The most recent (beta) version of this HOWTO can be found at: http://www.sput.nl/software/leased-line/
This document is distributed under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License. You should have received a copy along with it. If not, it is available from http://www.fsf.org/licenses/fdl.html.
Any fixed, that is permanent, point to point data communications link, which is leased from a telco or similar organisation. The leased line involves cables, such as twisted pair, coax or fiber optic, and may involve all sorts of other hardware such as (pupin) coils, transformers, amplifiers and regenerators.
Configuring your modem and pppd to use a 2 wire twisted pair leased line.
SLIP, getting or installing pppd, synchronous data communication, baseband modems, xDSL.
You should already have a working pppd on your system. You also need Minicom or a similar program to configure your modems.
A leased line is not connected to a telephone exchange and does not provide DC power, dial tone, busy tone or ring signal. This means that your modems are on their own and have to be able to deal with this situation.
You should have 2 identical (including firmware version) external modems supporting both leased line and dumb mode. Make sure your modems can actually do this! Also make sure your modem is properly documented. You also need:
A note on modem configuration and init strings in general: Configure your modem software such as minicom or (m)getty to use the highest possible speed; 57600 bps for 14k4 and 115200 bps for 28k8 or faster modems. Lots of people use very long and complicated init strings, often starting with AT&F and containing lots of modem brand and -type specific commands. This however is needlessly complicated. Most programs feel happy with the same modem settings, so why not write these settings in the non volatile memory of all your modems, and only use `ATZ' as an init string in all your programs. This way you can swap or upgrade your modems without ever having to reconfigure any of your software.
Most programs require you to use the following settings;
These settings are not necessarily the same as the default factory profile (&F), so starting an init string with AT&F is probably not a good idea in the first place. The smart thing to do is probably to use AT&F only when you have reason to believe that the modem setup stored in the non volatile memory is really screwed up. If you think you have found the right setup for your modems, write it to non volatile memory with AT&W and test it thoroughly with Z-modem file transfers of both ASCII text and binary files. Only if all of this works perfectly should you configure your modems for leased line.
Find out how to put your modem into dumb mode and, more importantly, how to get it out of dumb mode; The modem can only be reconfigured when it is not in dumb mode. Make sure you actually configure your modems at the highest possible speed. Once in dumb mode it will ignore all `AT' commands and consequently will not adjust its speed to that of the COM port, but will use the speed at which it was configured instead (this speed is stored in a S-register by the AT&W command).
Now configure your modem as follows;
Now connect the modems to 2 computers using the RS232 cables and connect the modems to each other using a RJ11 lead. Use a modem program such as Minicom (Linux), procom or telix (DOS) on both computers to test the modems. You should be able to type text from one computer to the other and vice versa. If the screen produces garbage check your COM port speed and other settings. Now disconnect and reconnect the RJ11 cord. Wait for the connection to reestablish itself. Disconnect and reconnect the RS232 cables, switch the modems on and off, stop and restart Minicom. The modems should always reconnect at the highest possible speed (some modems have speed indicator leds). Check whether the modems actually ignores the ESC (+++) character. If necessary disable the ESC character.
If all of this works you may want to reconfigure your modems; Switch off the sound at the remote modem (M0) and put the local modem at low volume (L1).
This is a rather vague `no name clone modem'. Its config string is however typical and should work on most modems.
This is what should work;
Due to a firmware bug, the modems will only connect after being hard reset (power off and on) while DTR is high. I designed a circuit which hard resets the modem on the low to high transition of DTR. The FreeBSD pppd however, isn't very happy about this. By combining the setting &D0 with a circuit which resets on the high to low transition instead, this problem can be avoided.
The ESC char should be disabled by setting S2 > 127;
The USR Sportster and USR Courier-I do not support leased line. You need the Courier V-everything version for this job. There is a webpage on the USR site `explaining' how to set-up your Courier for leased line. However, if you follow these instructions you will end up with a completely brain dead modem, which can not be controlled or monitored by your pppd.
The USR Courier can be configured with dip switches, however you need to feed it the config string first. First make sure it uses the right factory profile. Unlike most other modems it has three; &F0, &F1 and &F2. The default, which is also the one you should use, is &F1. If you send it an AT&F, however it will load the factory profile &F0! For the reset on DTR toggle you set bit 0 of S register 13. This means you have to set S13 to 1. Furthermore you need set it to leased line mode with &L1; ATS13=1&L1&W The dip switches are all default except for the following:
OFF Disable result codes
ON Disable offline commands
ON For originate, OFF For answer
OFF Dumb mode
You need a pppd (Point to Point Protocol Daemon) and a reasonable knowledge of how it works. Consult the relevant RFC's or the Linux PPP HOWTO if necessary. Since you are not going to use a login procedure, you don't use (m)getty and you do not need a (fake) user associated with the pppd controlling your link. You are not going to dial so you don't need any chat scripts either. In fact, the modem circuit and configuration you have just build, are rather like a fully wired null modem cable. This means you have to configure your pppd the same way as you would with a null modem cable.
For a reliable link, your setup should meet the following criteria;
Suppose the modem is connected to COM2, the local IP address is `Loc_Ip' and the remote IP address is `Rem_Ip'. We want to use 576 as our MTU. The /etc/ppp/options.ttyS1 would now be:
Stuff like `asyncmap 0', `lock', `modem' and `-detach' are probably already in /etc/ppp/options. If not, add them to your /etc/ppp/options.ttyS1. So, if the local system is 192.168.1.1 and the remote system is 10.1.1.1, then /etc/ppp/options.ttyS1 on the local system would be:
crtscts mru 576 mtu 576 passive Loc_Ip:Rem_Ip -chap modem #noauth -pap persist
The options.ttyS1 on the remote system would be:
crtscts mru 576 mtu 576 passive 192.168.1.1:10.1.1.1 -chap modem #noauth -pap persist
The passive option limits the number of (re)connection attempts. The persist option will keep pppd alive in case of a disconnect or when it can't connect in the first place. If you telnet a lot while doing filetransfers (FTP or webbrowsing) at the same time, you might want to use a smaller MTU and MRU such as 296. This will make the remote system more responsive. If you don't care much about telnetting during FTP, you could set the MTU and MRU to 1500. Keep in mind though, that UDP cannot be fragmented. Speakfreely for instance uses 512 byte UDP packets. So the minimum MTU for speakfreely is 552 bytes. The noauth option may be necessary with some newer distributions.
crtscts mru 576 mtu 576 passive 10.1.1.1:192.168.1.1 -chap modem #noauth -pap persist
You could start the pppd form a boot (rc) script. However, if you do this, and the pppd dies, you are without a link. A more stable solution, is to start the pppd from /etc/inittab;
This way, the pppd will be restarted if it dies. Make sure you have a `-detach' option (nodetach on newer systems) though, otherwise inittab will start numerous instances of pppd, will complaining about `respawning too fast'.
s1:23:respawn:/usr/sbin/pppd /dev/ttyS1 115200
Note: Some older systems will not accept the speed `115200'. In this case you will have to set the speed to 38400 en set the `spd_vhi' flag with setserial. Some systems expect you to use a `cua' instead of `ttyS' device.
The default route can be set with the defaultroute option or with the /etc/ppp/ip-up script;
Ip-up can also be used to sync your clock using netdate.
#!/bin/bash case $2 in /dev/ttyS1) /sbin/route add -net 0.0.0.0 gw Rem_Ip netmask 0.0.0.0 ;; esac
Of course the route set in ip-up is not necessarily the default route. Your ip-up sets the route to the remote network while the ip-up script on the remote system sets the route to your network. If your network is 192.168.1.0 and your ppp interface 192.168.1.1, the ip-up script on the remote machine looks like this;
The `case $2' and `/dev/ttyS1)' bits are there in case you use more than one ppp link. Ip-up will run each time a link comes up, but only the part between `/dev/ttySx)' and `;;' will be executed, setting the right route for the right ttyS. You can find more about routing in the Linux Networking HOWTO section on routing.
#!/bin/bash case $2 in /dev/ttyS1) /sbin/route add -net 192.168.1.0 gw 192.168.1.1 netmask 255.255.255.0 ;; esac
Test the whole thing just like the modem test. If it works, get on your bike and bring the remote modem to the remote side of your link. If it doesn't work, one of the things you should check is the COM port speed; Apparently, a common mistake is to configure the modems with Minicom using one speed and then configure the pppd to use an other. This will NOT work! You have to use the same speed all of the time!