Re: Some various thoughts on PPP

On 5/18/07, Ulrik Mikaelsson <ulrik mikaelsson gmail com> wrote:
One of the things that eludes me though; how exactly are you
envisioning the NM-dialing-connection process? From what I understand,
you're planning to have NM itself dial, and then hand-over the
connection to pppd, linked in to NM? Will this be carried out in a
separate process, with DBUS-connection to the main process? Is this
somehow supporting the desire to keep network-configuration
centralized within the distribution, or will it require configuration
separate from, say /etc/ppp/peers?

NM uses a new device NMDeviceModem to dial out (in process) and starts
pppd process. The dbus interface will remain the same as for all the
other devices, just the activation structure will contain modem and
ppp specific data. If we want (and probably do), we can add a new dbus
interface for dialup devices (just like wired and wireless devices
have their own device specific interface in addition to the standard
device interface) that has additional status signals for better
progress reporting (like, "initializing modem", "dialing", ...).
pppd process will emit dbus signals (with help from a pppd plugin) so
NM knows what's going on.

> That is yet not all, it also turns out HAL doesn't have any notion of
> modems so the best we can do for now is to get a list of HAL devices
> with capability "serial" and try to send some modem initialization
> strings and see if they respond. That is for the serial devices that
> actually show up in HAL at all. Most of the thinkpads have a modem
> that only works with proprietary HSF modem driver and these do not
> show up in HAL at all.
Well, perhaps there's another quirk to it, as far as I understand,
many modems expose several devices, for different uses. Especially,
the GRPS-datacard I tested had three of them, one for the
ppp-connection, one for chatting with the card simultaneously with the
connection, querying signal strength and such, and one for to me
unknown purposes. Somehow we'll gotta figure which is which. :)

Yeah, this is unfortunate. Pretty much identical to the wireless
situation until wpa_supplicant provided us with a standard interface.
I guess for each of these multi-device card we'll have to write a
NMDeviceModem subclass, ugh.


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