3. Optus@Home

Optus@Home is the (generally speaking) the fastest home broadband solution, and as such it's become very popular. Thankfully, it's very easy to set up in Linux because all it requires is a DHCP client. DHCP is a low-level network protocol which is used to dynamically assign IP addresses to hosts on a network. Once you have your network card installed and set up, and your modem connected, running a DHCP client will complete your network configuration.

3.1. Software needed

3.2. Installing the software

Your distribution should come with a DHCP client - most base installs will include one. If you can't find pump, dhclient or dhcpcd on your machine, check your distribution for packages. For RPM-based distributions, you can install a package using the following syntax:

rpm -Uvh package.rpm

For users using Debian, you can simply apt-get install pump.

3.3. Configuration

Once your DHCP client is installed, all that remains is to get it running.

3.3.1. Manual configuration

As a quick test, you can run your DHCP client manually - if all goes well, this should get your onto the network until you shutdown or reboot.

If you're using pump, try the following (as root):

pump -i ethn

where ethn is the name of your network interface that your cable modem is connected to (if it's the only network card in your machine, this should be eth0). Assuming this goes successfully, try pinging a host on the internet, eg:

ping ftp.kernel.org

If this works, then you have yourself a broadband Internet connection.

3.3.2. Automatic configuration

While getting your broadband link working at all is quite nice, getting it to automatically come up on boot would be even nicer. Thankfully, all that's required is some basic configuration - you simply have to configure the network interface that your cable modem is on to use DHCP on startup. Almost all distributions handle network interface configuration differently, though most now come with simple graphical tools to do this configuration for you - use them.