The Alcatel Speed Touch Home/Pro are ADSL modems popular by Linux users because they can work as modem's not just routers letting you terminate the ADSL line on your Linux machine instead of having a stupid device trying to do it.

There is also a newer SpeedTouch510 which is usually a single port adsl ethernet router, but I believe there is a version with a 4 port hub.

To configure your Alcatel under Linux, first add an alias on an ethernet interface for (or some other IP in the 10.0.0.x/24 range that isn't .138) and point your web browser at ! you should be able to configure the IP address to what ever IP address makes sense for your internal network. Note this IP should be firewalled from having unauthorised people meddling with it! You might also want to set a password on the web/telnet interface.

Then, d/l and install pptp for linux. edit your /etc/ppp/pap-secrets (pap-secrets(5)?) file to configure your username and password. then type
pptp ip.address.of.your.adsl.modem user yourADSLusername persist

and optionally add the word "debug" to the end of the line to get copious debugging sent to syslog(8)? :)

You are now connected to the Internet.

You may prefer to edit /etc/ppp/options, and have something like this in there
noipdefault persist maxfail 0 name "yourADSLusername" noauth defaultroute

Some problems and solutions.

The ADSL Sync link is flashing

The modem can't get ADSL Sync. This means your line probably doesn't have ADSL connected to it, or the modem isn't plugged into the ADSL line.

The ADSL Sync link is not flashing

The modem has sync'd with your ADSL line correctly, this is to be expected, see the point above :) Note, Telecom will quite happily tell you that a flashing ADSL Sync Light means that it's getting packets, they're wrong :P

The web interface says "Modem is DOWN!"

This means it can't get ADSL sync. Check that it's plugged in, and that the line it's plugged into has ADSL enabled.

I run ppp(8)? and get timeouts.

  • Check you have Sync (as above)
  • Make sure that that is the first problem. Telecom in NewZealand at least will only answer authentication queries slowly, if you attempt to authenticate to them two or three times in rapid succession the second and beyond connections will be ignored and you will get timeouts, make sure that you got the username and password correct, wait a few seconds, and then try again.

The ADSL line gets dropped regularly

make sure you have PPP set to "persist"

The ADSL line still gets dropped regularly

put something like this in cron(8) to restart adsl if it dies
killall -0 pptp || /etc/init.d/pptp start

where /etc/init.d/pptp is a script that starts pppd(8).

The web interface won't let me remove an IP address

The web interface is smart enough not to let you remove an IP address you are already connected to. Add a new IP, connect to that IP, remove the old one.

The pptp docs say I need MPPE (or something), whats up with that?

MPPE (or whatever it is) is required to encrypt packets over the tunnel. You probably don't care about encrypting packets over the pptp connection to the modem, so you don't care about MPPE, you won't need to upgrade your kernel, you won't need to upgrade your pppd(8) daemon.

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