PPP Configuration in Debian

 Introduction About PPP

If you connect to the internet over a phone line, you'll want to use PPP (Point-To-Point Protocol). This is the standard connection method offered by ISPs . In addition to using PPP to dial your ISP, you can have your computer listen for incoming connections - this lets you dial your computer from a remote location.

 Preparation For PPP

Configuring PPP on GNU/Linux is straightforward once you have all the information you'll need. Debian makes things even easier with its simple configuration tools.


Before you start, be sure you have all the information provided by your ISP. This might include:

  • Username or login
  • Password
  • Your static IP (Internet Protocol) address, if any (these look like
  • Bitmask (this will look something like
  • The IP addresses of your ISPs name server (or DNS).
  • Any special login procedure required by the ISP.


Next, you'll want to check your hardware setup: whether your modem works with GNU/Linux, and which serial port it's connected to.


There's a simple rule which determines whether your modem will work. If it's a "WinModem" or "host-based modem", it won't work. These modems are cheap because they have very little functionality, and require the computer to make up for their shortcomings.


If you have a modem with its own on-board circuitry, you should have no trouble at all.


On GNU/Linux systems, the serial ports are referred to as /dev/ttyS0, /dev/ttyS1, and so on. Your modem is almost certainly connected to either port 0 or port 1, equivalent to COM1: and COM2: under Windows. If you don't know which your modem is connected to, wvdialconf can try to detect it; otherwise just try both and see which works.


If you want to talk to your modem or dial your ISP without using PPP, you can use the minicom program. You may need to install the minicom package before the program is available.

 Wvdial Configuration in Debian

The simplest way to get PPP running is with the wvdial program. It makes some reasonable guesses and tries to set things up for you. If it works, you're in luck. You'll have to do things manually.

Be sure you have the following packages installed:

  • ppp
  • ppp-pam
  • wvdial


Installing wvdial in Debian


#apt-get install wvdial


If you want to install a webmin module for wvdial enter the following command


#apt-get install webmin-wvdial


For webmin Configuration Click here


When you install the wvdial package, you may be given the opportunity to configure it. Otherwise, to set up wvdial, follow these simple steps:

  1. Login as root, using su as described in an earlier chapter
  1. touch /etc/wvdial.conf

touch will create an empty file if the file doesn't exist - the configuration program requires an existing file.

  1. wvdialconf /etc/wvdial.conf

This means you're creating a configuration file, /etc/wvdial.conf

  1. Answer any questions that appear on the screen. wvdialconf will also scan for your modem and tell you which serial port it's on; you may want to make a note of this for future reference.
  1. /etc/wvdial.conf should look something like this now:
        [Dialer Defaults]
         Modem = /dev/ttyS1
         Baud = 115200
         Init1 = ATZ
         Init2 = ATQ0 V1 E1 S0=0 S11=55 +FCLASS=0
         ; Phone = [Target Phone Number]
         ; Username = [Your Login Name]
        ; Password = [Your Password]

Just replace the information in brackets with the proper information and remove the semicolons from the beginning of those lines and that's it. Here is the  completed wvdial.conf file should look like:

     [Dialer Defaults]
     Modem = /dev/ttyS1
     Baud = 115200
     Init1 = ATZ
     Init2 = ATQ0 V1 E1 S0=0 S11=55 +FCLASS=0        
     Phone = 5551212
     Username = beavis
     Password = password

Now that wvdial.conf is set up, to connect to your ISP just type wvdial. If it doesn't work, you'll probably have to delve into manual PPP configuration.