MorningStar PPP Installation and Configuration Guide

PPP (Point to Point Protocol) is a way of extending a TCP/IP network over point-to-point links (like phone lines). Point-to-point links can be configured as dialout only, dialin only, or bidirectional (the union of dialin and dialout). These instructions are designed for the third-party product, MorningStar PPP, on Irix release 4.0.5x. If you are running Irix 5.2 or later, there are different instructions to configure PPP on Irix 5.2.

There is currently little GUI (visual tool) support for configuring modems, and much less configuring PPP. Therefore, configuration involves working in a shell, these instructions presume at least limited familiarity with text editors, such as vi, emacs, or jot.

Verifying Software Installation Status

Before you attempt to configure your PPP software, you must make sure that the software is properly installed. You must have the standard but nondefault Irix subsystems eoe2.sw.uucp and installed. You can check whether they are installed with the versions command.

Type the following to verify software installation:

% versions -a eoe\?.\*.uucp
The following is displayed if the software is installed:

I = Installed, R = Removed

   Name                 Version   Description

I  eoe2                709536188  Execution Only Environment 2, 4.0.5
I  eoe2.sw            1006000730  eoe2 Software
I  eoe2.sw.uucp       1006000730  UUCP Utilities
MorningStar PPP (MST PPP) comes with it's own extensive installation instructions that came with the package. Please refer to that documentation for installing the product.

Because MST PPP is a third-party product with a kernel driver, software upgrades will, in effect, "de-install" it. The installation process would need to be partially redone after each software upgrade.

Configuring MST PPP is very similar to configuring Irix SLIP or PPP, the main difference is the directory where the software resides and each application has a different way of specifying options.

Modem Selection and Installation

The next step in getting PPP running is modem installation and configuration.

IP Address Selection

IP address selection and routing are intimately connected. You cannot discuss one without at least mentioning the other. Routing is how the packets know where to go in the network. Using an incorrect IP address can cause routing problems for more than just the machine with the incorrect IP address. In the worst case it can cause the whole SGI network to fail!

Proceed to IP address selection.


Throughout this document, I refer to a server host as one that provides the service of a connection to the larger network. Similarly, a client host is one that uses the service. It is unrelated to which host does the dialing and which host answers, although the client almost always dials and frequently also answers.

Setting the Dialout Configuration

This involves modifying several configuration files. The information needed to perform the configuration includes:

The edits are organized by configuration file:

Only really needs 3 entries, since all others can be obtained from the nameserver after a connection is made. The hosts file could look like (with appropriate substitutions):   localhost loghost
xx.yy.zz.ww myname remote   multicast
~uucp/Devices (/usr/lib/uucp/Devices)
This configuration is to allow the use of cu for debugging connection problems. Make all additions and changes at the bottom of the file to simplify future updates. Use this example for port tty2:
Direct ttyd2 - Any direct
Direct ttym2 - Any direct
Direct ttyf2 - Any direct
cd /usr/etc/ppp
cp Devices.ex Devices
Then add a line at the end for each modem like:

T3000 ttyf2 38400
cp Systems.ex Systems
Then add at the end of the file lines like (again, it should all be on one line):

remote Any ACU 38400 phonenumber "" \r\c ogin:--ogin: login assword: password
cp Startup.ex Startup
Edit near the end to add the lines (again, don't add the route command if you are a server!) [`man pppd` for more options]:

pppd `hostname`:remote auto idle 300 passive vjcomp filter \
   /usr/etc/ppp/Filter log /usr/adm/pppd.log
route add net default remote 1
echo ' remote\c'
Then give the following command to enable pppd to automatically startup on boot:

   chkconfig pppd on
Since MorningStar PPP is a dynamically dialed setup (using the "auto" option), you can start a link via a ping or rlogin or almost anything that wants to go over the link. The connection times out and hangsup the phone after a programmable idle time, then re-dials when the traffic resumes. This can save a lot of money if you are connecting long distance! The idle times are configurable (see the pppd man page). Note that it takes about 30 seconds for the first packet to get through when starting an idle line, so active timeouts much less than a couple of minutes are not very useful.

Setting the Dialin Configuration

A PPP server is easier to configure than a PPP client, but security is far more important, since it is required to have dialable modems. There are three parts to configuring a server:

Security Issues

Security is a significant issue with PPP connections to private internets. You should proceed now to the dialup security document for the information required to correctly implement your PPP connections.

Enabling PPP Client Dialin

The information in the Adding Clients document provides the configuration instructions necessary for adding clients and enabling client dialin.

Debugging Your Installation

Things don't always work the way you expect or want them to. Sometimes things either don't work to start with or they stop working for no apparent reason. Refer to the Debugging document for suggestions you can try in these situations.
Scott Henry <[email protected]>
Last modified: Tue Nov 15 13:50:53 1994