[conspire] Fc5 Netzero

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Mon Sep 11 16:03:21 PDT 2006

Quoting John Andrews (jla1200 at netzero.net):

> 	I also checked /etc/group and /etc/group- and there is no dialout group.
> If you ls -l /dev/ttyS0  in Kubuntu you get  crw-rw---- 1 root dialout 4, 64  
> somemore stuff. So is Fc5 supposed to have a dialout group?

Er, suggestion:  It might be called something else, so your obvious
next step is to find out what group _does_ own /dev/ttyS* .  On Debian,
for comparison's sake:

:r! ls -l /dev/ttyS*

crw-rw---- 1 root dialout 4, 64 2004-09-18 04:52 /dev/ttyS0
crw-rw---- 1 root dialout 4, 65 2004-09-18 04:52 /dev/ttyS1
crw-rw---- 1 root dialout 4, 66 2004-09-18 04:52 /dev/ttyS2
crw-rw---- 1 root dialout 4, 67 2004-09-18 04:52 /dev/ttyS3
crw-rw---- 1 root dialout 4, 68 2004-09-18 04:52 /dev/ttyS4

...it's called "dialout", but there's nothing sacred about that name.
See what the group ownership _is_ on FC5.

On RHEL3, the corresponding group is "uucp", so I'll bet that's what it
is on FC5.

> I 'm not sure about connecting with kppp.

At the time people were advising you that you could use kppp on Netzero,
I was thinking "Hmm, I'm not so sure about that."  Netzero, if I recall
correctly, finances itself through advertising revenue, owing to the
mandatory advertising enforced on all users through requiring them to
use special, proprietary dialer software that autodisplays that

> Plus I don't have permissions to mount any media/ disks except
> floppy. Isn't there a GUI way to change permissions using the control
> center?

Because I helped you pick out package groups in the FC5 installer, I
happen to know that you're referring to the KDE "Control Center"
(kcontrol) application.  Others attempting to help you would be left
guessing -- and might very well guess wrong, since FC5 (like Red Hattish
things generally) defaults to GNOME.

John, it's very much contrary to your interests to force people you'd
like helping you to guess what you mean.  ;->

It's also in general a really bad idea to overspecify what sorts of
solutions to your problems you're willing to accept (e.g., "Isn't there
a GUI way...?").  We had an extreme case of this a year or two ago,
here, when a fellow came through asking my assistance with an Ubuntu 
problem, and absolutely threw a fit when I kept asking him to do things
at the command line.  Short version:

User:  I feel I shouldn't _have_ to use a CLI.
Me:   Well, good luck with your problem, then. 

You may have noticed that we frequently suggest things to do at the
command line.  This may in part be because we're Evil People<tm>, but
there are other reasons:

1.  We may not have installed, or may not choose to run, your favourite
    graphical tool of choice.  E.g., I'm not sure I even have kcontrol
    installed on the Linux laptop in front of me, and I'm sure not going
    to switch from Window Maker to KDE, just to address your problem.

    By contrast, standard command-line tools like chown, chmod, ls 
    are available across all Linux distributions and work exactly the 
    same on all -- and pretty much the same across all Unixes.

2.  With command line instructions, we can type right here in e-mail 
    exactly what you should do, and you can copy'n'paste that right
    onto a terminal window and copy'n'paste the resulting return values
    right back, so we can get information without having to worry about
    interpretation errors.

3.  The sort of simple tools we favour for diagnosis tend to give
    predictable, reliable results, and not depend on a lot of other

So, that's why people keep asking you to use command-line tools for 
diagnosis (in particular) and some other steps.

4.  Those tools also tend to give good, meaningful diagnostic output, 
    precisely the area where most graphical equivalent tools tend to 
    suck rocks -- possibly an attempt to cater to novices easily 
    intimidated by too much information.

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