[arch-releng] Support mobile broadband with wvdial

Thomas Bächler thomas at archlinux.org
Wed Dec 8 05:46:26 EST 2010

Am 08.12.2010 06:53, schrieb Ray Rashif:
> I refer to this:
> http://mailman.archlinux.org/pipermail/arch-general/2010-June/014388.html
> Other (desktop) distributions can skip wvdial on their installers
> because they have (1) a desktop environment by default and as such (2)
> some sort of GUI network management front-end that can handle most
> types of connections, including mobile broadband [1]. However, we are
> leaving out those users.
> I had posted another link to configuring such connections with ppp
> some months ago [2], but the fact of the matter is that it's all
> pretty cumbersome. On the other hand, wvdial is a well-known method
> for this and is easy to configure, aside from gathering ISP details
> like APN and putting that in a file (etc/wvdial.conf).
> Right now only the following people can install Arch Linux without
> having to go through a number of hoops:
> * with cable broadband
> * with DSL broadband

Only with a router that gives your DHCP. If you need to connect yourself
using PPPoE (most of Europe) or PPTP (IIRC common in Austria), you still
need to do work.

> * with wireless broadband

By creating a netcfg profile manually - there is no dialog-GUI in AIF to
do that.

> I believe we'd be pretty much 'complete' if we added:
> * with mobile broadband
> At least, in the 'broadband' category.
> This effectively implies 2 packages from [extra]:
> wvdial
> wvstreams (dependency)

I want to say this:

1) We do not need wvdial. This works easily with pppd and chat alone -
wvdial is just another abstraction layer that doesn't simplify anything
(you still have to configure everything that you need to configure in
pppd and chat), so I don't see the need for wvdial at all.

2) Implement pppd/chat-based mobile broadband as a netcfg connection.

3) Implement pppoe and pptp as netcfg connections.

4) Implement support for creating netcfg profiles in AIF.

IMO, this is the way to go. It isn't difficult, it just needs some time
and someone to do it (it's on my imaginary TODO list which is growing
and growing - meaning I won't do it any time soon).

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