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Sunday, February 5, 2012

DSL connections in Plasma NM

One of the things I would like to have working well in Plasma NM is DSL support. Unfortunatelly, I do not have easy access to any DSL provider so I cannot test the current support for DSL in Plasma NM. I do not even know if the support really works. I asked if it works in the bug entry about DSL support and only one person has answered saying it works so I assumed it does work.

Last week I was surffing the web and stumbled accross this post in a Brazilian forum (it is Brazilian Portuguese) explaining how to set up a DSL connection in Plasma NM. Basically Plasma NM really works with DSL, which is great, but there is a catch: you need to disable the auto-connect option for the wired connection that uses the same device that the DSL connection uses. Explaining: DSL works over ethernet (more common), wifi, and maybe over other devices. When the device (ethernet) is meant to be used with DSL you must disable the auto-connect feature in the wired connection associated to that device. First create a system DSL connection:

In the Ethernet tab restrict the connection to a specific ethernet device. If you have more than one ethernet device do not be afraid, the "eth0" below is just an user-friendly way to select the device, what Plasma NM really uses is the device's MAC address. If for example you have eth0 and eth1 in your system, then you restrict to eth0 but for some reason the system swaps eth0 for eth1, Plasma NM is smart enough to see that and it will automatically change the configuration to eth1.

Save the configuration by clicking on the Ok button and go to the Wired tab in Plasma NM's kcm (k control module):

Click on "Edit", the edit dialog will appear. Go to the connections's "Ethernet" tab and disable "Connect automatically" and check "System connection" to allow the system (NetworkManager) to use the connection without you need to open a KDE session first:

Save the configuration by clickling on the Ok button and try to connect. You can check if it is connected in Interface Details for the wired connection (I got this screenshot from the forum, that is why it is in Brazilian Portuguese):

Notice the "Nome do sistema" field (System name) showing "ppp0", that means the connection is really active.

For some reason nm-applet does not require changing the wired connection configuration, which sounds reasonable. But without a connection to test it will take me time to figure out how to make that work. Until then DSL users can use the configuration above.


Alexander Patrakov said...

Maybe this is because Gnome's nm-applet doesn't allow you to have more than one active device, and thus implicitly deactivates the wired connection.

OTOH, my current ISP uses ADSL, so feel free to direct any testing requests to my e-mail address before I move to a different ISP.

Lamarque said...

@Alexander Patrakov, sure nm-applet allows more than one active device, probably it does not allow the same device being activate twice, which is reasonable. But it's probably NetworkManager itself that does this check, it does should not be done in nm-applet.

Well, I need to know from users of DSL connection what they think should be improved in Plasma NM. Not requiring to deactivate the auto-connect on the ethernet interface is one thing, what else? I also need to test the configuration options in the dialog to see if they really work, for example the "Cloned MAC address" and IPv6 options (if possible).

Also check if it possible to share the DSL connection through another ethernet card and/or wifi. That kind of thing.