There are two phases associated with getting online with Freeserve. The first is that of subscribing and the second, connecting once subscribed. This page will explain both parts. But first, the standard disclaimer:
I don't work for Freeserve and they presently don't support Linux or any other form of Unix. Hence, all of the information provided in this document is provided on an "as-is" basis. If your computer breaks, you get to keep both bits.
Last time I heard, the people from Freeserve recommend that you use a 'scripted login' rather than CHAP or PAP authentication -- that is, get the chat script to wait for "ogin:" and send the user ID, wait for "ord:" and send the password.
However, I have had limited success this way. I would suggest that you try both and stick with the method that works!
To subscribe to Freeserve, you need to configure pppd. Once online, fire up Netscape or another browser that supports secure HTTP (HTTPS) and fill in the forms on Freeserve's page.
You must configure a few files, if you have not already done this. Information about what you're actually doing is in the PPP-HOWTO. There would appear to be a plethora of PPP configuration tools, such as pppconfig and Kppp, which will do all this for you. See Appendix A for what to tell pppconfig, and Appendix B for instructions on Kppp.
# /etc/ppp/options # You may want to change /dev/modem to # ttyS
or use a symlink asyncmap crtscts noauth noipdefault defaultroute user freeservesignup lock connect '/usr/sbin/chat -v -f /etc/ppp/chat-freeserve'
# /etc/ppp/chat-freeserve # Abort if the modem gives any of these: ABORT BUSY ABORT "NO CARRIER" ABORT VOICE ABORT "NO DIALTONE" ABORT "NO ANSWER" # Replace the next line with a more appropriate modem # init string if you find one "" ATZ OK ATDT08450796699 CONNECT \d\c
# /etc/ppp/pap-secrets freeservesignup * signup
# /etc/resolv.conf search freeserve.co.uk search freeserve.net nameserver 126.96.36.199 nameserver 188.8.131.52
# /etc/host.conf order hosts,bind multi on
Now for the interesting bit! You've set-up the PPP daemon and you
just have to start it up with the command
pppd /dev/modem 115200
debug kdebug 1. See what happens!
If everything seems OK, check the output of the
ifconfig command. It should have an entry for ppp0 with
non-zero local and remote IP numbers. Now check the output from
route to check that there is a default gateway
configured. Try to nslookup the machine
If something is wrong, pull down the link with
pppd and if you're paranoid, check that the modem's not still
warbling by picking up the phone! Go back and check that the files are
correct. Failing this, read the
pppd manpage and the
PPP-HOWTO. If you find that the settings I have suggested are wrong
for you, tell me and I'll consider altering this document.
Presuming that you're connected now, all Freeserve gives you at this point is access to their nameserver and the signup machine. So point your Web browser at https://signup.freeserve.net and fill in the forms it shows you. Note that you have to tick something in the "Please tell us your interests" bit and that there is a box at the bottom you'll probably want to tick to say that you don't want them to use your details for bulk-mailing.
I've been told that if you want to register multiple accounts, you have to start a new browser each time. This may be due to some underlying effect so if anyone knows of a more efficient way to do this, do tell.
Hang up with
killall pppd and go on to the next
section. Sorry -- that's the way you have to do it because Freeserve
don't allow unauthenticated access to anything but their DNS and
The configuration files that I was talking about earlier are still valid, for the most part. However, you'll want to change the pap-secrets file to:
# /etc/ppp/pap-secrets yourhost.freeserve.co.uk * yourpassword
user field in
Now connect again. Everything should be in place. I should imagine
that you'll probably not want to have all the debug information logged
any more, so just use
pppd /dev/modem 115200.
You need to know that your outgoing mail goes to
smtp.freeserve.net and your incoming mail is to be
pop.freeserve.net (which is, obviously,
a pop3 server).
News is through
What to do with these details is in the ISP-Hookup-HOWTO, although I find Richard Corfield's page about configuring mail and news for Freeserve to be better.
Please note that there is no way to read your mail or upload stuff to your Web page when you're not on your dial-up Freeserve account.
Richard Corfield tells me that he signed up using the folowing details:
|Modem Init String:||ATZ (*)|
The asterisks denote that you may want to customise these fields.
Also, please note that if you want to actually use (rather
than just sign up to) Freeserve with these details, you must change
your username to something like
roundabout.freeserve.co.uk and your password.
This section is due entirely to an e-mail from Stephen H. Price. He tells me the following:
I have it all working under Kppp (on FreeBSD but that shouldn't matter). I used CHAP authentication, Dynamic IP, added the nameservers to the box, added the following to the login script:EXPECT ogin: PAUSE 1 SEND <-- this field is blank
It worked intermintently without the pause, I'm not sure if the pause makes any difference, but I got through first time with it.
He also says that choosing PAP authentication works OK too.