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Cox@home and Linux

by Neil Schneider last modified 2005-05-02 11:50

A presentation about setting up Linux with a cable modem.

mini-HOWTO for cable modems and cox@home

This document is to tell the steps I used to get cox@home configured under Linux.

The first step was to configure my ethernet card to use with the cable modem. Since I already had a network configured, and didn't want to expose my whole network to the Internet, I chose to add a second card. I read the ethernet HOWTO for information on configuring two interfaces. I read the LILO documentation on how to use the append= line in /etc/lilo.conf to automatically probe for the second card. And then I set about to set up the second card on my system. Since I was using a second SMC card, it was necessary to remove the first card to run the configuration software for the new card, then I replaced the original card. Once I had the card, properly configured I added the line append="eth=0,0,eth1" to the end of the paragraph in /etc/lilo.conf which applied to Linux. Then I ran lilo, and rebooted to test whether Linux recognized the new card. This was successful. Then I went into X-windows and ran Control Panel, Network Configuration and the ethernet card showed there. If you aren't using X-windows you can use the ifconfig program. Check man ifconfig for information.

Next step is to configure the IP address using either ifconfig or the Network Configuration tool in Control Panel. I will describe using the Network Configuration tool.

First add your DNS name in the box for Hostname. Then add the domain name in the proper proper box. Next go to the names section, and add the IP addresses for the Primary and Secondary DNS Server. These are the servers that convert names, like www.kernel-panic.com to IP addresses. Next is the hosts section. Click on add and enter your IP address your name, I used the DNS name that Cox@home gave me. And then a nickname, if you want one.

Next comes the interfaces section. Click on add. A dialog box will appear, choose ethernet. Enter your IP number and Netmask and the network and broadcast addresses should be filled in automatically. Then choose, whether you want the interface to come up at boot time and if you want any user to be able to activate/deactivate the interface. At Interface configuration protocols I chose none. You're finished with this section.

Now we move to routing. Set the default gateway to your IP address from Cox@home and default gateway device to eth0 if it's your only card. In my case it was eth1 because I have an internal network interface assigned to eth0. I also used the add function and entered eth1, the network address, which is the same as your IP address with the last number changed to 0 and netmask and then for gateway, my IP address again. If the interface doesn't show activated in the interface section, make it so.

Now go to an xterm, and ping your modem by typing ping xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx where xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx is your IP address. After about 4 lines hit Ctrl c. Unless you get a network unreachable message, your computer is recognizing your modem. Next ping your Default gateway, same command but now the xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx is the IP for the Default Gateway. Now do the same with your two DNS servers. If all this succeeds then you are all set. Don't forget to set your mail server name and news server name, in their associated software. Cox uses mail and news respectively, but to make them work properly I had to add, the SubDomain to these.

You may want to check the Network Administrator's Guide (NAG for short) for help with some of these issues. . On my Red Hat system it's available in HTML format for reading from a browser in /usr/doc/HTML/ldp/nag-1.0/index.html. It's also available from O'Reilly as the Linux Network Administrator's Guide.

One of the problems I ran into, was that on bootup I received error messages that the netmask and the IP address are a mismatch. The tech told me that Cox is using class A adresses with class C netmasks. This is apparently where the problem arises.

Hopefully some of you can review this document and help me smooth out the rough parts and resolve this.

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