This section introduces PPP configurations. The section also defines terms that are used in this guide.
Oracle Solaris PPP 4.0 supports a number of configurations.
Switched-access, or dial-up configurations
Hardwired, or leased-line configurations
Figure 1 Parts of the PPP Link
Two systems, usually in separate physical locations, called peers. A peer could be a personal computer, engineering workstation, large server, or even a commercial router, depending on a site's requirements.
Serial interface on each peer. On Oracle Solaris systems, this interface could be cua, hihp, or other interface, depending on whether you configure asynchronous or synchronous PPP.
The most commonly used PPP configuration is the dial-up link. In a dial-up link, the local peer dials up the remote peer to establish the connection and run PPP. In the dial-up process, the local peer calls the remote peer's telephone number to initiate the link.
A common dial-up scenario includes a home computer that calls a peer at an ISP, configured to receive incoming calls. Another scenario is a corporate site where a local system transmits data over a PPP link to a peer in another building.
In this guide, the local peer that initiates the dial-up connection is referred to as the dial-out system. The peer that receives the incoming call is referred to as the dial-in server. This system is actually the target peer of the dial-out system and might or might not be a true server.
PPP is not a client-server protocol. Some PPP documents use the terms "client" and "server" to refer to telephone call establishment. A dial-in server is not a true server like a file server or name server. Dial-in server is a widely used PPP term because dial-in systems often "serve" network accessibility to more than one dial-out system. Nevertheless, the dial-in server is the target peer of the dial-out system.
In the following figure, the configuration for Location 1, the dial-out side of the link, is composed of the following elements:
Dial-out system, typically a personal computer or workstation in an individual's home.
Asynchronous modem or ISDN terminal adapter (TA) that is connected to a telephone jack.
Telephone lines and services of a telephone company.
Figure 2 Basic Analog Dial-Up PPP Link
The configuration for Location 2, the dial-in side of the link, is composed of the following elements:
Telephone jack or similar connector, which is connected to the telephone network
Asynchronous modem or ISDN TA
Dial-in server, which is connected to a network, such as a corporate intranet, or, in the instance of an ISP, the global Internet
External ISDN TAs have faster speeds than modems, but you configure TAs in basically the same way. The major difference in configuring an ISDN TA is in the chat script, which requires commands specific to the TA's manufacturer. Refer to Chat Script for External ISDN TA for information about chat scripts for ISDN TAs.
PPP configuration files on both the dial-out and dial-in peers contain instructions for setting up the link. The following process occurs as the dial-up link is initiated.
User or process on the dial-out system runs the pppd command to start the link.
Dial-out system reads its PPP configuration files. The dial-out system then sends instructions over the serial line to its modem, including the phone number of the dial-in server.
Modem dials the phone number to establish a telephone connection with the modem on the dial-in server.
The series of text strings that the dial-out system sends to the modem and dial-in server are contained in a file called a chat script. If necessary, the dial-out system sends commands to the dial-in server to invoke PPP on the server.
Modem attached to the dial-in server begins link negotiation with the modem on the dial-out system.
When modem-to-modem negotiation is completed, the modem on the dial-out system reports "CONNECT".
PPP on both peers enters Establish phase, where Link Control Protocol (LCP) negotiates basic link parameters and the use of authentication.
If necessary, the peers authenticate each other.
PPP's Network Control Protocols (NCPs) negotiate the use of network protocols, such as IPv4 or IPv6.
The dial-out system can then run telnet or a similar command to a host that is reachable through the dial-in server.
A hardwired, leased-line PPP configuration involves two peers that are connected by a link. This link consists of a switched or an unswitched digital service leased from a provider. Oracle Solaris PPP 4.0 works over any full-duplex, point-to-point leased-line medium. Typically, a company rents a hardwired link from a network provider to connect to an ISP or other remote site.
Both dial-up and leased-line links involve two peers that are connected by a communications medium. The following table summarizes the differences between the link types.
Figure 3 Basic Leased-Line Configuration
The leased-line link contains the following parts:
Synchronous interface on each peer. Some systems that run Oracle Solaris software require you to purchase a synchronous interface card, such as HSI/P, to connect to a leased line. Other systems, such as UltraSPARC workstations, have built-in synchronous interfaces.
A CSU might be built-in to the DSU, or owned by you, or leased from a provider, depending on your locale. The DSU gives the Oracle Solaris system a standard synchronous serial interface. With Frame Relay, the Frame Relay Access Device (FRAD) performs the serial interface adaptation.
On most types of leased lines, peers do not actually dial each other. Rather, a company purchases a leased-line service to connect explicitly between two fixed locations. Sometimes the two peers at either end of the leased line are at different physical locations of the same company. Another scenario is a company that sets up a router on a leased line that is connected to an ISP.
Leased lines are less commonly used than dial-up links, though the hardwired links are easier to set up. Hardwired links do not require chat scripts. Authentication is often not used because both peers are known to each other when a line is leased. After the two peers initiate PPP over the link, the link stays active. A leased-line link remains active unless the line fails, or either peer explicitly terminates the link.
A peer on a leased line that runs Oracle Solaris PPP 4.0 uses most of the same configuration files that define a dial-up link.
The following process occurs to initiate communication over the leased line:
The peers read their PPP configuration files.
The peers negotiate communications parameters.
An IP link is established.