dial-out modem server

Remember this is a 1.44Mb floppy disk router, space is limited.

Postby Gregg » Fri May 20, 2005 1:05 pm

We've been using an old NetWare 4.1 server with NetWare Connect to allow dial-in to our network from Windows machines using standard ppp dial-up.

A few of our internal users are also using NetWare Connect to dial-out from their Windows machine to an ISP or pcAnywhere service using the WIN2NCS modem redirector.

It looks like FREESCO can take over the dial-in ppp services. I'm hoping that I can get it to work with our dialogic 8-port modem board.

It would be nice if I could also use COM1 and COM2 as a bank of outgoing modems.
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Postby Lightning » Fri May 20, 2005 1:18 pm

I'm hoping that I can get it to work with our dialogic 8-port modem board.
It MAY be possible to get FREESCO to use these modems, however it can ONLY use ONE modem for dialup and all the rest are exclusively used for dialin purposes and FREESCO has no capabilities for joining or even using more than one type or form of Internet connection at a time. It is capable of switching from a dialup with a single modem to any type of ethernet router and back, but only one at a time.
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Postby Gregg » Fri May 20, 2005 1:52 pm

What I was looking for, in regards to dial-out, was something that would work like the NetWare modem server. Their modem server doesn't actually route anything with dial-out service. It simply allows a PC on our network to use a modem, as if the modem was actually installed on the PC. I believe that this protocol was called NASI.

FREESCO looks like a terrific replacement for the dial-in modem services.

Maybe I'll have to put up a windows PC to share modems on our network for dial-out.
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Postby CDFiXER » Sat May 21, 2005 2:45 am

There are some very cheap serial-to-ethernet converters out there now.
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Postby netguru » Sun May 22, 2005 6:37 am

Yes this option is one I have been salivating over for quite awhile, in the *nix world the closest thing to a true windows "modem sharing" pool server I can find is portslave, however that is mainly designed for a PPP (regular dialup internet) or terminal server connection using a standard portmaster (commercial ISP dialin modem pool)

The problem comes from trying to assign a virtual com port in windoze that is actually a hardware port in linux, the cross platform device handling issue rears its ugly head.

The most painless way I have found to have a true modem sharing server is to use a program called "Modem Sharing Millenium" cost about $100.00 Us

Which is really a shame because it seems to me it should be a rather simple request
but I made the very same request about 5 years ago and got frustrated with it when the
original developer of FREESCO "Serge" got angry with me because he did not understand my request, ( he just assumed I was requesting an internet connection sharing package) which IS what FREESCO actually does :D

/rant off
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Postby El Machete » Sun May 22, 2005 8:14 pm

A long time ago I set up a dial out using red Hat and a com redirector piece of software from Tactical software called DialOut IP.

My Red Hat became the modem server and the redirector was used in every one of my windows machines. The PC's saw the modem as its own com port.

I am sure there is a solution to what you are looking for
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Postby Lightning » Sun May 22, 2005 8:38 pm

Well I found this page on the subject. So it looks like if the client software is installed then the server side should be possible in FREESCO with some effort. So with perl installed and the cu binary from Slackware 3.9 it should be possible to make a package to do it.
<a href='http://adm.jinr.ru/doc/HOWTO/mini/Linux-Modem-Sharing.html' target='_blank'>http://adm.jinr.ru/doc/HOWTO/mini/Linux-Modem-Sharing.html</a>

Unfortunately though with purchased Windows software required for the client to function I will say that it will still probably never be included on the floppy and a package requerst is your best option.
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Postby dingetje » Mon May 30, 2005 8:24 am

Here's an alternative for the perl version: <a href='http://w3.cpwright.com/mserver/' target='_blank'>http://w3.cpwright.com/mserver/</a> but the software seems to be "abandonware"
The <a href='http://linecontrol.sourceforge.net/' target='_blank'>http://linecontrol.sourceforge.net/</a> project seems to be more "alive", it also has clients that seem to be free.
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Postby Lightning » Mon May 30, 2005 6:40 pm

Well they both compile without errors in Slackware 3.9. so all of the above will do what is being asked for. Although I have to say that even though mserver is no longer being developed at the moment it looks like the nicest one to do the job, at least from my point of view and I have both of them already compiled if anyone wants to start with a tarball. Because it looks like making a package would take some effort and at this point I am not certain how much of the base system would need to be disabled to get it working. Probably at a minimum the firewall, but who knows what else. Regardless it is a bit more than I am willing to take on at the moment. :confused:
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Postby Gregg » Tue May 31, 2005 7:16 am

Perhaps I wasn't clear about my request. It doesn't look like "LineControl" or "Masqdialer" will do what I desire. It looks like they let a client machine control when the router dials out to the Internet. That's a useful capability, but it isn't what I wanted. I wanted a way for the Windows PC to use a modem "as if it was locally connected to the PC" for pcAnywhere (and other purposes).

Several good suggestions have been made. It would've been convenient if the functionality was included in FREESCO, but I understand that it might not be worth the effort. I still intend to use FREESCO for a dial-in router. I am grateful for the work that you've put into this project (for free!).

For anyone else who might read this thread, here are the commercial products that I'm currently considering for dial-out, remote modem services:
<a href='http://tacticalsoftware.com/site/html/purchase/buy-online.htm' target='_blank'>http://tacticalsoftware.com/site/html/purc.../buy-online.htm</a>
<a href='http://www.pcmicro.com/modemshare/order/' target='_blank'>http://www.pcmicro.com/modemshare/order/</a>
<a href='http://qwksilver.com/STOMPER.htm' target='_blank'>http://qwksilver.com/STOMPER.htm</a>
<a href='http://www.spartacom.com/products/index.htm' target='_blank'>http://www.spartacom.com/products/index.htm</a>
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Postby dingetje » Tue May 31, 2005 2:57 pm

I've found this ancient (from the previous century) winsock programs list:
<a href='http://papa.indstate.edu:8888/ftp/main!Misc-Winsock.html' target='_blank'>http://papa.indstate.edu:8888/ftp/main!Misc-Winsock.html</a>

One of the programs listed is COMt which is a client for WfW 3.11 and Win95/NT that simulates a COM port on the client but acts as a telnet client to a TCP dialout server, like the one posted above with the perl script or mserver.

I've tried the program on Win2K but failed to make a connection to the simulated COM port. So it's probably a dead end.
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Postby El Machete » Thu Aug 25, 2005 10:39 am

I have more than one client for Windows XP and W2K that I would like to try. One of them is a commercial package already working at work but I would like to try it at home.

Well they both compile without errors in Slackware 3.9. so all of the above will do what is being asked for. Although I have to say that even though mserver is no longer being developed at the moment it looks like the nicest one to do the job, at least from my point of view and I have both of them already compiled if anyone wants to start with a tarball


Can you please provide the tarball so I can test it for Freesco? I would let you guys know if this is a viable solution or not. As mentioned before I got it working in Red Hat. If this works we can add another capability to Freesco

cheers
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Postby Lightning » Fri Aug 26, 2005 1:42 pm

Certainly
<a href='http://lewyts-spot.dyndns.org/packages/source/mserver.tar.gz' target='_blank'>http://lewyts-spot.dyndns.org/packages/source/mserver.tar.gz</a>
<a href='http://lewys-spot.dyndns.org/packages/source/linesrv.tar.gz' target='_blank'>http://lewys-spot.dyndns.org/packages/source/linesrv.tar.gz</a>

They were both compiled with just the default settings and there were no changes. You will need to extract the binaries that are compiled out of the source tree for use in FREESCO and add any needed libraries or configuration items as well to get them running.
From what I saw at least with mserver is that the only thing the "make install" did, was to copy all of the binaries to /usr/local/bin and I didn't see any configuration files.
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Postby El Machete » Sun Aug 28, 2005 2:03 am

Thank you for the quick response. I have been playing now with mserver. Copy the binary and license files from the tar file. I also copied the config file for mserver to the /etc directory.

I also downloaded the client for Windows. Connection to Freesco mserver using port 224 is OK as you can see in the client log file

Code: Select all
Connecting to Server
Sent Connection Request to xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx
Waiting for Reply from xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx ...
Connected to Server
Server Ready
No Active Modem Connections!


Everything seems very easy and simple to implement except for the last piece of the puzzle.

I have just a small question here. In the conf file it ask me for the command to bring up the connection. The default that came with mserver is /sbin/ipuf. I don't get it ifup is used to bring an interface up. ANy ideas? Should I use another scriptp to bring the connection up?

Thanks


# Actually Define our connections

# What is the command you use to bring up the connection, this can be a script
# or you can call pppd directly.
ASB_script = "/sbin/ifup asb"

# What IP addresses are allowed to manipulate this connection.  You are allowed
# up to 10 different masks separated by colons.  You must either use the real
# numbers or a '*' to match any in each quad.  You must specify all of the quads# that is '*' wouldn't work but '*.*.*.*' would.
ASB_ipallow = "192.168.0.*:127.0.0.1"

# What users are allowed to dial out this connection? "*" or "" will allow any
# user to dial out, otherwise provide a comma separated list of users.

# This is a string that is displayed when CINFO is called, it isn't actually
# used for any dialing, but just for cosmetics.  The clients may eventually
# depend on this so I suggest setting it.
ASB_info = "America's Suggestion Box"

# The internal kill method is much more reliable unless you have something wierd# you should really use it!
# ASB_kill = "/sbin/ifdown asb"

# The per connection netdev, this is only needed for the netdev stat method
# it defaults to the value of netdev.
ASB_netdev = "ppp0"

# The per connection checkhost, this is only needed for the exitcode stat method
# it defaults to the value of checkhost.
ASB_checkhost = "164.254.128.5"

# Which method of parsing the logfile should we use for this connection?
ASB_parselog = "pap"

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Postby Lightning » Sun Aug 28, 2005 11:27 am

Well I actually saw this coming when I compiled these apps. ;)
But at this point I think this discussion needs to move to the packagers developement section and I will take a look at the code a bit.
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