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5. Installing diald

Using the scripts ppp-on and ppp-off can be a bit tedious. One might forget to bring up the link before starting up the browser, and find out that no sites are reachable. Or worse: forgetting to shut down the link when done will keep your phone line occupied, and rack up connect charges.

The solution to this is dial-on-demand networking. The idea is to run a daemon that will sense when you are using the network, and start up PPP itself. When the daemon detects that the net link is idle, it brings the link down again.

These tasks are handled by the diald daemon. If your distribution does not include diald, its web pages contain links to the diald source code, and instructions on how to build it. When installed, diald can be started at boot time with the following script. This script is a SysV-style init.d script, and it can also be called by (after the loopback interface is configured).

#! /bin/sh
# skeleton      Example file to build /etc/init.d scripts.
# Version:      @(#) /etc/init.d/skeleton 1.01 26-Oct-1993
# Author:       Miquel van Smoorenburg, <>


  # See how we were called.
  case "$1" in
        cd /var/run
        rm $PIDFILE $FIFO 2>/dev/null
        mknod $FIFO p
# Uncomment the next lines & substitute the desired group for "dialout".
# This restricts access to the diald control channel to root and the members
# of the stated group.  For a single-user system, this is unimportant.
#       chown root.dialout $FIFO
#       chmod 660 $FIFO

        diald pidfile $PIDFILE fifo $FIFO accounting-log $ACCLOG \
            connect "chat -v -f /etc/ppp/chat/das" \
            local remote defaultroute
        kill `cat /var/run/diald*.pid`
        # Oops someone made a typo.
        echo "Usage: /etc/init.d/diald {start|stop}"
        exit 1

  exit 0

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