ISP connection issue

Roland Smith rsmith at
Mon Feb 7 13:22:04 PST 2005

On Mon, Feb 07, 2005 at 03:06:25PM -0500, Shawn B wrote:
> I am fairly new at *nix and FreeBSD. I am attempting
> to run a privately owned, publically accessible web
> server from a PC running FreeBSD 4.8. I configured

Maybe a bit OT, but you should consider upgrading to the latest release,
especially on a machine accessible from the internet.

Check your agreement with the ISP. Some ISPs expressly forbid you to
run a server, or they might require you to ask permission first. You'll
probably need a static IP address and a DNS record for your machine to
be accessible.

If you're new to FreeBSD and UNIX I'd recommend setting up and
administrating your own workstation for a while before setting up and
maintaining a publicly accessible webserver.

If you're only going to administer your machine from the console (which
is preferable, IMHO), disable all external access, e.g. by putting
something like "-:ALL:ALL EXCEPT LOCAL" as the only rule in
/etc/login.access. Do not run sshd, and certainly not telnet. In fact
disable all servers that you do not need, and close all ports (via the
firewall) except the ports needed for a web-server (port 80 and
what-have-you). Run the webserver in a jail.

> ppp.conf and rc.conf for the *old* ISP settings (the
> ones that worked a year ago), and now they do now
> work. I cannot connect the machine to the ISP.
> Although PPP does enable, I cannot resolve any
> domains.

Can you reach other hosts by IP address? If so, it's probably just a
question of telling your system where to find the nameservers:

Add one or two nameserver lines to /etc/resolv.conf. I.e. lines
that consist of the word "nameserver" followed by the IP address of the
nameserver (seperated by whitespace). IIRC, you should also add or
change the hosts line in /etc/nsswitch.conf to read "hosts: files dns".

> The ISP is Bell-Sympatico (Canada), and they
> are completely unwilling to help me, or provide
> software that will accommodate *nix systems
> specifically.

Most ISP's helpdesks I've dealt with are somewhat clueless WRT anything
but Windows. Maybe if you can get through one of their networking guys
(who'll probably be running some kind of UNIX) you might get some more
meaningfull answers.

> I have tried every possible option I could conjure-up
> with no avail. I have even exhaustively searched the
> FreeBSD Handbook and Man pages on-line, and other
> resources (such as Google) were no help.

See e.g. §11.10 in the manual on configuration files, especially §11.10.2.

HTH, Roland
R.F. Smith                           /"\    ASCII Ribbon Campaign
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