This document is a troubleshooting guide which attempts to answer some of the major questions that people have been having surrounding PPP under the BeOS. It is quite incomplete, but hopefully it will give you some guidance in solving your problem with PPP.
Although the details here are BeOS Release 4-specific, much of the information here is relevant to PPP difficulties with BeOS Release 3 or before. You simply need to substitute the right preferences configuration panel, all of which (in previous releases) are in the Networking preferences application.
This page was last updated on Monday, November 9, 1998.
Please note that this document does not attempt to explain creating a PPP interface under the BeOS. The BeOS User's Guide, in the section titled "Network Interfaces for Modem Connections" explains this process.
If, after using the instructions to create a PPP Network interface, you are still having problems, it's time to start working on troubleshooting. Generally, PPP problems (and solutions) can be broken down to these areas:
Note: Some of the suggestions below require you to edit various network settings files manually. Whenever you edit any of these files, you need to open the Network settings application, and click the "Restart Networking" button for the changes you've made to the settings to actually take effect.
Caution: More importantly, you need to back up any network settings file whenever you make manual changes. This is because if you ever make and save changes using the Network preferences application, the settings file may be overwritten, and your manual changes will be lost.
You're Not Sure How to Use PPP
The BeOS User's Guide is available on the Be web site, in the Documentation section:
The relevant section to read for details of connecting your BeOS system to the Internet, including via a PPP connection, are in chapter 3 "Connecting to the Internet With BeOS," in the section "Network Interfaces for Modem Connections." You should definitely read the entire chapter, and particularly that section, to understand certain concepts about connecting BeOS systems to the Internet.
Here are a few quick tips about PPP that you might miss in the BeOS User's Guide:
If you're using an external modem, it is possible that your modem cable is bad, or not wired correctly. A modern modem cable is required for PPP to work properly. The cable should wire the RTS, CTS, and DTR lines. Many older cables do not correctly wire all of these lines.
If you suspect that your modem cable could be bad, or incorrectly wired, borrow a friend's cable, or buy a new one at a store on the condition that you can return it if it doesn't solve your problem. Connect your external modem using the new cable, and try your PPP connection again.
While the BeOS Release 4 supports various internal ISA card modems, it does not support so-called "Winmodems". This is because these are not true modems in the sense that portions of the modem hardware are emulated in software. This software runs under Windows, but equivalent software has not (yet) been written for the BeOS.
You can generally tell a modem is a Winmodem because it says so all over the modem's packaging and documentation. Another dead giveaway that a modem is a Winmodem is if it's a PCI card instead of an ISA card.
Finally, modems based on the Rockwell 11229-14 chipset are also not supported. These modems are usually Winmodems, but are always problematic.
The following Mac-specific modems do not work with the BeOS:
If you are trying to use PPP with any of these modems, you will be unable to make it work. These are not true modems in the sense that portions of the modem hardware are emulated in software. This software runs under the Mac OS, but equivalent software has not (yet) been written for the BeOS.
Further details regarding why these modems do not work under the BeOS can be found in the FAQ section of the web site, if you're interested.
If you received a message like "can't open /serial/dev1", this means your serial port is in use by something else on your system, and so cannot be used by PPP. There are several possible reasons why this might be the case:
If you are not getting a dial tone when you try to initiate a PPP connection, or if your modem cannot connect to your ISP's modem, the problem is most likely an incorrect modem initialization string.
Different modems require different initialization strings. These strings set the modem to the correct configuration for establishing the connection with the service at the other end of the phone line. You choose the modem string by selecting your modem (brand and model) from the Your modem is pop-up menu in the Modem configuration panel dialog of the Dial-Up Networking preferences application.
If you do not find your modem in the pop-up menu, or if your modem is there but does not seem to work, you can try one of the several "generic" modem initialization strings in the Your modem is pop-up menu.
If none of those work, you will need to edit the file that contains the initialization strings, and add a new modem/string combination to the file. This process is very simple:
If you cannot find the initialization string for your modem in the modem string listing file, or the one you found doesn't work correctly, try using an initialization string for a different modem made by the same manufacturer.
If that fails, try looking for the initialization string in a connection script that successfully uses the modem when booted under a different operating system (or on a Mac or PC using that modem temporarily, should you be using a BeBox).
If even that fails, you can construct a modem initialization string yourself. Your custom modem initialization string should configure your modem to the following settings, which the BeOS depends on for PPP. You should consult your modem's manual for information about how to configure these settings:
Note: If you make changes to your modems.ppp file, be sure to make a backup copy of the file. This file is replaced by the BeOS Installer when you update or re-install the BeOS, and your changes would be lost if you don't have a backup.
If your modem is in fact connecting to your ISP's modem pool, but the connection is not getting past the authentication process, then you most likely have an incorrect (for your ISP's particular PPP server) PPP connection script. This script is chosen from the Server Type pop-up menu of the connection settings panel in the Dial-Up Networking preferences application.
The PPP connection script handles sending your name and password (and sometimes a connection protocol request) to the remote PPP server, in response to the server's prompts. It works quite simply, waiting for the server to send particular strings, and then sending other strings back to the server.
The first thing to try is changing the Server Type to either "Standard PPP" or "Unix login", whichever one you don't have chosen now. "Standard PPP" tells the BeOS to use PAP to log you in; "Unix login" uses a more traditional Unix style method to log in. If neither of those works, try any other options you see, in order, except for the "Manual" option.
Unfortunately, there is no universal script that will work with all PPP servers. The default scripts that come with the BeOS will work for many PPP servers, but not all. If none of the scripts work with your service provider, you can use the "Manual" option, and log in manually every time, or you can write your own PPP connection script.
There are no easy steps to follow to do this, so we can only give you guidance regarding writing a PPP connection script. You will need to either learn a fair amount about PPP login procedures, or work with your ISP's technical support group, to determine the exact script to use.
You will probably find checking the "Display chat when connecting" checkbox in the Modem settings panel to be extremely helpful in determining what your PPP connection script should be. This will give you a small terminal window that appears when you connect, which will let you see exactly what the server is sending, and what the BeOS is sending back (which might not be working), and more importantly, it will let you figure out what the BeOS should be sending.
PPP connection scripts are stored in a text file, located at
Here are the special "escape codes", or tokens, which let you insert special characters or character strings into the modem initialization string or the PPP connection script (case matters with these, beware the upper and lower case "s"/"S" and "n"/"N" tokens!):
Note: The modem initialization string and the PPP connection script
both separate each string in the script with a
space. If you need to actually send a command that includes spaces, you need to
"escape" them using the
It is possible that your ISP is using dial-up hardware which does not implement its PPP support completely to the specification. In this case, your modems would connect, but then nothing would happen.
Or perhaps you are having other problems that are not dealt with specifically here. Before you send in a request using the "Be Customer Technical Support" form, you might try the following (we'll ask you to try it when you contact us):
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