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 Forum index » Advanced Topics » Hardware » Networking » Dialup
2.14: Dialup was working, stopped (pppd call now segfaults)
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cagey

Joined: 27 Apr 2007
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Fri 27 Apr 2007, 10:02    Post subject:  2.14: Dialup was working, stopped (pppd call now segfaults)  

Puppy newbie here,

About 6 weeks ago, I moved and had to switch to dialup. Bought and installed USR 56K Sportster external modem.

Windows dialup was a pain, so I burned a Puppy 2.14 ISO at work and tried it out. Configured gkdial, and was online w/o much delay. I'm booting Puppy from CD-R, with a 256MB USB dongle used to save customized info (like dialup setup, I assume).

Life was happy. Only gripe was how long it takes puppy to boot; it seems to spend a lot of time looking for files that aren't there.

Anyway, this happy state went on until 3 days ago, at which point, when I click 'connect' in gkdial, within 1 second a dialog box pops up saying "connection has been lost, click 'connect' to reconnect" (or something like that). However, dialing was NOT even attempted.

Reading thru the online help, I decided I'd try wvdial: I forget the details (I edited some file in etc/ppp I think), but I was easily able to get a hardware connection to occur with wvdial, however login wasn't succeeding: it said something like "don't know what to do, trying pppd call", followed by a segfault message. So I know the modem is working.

This am, I opened a shell and run 'gkdial &'. I go thru the usual clicks, and see '/usr/sbin/pppd call b', followed by "Segmentation Fault" on the next line. So I tried executing '/usr/sbin/pppd call b' directly in a shell. Segfault.

So ... why is pppd deciding, out of the blue, to segfault? I haven't changed any of the config files (/etc/ppp/chatscripts) in weeks. Is there any way (option) to have pppd be more verbose about what it's doing, to help diagnose the problem?

Thanks in advance for all input! Cagey
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git-ur-dun

Joined: 25 Apr 2007
Posts: 13
Location: Indiana-USA

PostPosted: Fri 27 Apr 2007, 10:50    Post subject:  

I would probably try something like:
Modem Wizard>Erase
Modem Wizard>ttyS0
GKdial>Add and reset the connect info again, making sure that the Preferences>modem device is set to ttyS0 (if that is in fact what you are using).

HTH, Ed
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cagey

Joined: 27 Apr 2007
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Sat 28 Apr 2007, 11:24    Post subject:  

Hi Ed,

Tried what you suggested to no avail:

Notes:

1. Modem Wizard behaved inconsistently: I hit 'erase', but when I hit 'ttyS0' button, I would often get a "failed" result. But I eventually achieved 'success', and 'save'd at that point. My modem had been working on ttyS0 for some weeks before; there's only one external accessible serial post on my PC, so I have no doubt that ttyS0 is correct.

2. I removed my entry 'b' from gkdial. At first it balked, giving some error, and saying something like "you must be root to do this". But when I closed and restarted gkdial, the entry was gone. I then re-entered the access info, and tried to use it: pppd call SegFaults.

My plan at this point is to erase the sfs file from my USB dongle and re-"install" Puppy. I am posting this message using the same PC (and modem setup) using Windows 2K, so remain convinced that this is not a hardware problem.

Regards, Cagey
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purple_ghost

Joined: 09 Nov 2005
Posts: 414

PostPosted: Sat 28 Apr 2007, 15:14    Post subject: A little more information please.  

I have never seen the error message about segfaults. Please give the exact error message? When the error message occurs in the order of events?

I have had difficulties with Dial Up suddenly starting to fail, as have others on this forum. Some posts about this problem.

http://www.murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?t=16297

http://www.murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?t=16836

http://www.murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?t=15527

Of particular interest is buried near the end of the last post. Information from Guest Too, Puppy Master. himself. Notice the ones starting in Page 3.

Even if the Modem Wizard does not detect the Modem. You can save the setting of ttyS0, the dialer will correctly use the modem. Seems like on my machine that the Modem Wizard, when set (already saved) to ttyS0 will say it is not a modem (when tested a second time). Sometimes it just does not find a Modem.

Personally. To diagnose the problem you seem to have. Is it easy for you to use the Live CD to create a small pup-save file? One just to test options of Dial up? I would try the kppp. Throws a useless error message when it starts, .which MU says we can safely ignore if we do not use KDE. You can try my workaround of reducing the serial port speed in the dialer. I feel sure that Puppy Master is correct when he says that the standard Dialers that are in Puppy use the wrong init strings for a US Robotics Modem. The only dialer to fiddle with both of those "init strings" that we have is the kppp dialer. I have not yet solved the mystery of exactly which strings are the best ones to use. The US Robotics web site does not make that easy either.

As Puppy Master explains iin his post, Reducing the serial port speed is not a very good idea. Still, for me, reducing the serial port speed, is the quickest way to get online.

Right now. I personally use the "GnomePPP modem dialup" I can get on using Gkdial by editing the file and setting the serial port speed down. How to do this is described in the posts. However with GnomePPP I do not have to use the modem wizard or set the protocol, (CHAT, CHAP, PAP) Those issues are an annoyance for Newbie. As is the error message given in using the kppp dialer.

If it makes any difference. I am using Puppy 2.14 with FAT32. Seems like the poster is using NTFS.

What causes the Dialer to suddenly start failing, when nothing else has been changed. I can hypothesize that some voltage somewhere is not quite what it was.
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purple_ghost

Joined: 09 Nov 2005
Posts: 414

PostPosted: Sat 28 Apr 2007, 15:53    Post subject: What I just tried.  

I just used kppp to dial in with the higher (standard, the way it is initially set) serial port speed and changed the init strings.

I set the first string to 'AT&F1'
I set the second 'init string' to "AT&F1&N21'

Notice I changed the second 'init string' from what Puppy Master said in his post. His version did not work for me. As Puppy Master mentions in his post, The connection speed that is listed by kppp is 3333, yet it is runnning faster, someitmes over 5 KB.

To save you a bit of time. The kppp dot pup is now hiding at. http://puppyfiles.org/dotpupsde/dotpups/Internet/Kppp.pup

The connection with this dialer and settings seems to work quite well. (In the few minutes I have tried it.)

I am not sure you have the same modem I have. Mine also has some pencil switches on it. I have never changed mine from the way it came in a saran wrapped box. Cagey. What about your modem pencil switches?
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cagey

Joined: 27 Apr 2007
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Mon 30 Apr 2007, 11:01    Post subject:  

Hi all, and thanks for the replies.

As for my situation, I have done what I "threatened" in my last post: I deleted all of the files on my Lexar 256MB USB Flash Jumpdrive, and rebooted Puppy. This caused me to go thru the whole install process again, which wasn't a big deal (as commented earlier, it took longer for Puppy to boot, as it takes a long time looking at hdd volumes which do not have any puppy files). The 'connect' icon put me into the modem wizard, I selected ttyS0 (which detected a modem) and saved, then added my dialup account info and phone numbers via gkdial. The modem worked on the first try (and has been working for a day or two now, with no unusual problems). When I shutdown, I was prompted as to where to save my data, and this time I chose a file 128MB in size (I do not remember how big a save area file I chose in my initial install, but I suspect it was much smaller, maybe 32MB, and my personal opinion as to the most likely cause of the problems I was experiencing, was overflow of this data area).

Regarding other questions about failure modes, etc., I can only answer about pppd segfaulting; gkdial seems to invoke

/usr/sbin/pppd call hostname

where 'hostname' is the name of the targeted gkdial "account" (in my case, it was named 'b'). So gkdial would run

/usr/sbin/pppd call b

(wvdial would also try and run this command line, IIRC, and noticing wvdial running pppd as above and the next line containing the message "Segmentation Fault" was what clued me in to try running 'gkdial &' from the console to see if it was writing any useful messages to stdout/stderr; at least once, I saw "Segmentation Fault" in the console when gkdial was running)

So, I'm back online, and fairly happy with Puppy. I've been able to install a few essential SeaMonkey extensions (Adblock plus, noscript), so the browsing experience is as good as on my windows boxes using Firefox. I have yet to learn more about the "Puppy paradigms" related to knowing exactly what gets saved to my Flash drive (and forcing things I want to save to be written there; also in the space not used by puppy files, so I can put the flash dongle in a Windows PC and read the file?), but until then, Puppy is serving admirably as my "family internet PC".

BTW, yes, my modem has a bank of DIP switches (pencil switches) on the back, and I have not touched them since buying the modem (used) 7 weeks ago. I remain more convinced than ever that this was purely a software problem.

Thanks again to all for you help!

Cagey
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cagey

Joined: 27 Apr 2007
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Tue 05 Jun 2007, 14:48    Post subject:  

Hi, I'm back Sad apparently with the same problem.

Puppy 2.14 had been running OK and providing reasonable (if not stellar) dialup service since my last posting (is dialup _ever_ "stellar"?). This AM I am back to the same old scenario: GUI Connect immediately fails w/ even trying to dial, and wvdial dials connects and (now) logs in, but when it starts pppd to create a PPP session, pppd segfaults.

In between Puppy dialup transitioning from a "working" state to a non-working" state (which happened this AM), I booted this PC with the on-HD Window 2000 Pro and attempted to use dialup via Windows (it worked VERY badly, so my attempt did not last for long). While "in" Windows I "cleanup up" by deleting two PDF files from the USB Flash drive I store persistent puppy data on (the files deleted were PDFs I wrote from Windows a few weeks ago, so I assumed it was safe to do this; the puppy.ex2(?) file was not touched in the process). I power-cycled back into Puppy. Got a complaint about X not being shut down cleanly (wrong, it was, so indicative of some corruption?). Ran "xorg" at the boot prompt, got the puppy GUI running as before, tried connecting via dialup using the "Connect" GUI Tool, ran into the immediate "can't connect" message (without even an attempt to dial).

Debugging: the serial cable is securely screwed down on both ends, and I independently power-cycled the modem while troubleshooting the modem this AM. Modem was working with Puppy for weeks, so unlikely it broke this AM. I tried wvdial, which, after I corrected the password in one of the config files (there was a leading \q which I think was the cause of wvdial not being able to login earlier in this thread), I was able to connect and login to the server (how broken can the modem be?). Then wvdial started pppd, which generated (or died with) a Signal 11 (which according to my research is a ... segfault). As before, if I run pppd alone on the command line, I get an immediate "Segmentation Fault". I am tail -f 'ing /var/log/messages, but nothing useful appears... I tried mv'ing /etc/ppp/options (in case something in it was causing the segfault). No change. Reading my Linux networking book, it suggests editing /etc/syslog.conf to write the pppd "daemon" messages to a logfile, however the syslog program that puppy uses (busybox?) clearly states that it _ignores_ /etc/syslog.conf (which doesn't exist on my puppy box in any case).

I'd like to find out what's causing pppd to choke, but my path seems blocked by this apparent inability to capture the pppd syslog output.

Any ideas? Any chance this has been fixed in a newer Puppy release (I am still on 2.14)?

BTW, another symptom I noticed (back when dialup was working) is that the whole system freezes when I open a new tab in SeaMonkey and choose a bookmark to navigate to. This seems to inevitably happen once per power-on-session. At first I thought it was specific to one website I visit (Google Reader), but after more observation I concluded the site involved was random. The freeze lasts for perhaps a minute, after which the system runs normally thereafter.

Thanks, Cagey
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craftybytes


Joined: 17 Nov 2006
Posts: 298
Location: QLD AUSTRALIA

PostPosted: Wed 06 Jun 2007, 04:29    Post subject:  

Hi cagey,

I'm not sure but someone more in tune with the ins-&-outs of Puppy may know and post a reply..

1. booting from CD and 'saving' to a USB flash drive is certainly one of the methods to "use" puppy - HOWEVER - (if you know different then correct me please) - the 'save' function within Puppy may not necessarily be working as intended - e.g.. if one 'boots' from a USB flash drive AND 'saves' back to the same flash drive then that seems to work properly [ e.g. 'save' done once every 30 minutes or less as set by user ] - BUT if one 'boots' from CD and 'saves' to USB flash - then the 'save' only does save at puppy shutdown [ only "session" save ]..

2. if using SeaMonkey as your main on-line web browser THEN you should be aware that its 'cache' folder can get quite large ( many tens of MB's ) and if you forget to clear the cache from within SeaMonkey when you close out a web session - THEN all the cached files & data will also get 'saved' to the "pup_save.sfs" file on the USB flash..

3. if either [ or both ] above - THEN - I would say that 128MB's is probably not big enough as a 'pup_save.sfs' file size - try increasing it's size - suggest 64MB increments - to see if that helps to fix the problem..

HTH..

crafty.
.

_________________
3 x boot:- ASROCK VIA 'all-in-one' m/b; AMD Duron 1.8Ghz+; 1.0GB RAM; 20GB hdd (WinXP Pro); 80GB hdd (MEPIS 3.4-3/Puppy v2.15CE Frugal); 1GB USB pendrive (Puppy 2.15CE Frugal); CD/DVDRW; 17" LCD monitor; HSF 56k modem... MEPIS is great.. Puppy ROCKS..
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cagey

Joined: 27 Apr 2007
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Wed 06 Jun 2007, 14:36    Post subject:  

Hi Crafty,

Thanks for educating me on this. I had no idea the SeaMonkey cache was written to the sfs file on my USB drive. That explains _a lot_. Having overflow of this storage would seem to be a big problem; I'd hope there would be clean handling for this case (at least notification), however, rather than having a series of bizarre random behaviors start to occur, but that's not something I can fix myself.

I'll play with this when I get home.

Thanks again, Cagey
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cagey

Joined: 27 Apr 2007
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Thu 07 Jun 2007, 12:38    Post subject:  

Well, I made some interesting discoveries last night (notice: all file and program names approximate, unfortunately):

First, SeaMonkey's cache size was set to 4MB, so I assume it wasn't the cause of the problem.

Next: looking at the disk-partition viewing GUI tool, I saw a puppy.sfs partition that was 512MB in size. This seemed VERY odd as my USB flash is only 256MB, and I had allocated only 128MB for use by puppy.sfs. The claim was that it was on /dev/hda1 (?) So I rebooted my PC into Win2K, and lo and behold, there was a puppy.sf2(?) file in c:\ (timestamp 3/11/07), and also another "suspicious looking" file (best I can recall was it had a name with 'puppy' or 'pup' and a 'z' in it), with a very similar timestamp. I don't recall EVER giving Puppy permission or direction to write anything to my PC's hard disk (that is why I'm using the USB Flash), so the presence of these files was mystifying. So from Windows I deleted the two files. Then I inserted the CD-ROM and rebooted into Puppy.

And dialup via the "Connect" GUI started working!!!

How's that for strange?!

Thanks, Cagey
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cagey

Joined: 27 Apr 2007
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Thu 07 Jun 2007, 13:30    Post subject:  

Forgot to mention: the minute-long freeze is still occurring.

Cagey
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