Sometimes newbies cannot transit to GNU/Linux Operating systems because they cannot understand how they can configure the features which they had in the previous proprietary OS. In this guide we will describe how to connect to BSNL ADSL broadband. We will discuss both GUI and Command Line tools. Continue reading.

[tweetmeme source=”phoxis”]
We have described the walkthroughs for the below tools.

pppoe-setup is a command line tool (a shell script) and needs superuser permission. This tool is an interactive one and easy to configure.
This is a graphical tool. This is very easy to configure and use, it needs minimal information and also doesnot needs superuser password. Check out
This is a graphical tool comes with all the redhat based distributions needs superuser permission.

Before proceeding make sure that you have the below requirments:

  • An ADSL modem which is normally provided by BSNL (Generally of HUAWEI brand) or the one you bought.
  • The modem is connected with the internal LAN card of your system with LAN


  • One of the above tools

Do not connect with USB as the USB drivers for the HUAWEI USB drivers are not provided with the hardware and the available are too old and complicated to install. So to make the things simple connect it with LAN.

What you need to do is choose one tool and follow the guide for it. Do not use

all the tools just use one..

“pppoe-setup” Configuration Instructions

  • Open a terminal, become superuser and run the below command
  • pppoe-setup

    If this fails run


    You will see a similar output as shown below. It will also detect any other existing connections.

    Welcome to the PPPoE client setup.  First, I will run some checks on
    your system to make sure the PPPoE client is installed properly...
    Enter your Login Name (default Phoxis):
  • You will be prompted to enter the username that BSNL has provided you. Replace

    user_name” with the the username which BSNL provided you.

    Enter your Login Name: user_name
  • Now you will be asked for the network card with which you will connect. Just press Enter to accept the default card. If you have more than one network card, enter the proper device ethX
    Enter the Ethernet interface connected to the PPPoE modem
    For Solaris, this is likely to be something like /dev/hme0.
    For Linux, it will be ethX, where 'X' is a number.
    (default eth0):ethX
  • Now it will ask that if you want the link to come up on demand, and stay up

    continuously. Enter no or just press Enter.

  • Do you want the link to come up on demand, or stay up continuously?
    If you want it to come up on demand, enter the idle time in seconds
    after which the link should be dropped.  If you want the link to
    stay up permanently, enter 'no' (two letters, lower-case.)
    NOTE: Demand-activated links do not interact well with dynamic IP
    addresses.  You may have some problems with demand-activated links.
    Enter the demand value (default no): no
  • Next you need to provide the DNS (Domain Name Service) information. BSNL servers

    provide the DNS addresses. Just enter “server” as told in the prompt to setup as

    the Internet Service Provider will provide the DNS addresses.

  • DNS
    Please enter the IP address of your ISP's primary DNS server.
    If your ISP claims that 'the server will provide dynamic DNS addresses',
    enter 'server' (all lower-case) here.
    If you just press enter, I will assume you know what you are
    doing and not modify your DNS setup.
    Enter the DNS information here: server
  • Enter the password of your user id and confirm it
    Please enter your Password: your password here
    Please re-enter your Password: your password here
  • Now you would need to set if you want to allow normal users to connect to the

    internet with this connection. Enter “yes or “no” as you wish. We have

    entered yes in the example.

    Please enter 'yes' (three letters, lower-case.) if you want to allow
    normal user to start or stop DSL connection (default yes): yes
  • Now to select the firewall settings. There is three levels of firewall to select

    from. NONE, STANDALONE, and , MASQUERADE. As the text in the screen

    says that it is appropriate to set the firewall to STANDALONE for stand-alone web

    surfing workstation. To set it to stand-alone enter “1” at the prompt. Disabling

    the firewall is not recommended.

  • The firewall choices are:
    0 - NONE: This script will not set any firewall rules.  You are responsible
              for ensuring the security of your machine.  You are STRONGLY
              recommended to use some kind of firewall rules.
    1 - STANDALONE: Appropriate for a basic stand-alone web-surfing workstation
    2 - MASQUERADE: Appropriate for a machine acting as an Internet gateway
                    for a LAN
    Choose a type of firewall (0-2): 1
  • Set that if you want this connection to come up at boot time. Enter “no” here.

    This will need to connect each time you login. This will save unnecessary bandwidth usage

    and also be secure, and the the connection under control.

  • Start this connection at boot time
    Do you want to start this connection at boot time?
    Please enter no or yes (default no): no
  • You will see a summary of the information you entered till now and you will be asked to

    confirm it. Check the summary for any errors. Enter “y” if all are correct.

  • ** Summary of what you entered **
    Ethernet Interface: eth0
    User name:          username
    Activate-on-demand: No
    DNS addresses:      Supplied by ISP's server
    Firewalling:        STANDALONE
    User Control:       yes
    Accept these settings and adjust configuration files (y/n)? y

    The connection is configured. You will receive information about the newly created

    connection as below.

    Adjusting /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ifcfg-ppp1
    Adjusting /etc/ppp/chap-secrets and /etc/ppp/pap-secrets
      (But first backing it up to /etc/ppp/chap-secrets.bak)
      (But first backing it up to /etc/ppp/pap-secrets.bak)
    Congratulations, it should be all set up!
    Type '/sbin/ifup ppp0' to bring up your xDSL link and '/sbin/ifdown ppp0'
    to bring it down.
    Type '/sbin/pppoe-status /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ifcfg-ppp0'
    to see the link status.

    “pppoe-setup” Connecting Instructions

    To use the above created connection:

  • Launch a terminal, get superuser and execute the following command:
  • /sbin/ifup ppp0


    pppoe-start ppp0

    You will be connected in some seconds. When you see the prompt, you are connected, else

    you get an error after a long delay. Now launch a web browser

    and start working.

  • To disconnect run
  • pppoe-stop


    /sbin/ifdown ppp0

    When you are returned to the prompt, you are logged off.

  • To check the status of the connection run
  • /sbin/pppoe-status

    Please check the manual pages of pppoe-start, pppoe-stop, and pppoe-setup scripts.

    “NetworkManager” Configuration Instructions

    The newer releases of different GNU/Linux OSes comes with NetworkManager a wired and

    wireless connection application. This enables users to easily and very quickly create

    connections without super user privileges. In this guide in my opinion the easiest way is

    to connect with NetworkManager. Below are the instructions.

  • Right Click the NetworkManager Applet icon on the system tray and click “Edit


  • click edit connection
    click edit connection
  • Click the “DSL” tab and then click “Add
  • select the DSL tab and click add
    select the DSL tab and click add
  • Enter a connection of your choice in the “Connection name:” field. Enter the

    BSNL provided username and passowrd in the “Username:” and “Password:

    fields, and click “Apply

  • enter username and password
    enter username and password

    And your connection is ready.

    connection ready
    connection ready
    Note: Starting NetworkManager service

    To use NetworkManager first you need to make sure that you have NetworkManager installed and the Service is running. Visually, check if you have a small icon of two computer moniters with or without a cross. If yes then NetworkManager is running.

  • Run the below to check if NetworkManager daemon is running:
  • service NetworkManager status

    If it shows a line as below then NetworkManager is running.

    NetworkManager (pid  1891) is running...

    Else if it says NetworkManager is dead then, to activate it run the below command.

  • Login as root and then run the below to start the NetworkManager service. The first one sets up NetworkManager to start at every boot, the second one starts it:
  • chkconfig NetworkManager on
    service NetworkManager start
  • These are the equivallent GUI instructions: Launch “system-config-service” by “Kmenu ->

    Administration -> Sevice Management” in KDE or “System -> Administration

    -> Services” in GNOME

  • Find the NetworkManager service, select it and click the “Enable” button and also

    the “Start” button. Provide the root password and click OK, and close the window

    If you do not have the NetworkManager then you have to install it first. Run:

  • If the NetworkManager service is not present then you do not have it installed.

    “NetworkManager” Connecting Instruction

    To connect the above created connection with NetworkManager:

  • Left Click the NetworkManager Applet icon on the system tray. Your created connection

    will be displayed with the Connection name you entered. Click it to activate it.

  • select the connection name to connect
    select the connection name to connect
  • After a while you will get connected and will be showed a message.
  • you are connected
    you are connected
  • To Disconnect Right Click on the NetworkManager Applet icon in the system tray

    and then Uncheck the box labened “Enable Networking“.

  • to disconnect
    to disconnect

    To automatically connect the connection with NetworkManager:

    (1)Right Click on the NetworkManager Applet icon in the system tray and click “Edit


    (2) Select the DSL tab, select your connection and click “Edit

    (3) Check the checkbox labelled “Connect automatically” and click “Apply“.

    “system-config-network” Configuration Instruction

    We will configure this ADSL connection with the “system-config-network” tool.

  • To launch “system-config-network” from “Kmenu -> Administration -> Network

    Configuration” in KDE, or “System -> Administration -> Network” in

    GNOME, Enter the root password, and click “OK”.

  • root password box
    root password box
  • Click “New” in the above menu bar in the system-config-network window.
  • click new
    click new
  • Select “xDSL” connection on the Device type list, and click Forward.
  • select xDSL connection
    select xDSL connection
  • Check the “Ethernet device:” entry, it should be okay. But if you have more

    than one network cards then select the appropriate one. If you are not sure, then keep

    the default setting.

  • In the “Provider name” field type in the provider’s name. This can be any name

    as you wish. This is just needed to identify the connection.

  • In the “Account type” list select “Normal
  • Then provide the user name and the password that BSNL provided you in the “Login

    name” and the “Password” field, and click “Forward“.

  • enter username and password
    enter username and password
  • You will be presented with a window containing the information which you entered

    previously. Click “Apply” if everything looks fine.

  • confirm settings
    confirm settings
  • Now you will be back to the network configuration window. And notice that a

    connection is created. The highlited line in the below picture is the connection which is

    just created by me. Now save this created configuration from “Menu -> Save

    (Ctrl + S)

  • the new connection
    the new connection

    “system-config-network” Connecting Instruction

    To connect with the above created connection:

  • Select the connection you created and click big green “Activate” button on the above and to disconnect click the the big red “Deactivate” button.
  • connection is progress
    connection is progress

    For those who also have NetworkManager installed will see the Activate and the Deactivate buttons disabled. This is because the connections are controlled by NetworkManager by default. To enable them and control the connections from system-config-network do the following:

    (1) Select the connection.

    (2) Click “Edit

    (3) Uncheck the checkbox labeled “Controlled by NetworkManager

    (4) Click “OK

    (5) Save the configuration by “File -> Save” from the menu


    6 thoughts on “BSNL Broadband Connection in GNU/Linux

      1. This instructions could be used in any OS with the above tools installed. You can use the same tools in debian to do the same. You can use NetworkManager in debian, or install rp-pppoe in debian to use the pppoe-setup. Simply what you have to do is to open up the connection manager, create a new pppoe account and enter the BSNL id and password. This is what you have to do in any OS.

    1. Let me share my experience in connecting Airtel internet to my PC.
      Yesterday my usual cable network connection got out of order (Alliance broadband…it goes out of order frequently). And I had to check my mailbox. It was urgent. I thought of trying a bit with mobile phone connection.
      Here I should mention somethings. Many of readers may know that. To use the mobile Internet , one should have some configuration settings saved in mobile phone. Usually they are supplied by customer care and users should ask them to send the settings. Fortunately I had the settings preloaded in my handset. ( I am using Nokia 7210 supernova). Yet I called Airtel customer care for more knowledge in this matter. They told me I should have Nokia pc suite installed in my PC , otherwise it is not possible to connect to PC. Here comes the bolt from the blue. NOKIA DOES NOT PROVIDE A PC SUITE SOFTWARE FOR LINUX SO FAR.
      Ok fine ….. I did not give up. I connected the handset with pc through data cable. Upon connecting that it prompted for a mode. I kept it in Nokia pc suite mode. ( though there is no pc suite in linux).
      Now what happened next is the “karishma” of fedora developers.
      I opened the network manager. next there was a tab showing mobile broadband. next added new connection.
      Now chose my country and service provider name(Airtel for my case). then forward forward ….and forward…… I did not have to set the APN (acces point) and did not need to go through proxy settings even. I was fortunate ….Airtel does not need any proxy settings and network manager chose my connection and APN by default.
      I dont know about other connections and about other linux versions.
      Will they work in the same way? Who cares! Fedora 12 is amazing. I am connected to Internet in 2 or 3 seconds.

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