[NBLUG/talk] Networking newbie

A'fish'ionado afishionado at gmail.com
Mon Jan 9 23:05:11 PST 2006


The idea behind having the connection routed through one box was to
only have to configure a firewall at one place. I'd rather not have to
go through and install firewalls on the rest of the family's Win98
boxen. :-P

I would *love* to go with Sonic.net, but the $30/month (after the
first six months) is more than my parents are going to pay, and since
I'm not paying for anything right now (no job... anybody wanna hire an
intern to code this summer?), I don't get to make that decision.

Now, to see if I have any idea what I'm doing, I grabbed a Netgear hub
from the Computer Recycling Center, and tried to network two Debian
boxen together. I didn't find a DHCP server installed by default
(natch, it's Debian, so it's not plug-n-play), so I fired up Aptitude
and grabbed the dhcp3 client and daemon.

I Googled for instructions, and got part way to a working system. :-)
ifconfig -a showed, among other things:

eth0      Link encap:Ethernet  HWaddr 00:50:8D:53:57:B3
          inet addr:  Bcast:  Mask:
          inet6 addr: fe80::250:8dff:fe53:57b3/64 Scope:Link
          RX packets:0 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
          TX packets:5 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
          collisions:0 txqueuelen:1000
          RX bytes:0 (0.0 b)  TX bytes:378 (378.0 b)
          Interrupt:201 Base address:0xc000

So, this went into /etc/dhcp3/dhcpd.conf:

subnet netmask {

(I get a syntax error without the three zeroes at the end of; I also need to check some more and see if the range I
specified is really sane.) /etc/init.d/dhcp3-server start crashes;
/var/log/syslog says:

Jan 10 00:46:27 localhost dhcpd: /etc/dhcp3/dhcpd.conf line 41: subnet netmask bad subnet number/mask combination.
Jan 10 00:46:27 localhost dhcpd: subnet netmask
Jan 10 00:46:27 localhost dhcpd:                                  ^
Jan 10 00:46:27 localhost dhcpd: Configuration file errors encountered
-- exiting

Okay... I found some articles that "explain netmasks", but they don't
really go beyond explaining boolean math and binary numbers. :-P I
already knew that. I want to know why this number/mask combination is

So, anybody want to point me in the right direction? Would DHCP 2 have
been easier to set up? Should I have just done the sane thing and
tried SuSE or Ubuntu? :-) (I have Slackware, too, but I would be
surprised if *it's* easier to configure... )

Speaking of Slackware, I finally figured out why Slackware has such a
reputation as being hard: The package management system freaking
DOESN'T SUPPORT DEPENDENCIES! Sorry, that's not for me. :-P I'd
*never* survive without dependencies...


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