[SATLUG] ISP for Small Business with Linux

Don Wright satlug at sbcglobal.net
Fri Mar 18 13:38:19 CDT 2011

Frank Huddleston wrote:
>I use AT&T DSL with Linux, also with NetBSD. It works fine.
>But back when I set it up a few years ago, I had to use Internet 
>Explorer to do the setup. At least, that's what they told me. At the 
>time, I had
>a Mac that ran the Internet Explorer for Mac, and I used that.
>I don't know if that IE requirement has changed since then, or if IE is 
>in fact really needed, but once it's set up, it works.

From my experience with several clients, the DSL and U-verse adapters
AT&T uses yield a standard Cat5 or WiFi with DHCP to the connected
equipment. Once it's connected to a firewall/router, as most do, the
operating system of the client computer is irrelevant. It wouldn't work
with the iPhone otherwise. The "not supported" verbiage means the
helpdesk doesn't have a script to read to people using anything other
than Windows. (Their one Mac guy is part time as Apple users never call
for support.)

Since many of the new Internet-connected TVs have embedded Linux, AT&T
would really be hurting if their service didn't work for those high-end

The problem (at least in the past), as Frank noted, is that AT&T (and
SBC before them) had a page with non-standard HTML that required IE in
order to click a certain button and proceed with the Web-based sign-up
process to activate the account.


The current setup info for the common Motorola adapter is here:
Note that Safari is listed as "supported" so maybe they fixed their

After that, it's a plain Ethernet connection that works with all
standard network devices. The DSL 'modem' contains all the DSL
negotiation and account login needed. PPPoE is not used on the computer
or firewall/router side any longer.

Be well - or at least have interesting symptoms!

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