[sf-lug] "basic" AT&T ADSL & Linux (& 2Wire "router") setup incl. ISP email.

Michael Paoli Michael.Paoli at cal.berkeley.edu
Sun Jan 24 02:08:08 PST 2010

"basic" AT&T ADSL & Linux (& 2Wire "router") setup incl. ISP email.

I'd think likely many have already done this, but in case folks were
curious ...

A few weeks ago, had occasion to help someone set up their Linux system
with AT&T ADSL (I think whatever their basic cheapest residential
option likely is - does some single (non-static) IP via PPPoE).

Wasn't all that horribly difficult, but did require a bit of research -
as AT&T "doesn't support Linux".  So, mostly searching around with
suitable word(s)/term(s)/acronym(s)/phrase(s) and implied or explicit
conjunctions and search engine(s), found several documents that were
highly helpful, namely:

... essentially AT&T doesn't support Linux - they want you to run their
binary software as Administrator or equivalent on your supported
operating system.  But, by knowing how the software interacts with the
ISP, one can get set up without need for running that software.

Somewhere along the line, AT&T site rejected us as unsupported
operating system - of course it didn't really know what operating
system was being used - it just believed the browser ... so we told the
browser to tell it something AT&T wanted to hear:
We grabbed the User Agent string from Firefox on Windows, and told the
Linux browser to at least temporarily use that:
Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US; rv:  
Gecko/20091201 Firefox/3.5.6 (.NET CLR 3.5.30729)

And for email configuration bits and the like:
(to successfully get through to that URL, have to feed it some data
about location, service, etc., and fib a bit about the email client; we
didn't care about step-by-step for some specific client, we just wanted
the relevant configuration bits - but they had those under instructions
of how to set up various clients).

The only other bits we had to deal with were the "router" configuration
bits.  In this case, this person had a somewhat older 2Wire "router"
they wanted to use (since it was adequate and they already owned it).

So, we hunted down the relevant needed documentation bits:

And the 2Wire documentation referenced:
but gateway.2Wire.net. isn't (or no longer is) in DNS.  Perhaps some
2Wire software would put it in a hosts file?  Or maybe it was formerly
in DNS.  No matter, the device gave our DHCP client an IP and subnet
mask - we checked the subnet (using nc(1) and a bit of shell script,
since we didn't have nmap installed) for an open TCP port 80, and found
it on - so we just used:
in place of:
(we first ensured nothing else was on the subnet and we had nothing on
our Linux computer listening on port 80).

That was basically it.  A few extra AT&T specific hoops to jump through
for the registration bits and the like, but other than that, once
that's completed, basic ADSL PPPoE & email client configuration (in our
case the PPoE configuration bits were on the "router" (2Wire "gateway"

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