is similar to the dialup firewall with exceptions as noted. Those include the line which identifies your outside interface has to change to match the interface you configured above. For mine, that line near the top of the firewall file looks like this:

oif="vr0"

There is also an extensive discussion in the tutorial about determining if you are using a connection which places you on a virtual LAN, and what the IP range is for that. This matters only when your machine is sharing a connection with Windows machines. By opening your firewall to permit traffic from those within the internal IP range, you aren't actually risking much. However, the noise they make on a LAN will fill up your firewall logs pretty fast.

Halfway down, just above the line which says:

# Allow all local traffic

we need to add a new section:

# Allow all connections within our network.
$fwcmd add allow ip from any to 192.168.1.0/24
$fwcmd add allow ip from 192.168.1.0/24 to any

Please note these numbers are based on information I got from my DSL provider (AT&T Yahoo). Simply ask what internal IP range is used on your connection.

Everything else in your /etc/firewall.conf should be the same as the example. To engage the firewall, as root go to the commandline and type:

/etc/netstart

and hit ENTER. You should see a response indicating the firewall has been loaded, with the rules listed in numerical order. At that point, you should be online and ready to go.

Should you experience trouble connecting, it won't be a disaster to turn off the firewall for a time by commenting out in your /etc/rc.conf file every line that begins with "firewall" by inserting a hashmark (#) at the beginning. Rerun the netstart command as above and try again. Then join any one of several BSD forums and ask for help. I recommend Screaming Electron, but there are others.

Ed Hurst is Associate Editor of Open for Business.

Re: Desktop FreeBSD Part 9: FreeBSD and Broadband

plip is for parallel port internet, not serial. man plip for more info.

Posted by Dan Mahoney - Dec 9, 2007 | 7:10

Re: Desktop FreeBSD Part 9: FreeBSD and Broadband

Sysinstall only takes care of the interface. Unless you provide a valid rc.conf/ppp.conf you're not going to connect to anything.

Posted by Anonymous - Nov 13, 2007 | 11:04

Re: Desktop FreeBSD Part 9: FreeBSD and Broadband

Thank you, Anonymous. We cover those items elsewhere in the series, this being Part 9.

Posted by Ed Hurst - Nov 14, 2007 | 19:35

Re: Desktop FreeBSD Part 9: FreeBSD and Broadband
Posted by Masken - Nov 16, 2007 | 18:55

Re: Desktop FreeBSD Part 9: FreeBSD and Broadband

Due to higher latencies would you suggest any stack tuning for broadband connections? Maybe increase the incoming buffer space?

Posted by Kevin Dierking - Nov 17, 2007 | 6:57

Re: Desktop FreeBSD Part 9: FreeBSD and Broadband

Generally, no tweaking is needed; things take care of themselves. YMMV, of course.

Posted by Kevin Kinsey - Nov 23, 2007 | 21:42

Re: Desktop FreeBSD Part 9: FreeBSD and Broadband

With firewall tuning showed in Desktop FreeBSD Part 2 it is impossible for client to download from ftp server. To help this people should use passive mode.

Posted by Natasha Johnson - Feb 8, 2008 | 12:46

Re: Desktop FreeBSD Part 9: FreeBSD and Broadband

What about mobile brodaband?

Posted by Andrius - Apr 10, 2012 | 11:26

Re: Desktop FreeBSD Part 9: FreeBSD and Broadband

Andrius, this article was written five years ago, and some months behind the date that version of FreeBSD was released. At this point you really need to use a search engine to find out if FreeBSD has drivers for any of the mobile broadband devices commonly used these days.

Posted by Ed Hurst - Apr 11, 2012 | 0:48

Re: Desktop FreeBSD Part 9: FreeBSD and Broadband

medikal takaful Takaful Medikal Kad Termurah di Pasaran, Di Jamin Semua Hospital Swasta Terima Medikal Kad AIA, Anda Dapat Rawatan Dengan Pantas dan Selesa. Dapatkan Perlindungan Sekeluarga. Dapatkan Konsultasi Percuma - Nasri Agent AIA Insuran 019 370 2629 - KL, Selangor, NS, Perak, Johor

Posted by Skproduction - Jun 30, 2017 | 8:36

Re: Desktop FreeBSD Part 9: FreeBSD and Broadband

Took me time to read all the comments, but I really enjoyed the article. It proved to be Very helpful to me and I am sure to all the commenters here! It’s always nice when you can not only be informed, but also entertained! buy indian tea online

Posted by Skproduction - Jun 30, 2017 | 10:43

Re: Desktop FreeBSD Part 9: FreeBSD and Broadband

i never know the use of adobe shadow until i saw this post. thank you for this! this is very helpful. hoverboard elettrico

Posted by Skproduction - Jul 3, 2017 | 9:44

Re: Desktop FreeBSD Part 9: FreeBSD and Broadband

Awesome article, it was exceptionally helpful! I simply began in this and I'm becoming more acquainted with it better! Cheers, keep doing awesome! marketing site

Posted by Skproduction - Jul 3, 2017 | 19:32

Re: Desktop FreeBSD Part 9: FreeBSD and Broadband

You made such an interesting piece to read, giving every subject enlightenment for us to gain knowledge. Thanks for sharing the such information with us to read this… dentist traverse city

Posted by Skproduction - Jul 3, 2017 | 20:11

Re: Desktop FreeBSD Part 9: FreeBSD and Broadband

It’s always wonderful to work out you will explain in words from middle and additionally picture quality using this valuable content is quite simply recognized. 10 Best Gas Grills

Posted by muzzi12 - Jul 4, 2017 | 6:59

Re: Desktop FreeBSD Part 9: FreeBSD and Broadband

I would like to say that this blog really convinced me to do it! Thanks, very good post. cuoreiberico.it

Posted by muzzi12 - Jul 4, 2017 | 8:17

Re: Desktop FreeBSD Part 9: FreeBSD and Broadband

I’m going to read this. I’ll be sure to come back. thanks for sharing. and also This article gives the light in which we can observe the reality. this is very nice one and gives indepth information. thanks for this nice article… Add Music to a Video on Android

Posted by Skproduction - Jul 4, 2017 | 14:42

Re: Desktop FreeBSD Part 9: FreeBSD and Broadband

When your website or blog goes live for the first time, it is exciting. That is until you realize no one but you and your. how to accept bitcoins for payments

Posted by Skproduction - Jul 5, 2017 | 15:25

Re: Desktop FreeBSD Part 9: FreeBSD and Broadband

Get quotes and compare insurance deals for Landlord, Public Liability, Professional Indemnity, Catering and Ice Cream vans, Business and Vehicles! Call Rapid Cover on 01204 392 525 Professional indemnity insurance compare

Posted by mubashir khatri - Jul 5, 2017 | 16:46

Re: Desktop FreeBSD Part 9: FreeBSD and Broadband

It is far from normal i enjoy the odds to work out a product. amazing selling machine

Posted by muzzi12 - Jul 6, 2017 | 6:56

Re: Desktop FreeBSD Part 9: FreeBSD and Broadband

Takaful Medikal Kad Termurah di Pasaran, Di Jamin Semua Hospital Swasta Terima Medikal Kad AIA, Anda Dapat Rawatan Dengan Pantas dan Selesa. Dapatkan Perlindungan Sekeluarga. Dapatkan Konsultasi Percuma - Nasri Agent AIA Insuran 019 370 2629 - KL, Selangor, NS, Perak, Johor takaful murah

Posted by Skproduction - Jul 6, 2017 | 7:06

Re: Desktop FreeBSD Part 9: FreeBSD and Broadband

When your website or blog goes live for the first time, it is exciting. That is until you realize no one but you and your. Magento development service

Posted by sk a Production - Jul 9, 2017 | 7:01

Re: Desktop FreeBSD Part 9: FreeBSD and Broadband

Thank you because you have been willing to share information with us. we will always appreciate all you have done here because I know you are very concerned with our. Buy spotify followers

Posted by sk a Production - Jul 10, 2017 | 7:51

Re: Desktop FreeBSD Part 9: FreeBSD and Broadband

Buy easy and convenient Instagram likes in the HQ like online shop at a fair price. We will provide you with international high quality Instagram Likes for your post, whether photo or video. All products are of the highest quality because we only work with genuine users. Buy Instagram Photo Post Likes

Posted by sk a Production - Jul 10, 2017 | 15:08

Re: Desktop FreeBSD Part 9: FreeBSD and Broadband

Google plus Follower kaufen im HQlike Online ShopKaufen Sie einfach und bequem neue Google plus Follower. Damit ihr Google plus Account an Reichweite und Beliebtheit gewinnt.Wir vermitteln Ihnen internationale High Quality Google plus Follower für Ihren Account(Sie müßen nicht der Inhaber der Seite sein ) im sozialen Netzwerk Google plus.Jede Order lässt sich auf verschiedene Google plus Accounts aufteilen. Google plus Follower kaufen

Posted by sk a Production - Jul 12, 2017 | 6:47

Re: Desktop FreeBSD Part 9: FreeBSD and Broadband

I’m going to read this. I’ll be sure to come back. thanks for sharing. and also This article gives the light in which we can observe the reality. this is very nice one and gives indepth information. thanks for this nice article… btc and ltc for payments

Posted by sk a Production - Jul 12, 2017 | 11:23

Re: Desktop FreeBSD Part 9: FreeBSD and Broadband

I actually don’t find out know a amount with enable that your chosen blogs and forums give. I believe, I recognize not wearing running shoes them weren’t for your personal blogs and forums I will can’t you create determined to support by using this works. The following company presents a it has the term plus Everyone loves toughness they give you. Thanks a ton! Villa for rent in Spain

Posted by Daniel Morton - Jul 13, 2017 | 20:00

Re: Desktop FreeBSD Part 9: FreeBSD and Broadband

Customer can contact on Customer Care Support to solve their issue and problem.

Posted by jigar - Jul 14, 2017 | 5:53

Re: Desktop FreeBSD Part 9: FreeBSD and Broadband
Posted by Nisa - Jul 15, 2017 | 6:10

Re: Desktop FreeBSD Part 9: FreeBSD and Broadband
Posted by Sofia - Jul 15, 2017 | 6:11

Re: Desktop FreeBSD Part 9: FreeBSD and Broadband

Wow, this is really interesting reading. I am glad I found this and got to read it. Great job on this content. I like it. drug and alcohol rehab in Colorado

Posted by vip seo - Jul 19, 2017 | 18:16

Please enter your comment entry below. Press 'Preview' to see how it will look.

Name:
Sign In to Your Account
User Name:
Password:
Location:
Homepage:
E-mail:
Subject:
:mrgreen: :neutral: :twisted: :arrow: :shock: :smile: :???: :cool: :evil: :grin: :idea: :oops: :razz: :roll: :wink: :cry: :eek: :lol: :mad: :sad: :!: :?:
Home About Connect: Twitter Facebook RSS
© 2001-2012 Universal Networks, All Rights Reserved. Some content rights may be held by Universal Networks' providers and used under license. Powered by ServerForest and SAFARI. Learn about our privacy policy here.