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wvdial is a console-based software package for setting up and connecting to the Internet via dial-up. It is especially good at self-configuring your serial modem (provided it is not a winmodem), often rapidly solving the problem of connecting when other programs like Kppp don't work.

Installing wvdial

See installing software.

Setting up

To set up your modem connection, just login as root and type :

# wvdialconf wvdial.conf

The program will automatically scan your serial ports, find the modem and set it up with the most appropriate parameters. This is stored in the wvdial.conf file. Move this file to your /etc directory. Run the command

  1. ln -s /dev/ttyS0 /dev/modem

Replace the ttyS0 with whatever serial port the wvdial.conf file has your modem listed as connected to. Edit the file

  1. /etc/wvdial.conf to insert your phone number, username and password. Here is a sample configuration file:
[Dialer Defaults]

Modem = /dev/ttyS2
Baud = 57600
Init = ATZ
Init2 = AT S11=50
Phone = 555-4242
Username = apenwarr
Password = my-password

Configuration is finished. Use the latest version of wvdial(1.54) Earlier versions won't work with most ISPs. To get the version type wvdial --version Remember to add your ISP DNS servers in the

  1. /etc/resolv.conf file. Insert the line
  2. nameserver

into this file using gedit or wathever your ISP dns server is Wvdial will look for resolv.conf and wvdial.conf in your /etc directory only. Make certain they are there.


When you want to connect,you can launch (as root) :

# wvdial

and you should be connected to the net.

wvdial will complain if not launched as root. You can circumvent this problem (for example if you want to create a link on your desktop) by finding where is the wvdial binary (for example in /usr/bin) and typing (as root):

# chmod a+s /usr/bin/wvdial

(This is technically said setting the SUID bit). This way you can launch wvdial as a normal user and it will run with root privileges.


In Slackware 10, I noticed wvdial wrote DNS configuration on /etc/ppp/resolv.conf while reading /etc/resolv.conf. This prevented DNS from working. Copying /etc/ppp/resolv.conf on /etc/resolv.conf solved the problem.

Howto: when connecting using a SecurID one-shot password generator

See --> . User:Tardus