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Old 05-02-2011, 06:29 AM
Paul E Condon
 
Default Need help setting up a home LAN

A few days ago, my old consumer grade router died, or seemed to die
such that I decided to purchase a new consumer grade router. What I
remembered about how the old router was set up was insufficient to get
me back up and running with the new router and the old LAN
configuration. I think my problem has to do with DHCP. I didn't use
DHCP in the old set up. Instead I had statically defined IP addresses
in /etc/hosts. I can see good reasons for DHCP, but I have never
understood how I could get my four Debian hosts to talk to each other
under DHCP. I see some things that can be configured to have DHCP
assign fixed IPs to certain devices based on their MAC address, but is
that what needs to be done? What I'm looking for is the ordinary and
accepted way to make an ssh connection from one of my boxes to another
one of my boxes where DHCP is happening.

Also I used rsync to keep backups of files on two different boxes, and
approx to maintain a local Debian repository. The way I have done this
in the past is dependent on local search.

Suggestions? Useful reading material?
--
Paul E Condon
pecondon@mesanetworks.net


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Old 05-02-2011, 06:59 AM
Andrei Popescu
 
Default Need help setting up a home LAN

On Lu, 02 mai 11, 00:29:24, Paul E Condon wrote:
> A few days ago, my old consumer grade router died, or seemed to die
> such that I decided to purchase a new consumer grade router. What I
> remembered about how the old router was set up was insufficient to get
> me back up and running with the new router and the old LAN
> configuration. I think my problem has to do with DHCP. I didn't use
> DHCP in the old set up. Instead I had statically defined IP addresses
> in /etc/hosts. I can see good reasons for DHCP, but I have never
> understood how I could get my four Debian hosts to talk to each other
> under DHCP. I see some things that can be configured to have DHCP
> assign fixed IPs to certain devices based on their MAC address, but is
> that what needs to be done? What I'm looking for is the ordinary and
> accepted way to make an ssh connection from one of my boxes to another
> one of my boxes where DHCP is happening.

I prefere setting up "static" DHCP, if at all possible[1]. If you are
lucky the router can also do local DNS and you are done.

[1] I lost that feature on the last firmware upgrade on my VDSL modem

> Also I used rsync to keep backups of files on two different boxes, and
> approx to maintain a local Debian repository. The way I have done this
> in the past is dependent on local search.

I don't understand what you mean here. Anyway, for a SOHO lan here are a
few ideas

1. assign static IPs (either via the DHCP server or each host's config)

+ robust
+ if set up via the router it's not difficult to maintain
- accessing by IP is not "nice" and editing each host's /etc/hosts file
is a pain

2. local DNS server. If you're lucky the consumer router can do that,
then it doesn't matter if hosts are on DHCP or not. If your router runs
Debian or some Linux dnsmasq is excelent for this purpose and easy to
setup.

+ convenient
- setup is router dependent

3. mDNS. No, don't throw holly water, it really works... I think
Just install libnss-mdns on all hosts (which will also pull
avahi-daemon). If you didn't change /etc/nsswitch.conf this will
automatically allow you to access the host via host-name.local,
irrespective of DHCP or static IP

+ very convenient and easy to setup, no fiddling with config files
+ independent of any central config (useful if you have a flaky router)
- still needs some way of assigning IPs, unless your router supports
zeroconf and you also install avahi-autoipd
- depends on hidden-magic type software

Regards,
Andrei
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Old 05-02-2011, 08:05 AM
Jochen Schulz
 
Default Need help setting up a home LAN

Paul E Condon:
>
> […] I can see good reasons for DHCP, but I have never
> understood how I could get my four Debian hosts to talk to each other
> under DHCP. I see some things that can be configured to have DHCP
> assign fixed IPs to certain devices based on their MAC address, but is
> that what needs to be done?

Depends on your taste. I know someone who absolutely despises of the
idea that the hosts in his local network have hostnames. He likes IP
addresses better.

I prefer to name my machines and using the names when SSHing etc. For
the most part, I don't care about IP addresses at all. Your router
should support this for DHCP clients with dynamically assigned addresses
as long as the clients send their own hostname when requesting an IP
address. Debian doesn't do this by default, which I suppose was your
problem. To enable this feature, just edit /etc/dhcp/dhclient.conf and
change the line that begins with "send host-name".

J.
--
In the west we kill people like chickens.
[Agree] [Disagree]
<http://www.slowlydownward.com/NODATA/data_enter2.html>
 
Old 05-02-2011, 08:35 AM
Paul E Condon
 
Default Need help setting up a home LAN

On 20110502_095924, Andrei Popescu wrote:
> On Lu, 02 mai 11, 00:29:24, Paul E Condon wrote:
> > A few days ago, my old consumer grade router died, or seemed to die
> > such that I decided to purchase a new consumer grade router. What I
> > remembered about how the old router was set up was insufficient to get
> > me back up and running with the new router and the old LAN
> > configuration. I think my problem has to do with DHCP. I didn't use
> > DHCP in the old set up. Instead I had statically defined IP addresses
> > in /etc/hosts. I can see good reasons for DHCP, but I have never
> > understood how I could get my four Debian hosts to talk to each other
> > under DHCP. I see some things that can be configured to have DHCP
> > assign fixed IPs to certain devices based on their MAC address, but is
> > that what needs to be done? What I'm looking for is the ordinary and
> > accepted way to make an ssh connection from one of my boxes to another
> > one of my boxes where DHCP is happening.
>
> I prefere setting up "static" DHCP, if at all possible[1]. If you are
> lucky the router can also do local DNS and you are done.
>
> [1] I lost that feature on the last firmware upgrade on my VDSL modem
>
> > Also I used rsync to keep backups of files on two different boxes, and
> > approx to maintain a local Debian repository. The way I have done this
> > in the past is dependent on local search.
>
> I don't understand what you mean here. Anyway, for a SOHO lan here are a
> few ideas
>
> 1. assign static IPs (either via the DHCP server or each host's config)
>
> + robust
> + if set up via the router it's not difficult to maintain
> - accessing by IP is not "nice" and editing each host's /etc/hosts file
> is a pain
>
> 2. local DNS server. If you're lucky the consumer router can do that,
> then it doesn't matter if hosts are on DHCP or not. If your router runs
> Debian or some Linux dnsmasq is excelent for this purpose and easy to
> setup.
>
> + convenient
> - setup is router dependent
>
> 3. mDNS. No, don't throw holly water, it really works... I think
> Just install libnss-mdns on all hosts (which will also pull
> avahi-daemon). If you didn't change /etc/nsswitch.conf this will
> automatically allow you to access the host via host-name.local,
> irrespective of DHCP or static IP
>
> + very convenient and easy to setup, no fiddling with config files
> + independent of any central config (useful if you have a flaky router)
> - still needs some way of assigning IPs, unless your router supports
> zeroconf and you also install avahi-autoipd
> - depends on hidden-magic type software
>
> Regards,
> Andrei

Thanks, Andrei.

This is very helpful. But while you were responding, Netgear presented
a new problem. The web interface on the router no longer works with
iceweasel. It did work fine a few hours ago but now I can only get a
one line message (folded here for email): "Please upgrade to a version
4 or higher browser so that you can use this setup tool (and see lots
of great sites on the Internet!) " Iceweasel in Squeeze seems to be
version 3.5.18 of Firefox. I find it scary that they can know that and
shut be down late a night for a violation of their vision of their own
importance.

I was going to look at the browser interface to see if I could determine
whether the router included local DNS but ... this new development.

Whatever happens with this router after the Sun comes up and I go back
to the store where I bought it, I'll still need to improve my knowledge.
I think I did have static IPs via DHCP. There was a small table in which
I could fill in IPaddr, an arbitrary name, and a MAC address. But that
by itself didn't seem to be a whole solution. I would need to hand construct
an /etc/hosts file or commit the IPaddresses to memory, or something.

Is dnsmasq the name of a program or Debian package? I could run a
daemon on one of the computers and add the IP of that host to the
list of DNS servers. I guess that is what mDNS is. I have never
heard of it.

Anyway, I can't have a router that can have its administrative interface
shutdown without warning in the middle of the night. I'll have to
solve that before I can respond to your suggestions.

Thanks.


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Old 05-02-2011, 10:12 AM
Joe
 
Default Need help setting up a home LAN

On 02/05/11 09:35, Paul E Condon wrote:


Anyway, I can't have a router that can have its administrative interface
shutdown without warning in the middle of the night. I'll have to
solve that before I can respond to your suggestions.



Is this just a matter of JavaScript? I don't think any box of this kind works without JS these days. I've had
a Netgear DG834 for some time, and I've never had any trouble (once I'd told NoScript) in seeing it. That's
usually from Sid, which presumably has a more recent IW, but I suspect that 'version 4' without further
qualification refers to Netscape4 and IE4, which were contemporary and may have been the first to use JS. They
were certainly the first to use many current HTML features.



My DG834 says this without JS (latest FF 3.6.17 on XP, JS disabled):


Checking JavaScript Support

To provide an enhanced user interface, this Router uses JavaScript extensively.

If this page is not quickly replaced, your Browser does NOT support JavaScript.

Please enable JavaScript in your Browser, or use a different Browser.


But my firmware is late 2009, there may be a different message by now. Oh, and reboot it if you haven't
already. This level of router isn't as resilient as it might be, and I've known routers (not certain if this
one is one of them) to get scrambled and respond to pings but not anything more complicated. Big Red Switch time.


The DG834 can certainly do DHCP reservations, though I'm not sure about it accepting a hostname in a DHCP
request. It might, but that depends on whether it has DNS-DHCP integration, which might have been left out of
this kind of product. I have a Debian server with linked DHCP and DNS, so I don't use the router for either,
but that is a bit of a drastic solution to this problem if you have no other use for a server. It's BIND9, by
the way, not something you would casually put on a workstation, but there may be simpler packages as you suggest.


I suppose this is not the time to point out that you should have kept a record of the old router setup, but at
least when you have this one working, you can backup its configuration. What is saved is nearly a text file,
so it should be possible to work out what is going on from it.


--
Joe


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Old 05-02-2011, 11:16 AM
Camaleón
 
Default Need help setting up a home LAN

On Mon, 02 May 2011 02:35:54 -0600, Paul E Condon wrote:

> The web interface on the router no longer works with iceweasel. It did
> work fine a few hours ago but now I can only get a one line message
> (folded here for email): "Please upgrade to a version 4 or higher
> browser so that you can use this setup tool (and see lots of great sites
> on the Internet!) " Iceweasel in Squeeze seems to be version 3.5.18 of
> Firefox. I find it scary that they can know that and shut be down late a
> night for a violation of their vision of their own importance.

It's just a (crazy, IMO) javascript routine. And I think it's crazy
because most of the embedded web servers on those devices just serve very
basic html formatted pages so there is no need to force the user to
upgrade the browser in order he can operate with it :-/

Most sure you can also manage the router via telnet but on these days
that should not be needed at all.

(...)

> Anyway, I can't have a router that can have its administrative interface
> shutdown without warning in the middle of the night. I'll have to solve
> that before I can respond to your suggestions.

I was going to suggest that (first solve the router's management
issue) :-)

Greetings,

--
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Old 05-02-2011, 01:12 PM
Zoran Kolic
 
Default Need help setting up a home LAN

> This is very helpful. But while you were responding, Netgear presented
> a new problem. The web interface on the router no longer works with
> iceweasel. It did work fine a few hours ago but now I can only get a
> one line message (folded here for email): "Please upgrade to a version
> 4 or higher browser so that you can use this setup tool (and see lots
> of great sites on the Internet!) "

What model of Netgear?

>
> I was going to look at the browser interface to see if I could determine
> whether the router included local DNS but ... this new development.

What after you cleared the cache in the browser?

> Whatever happens with this router after the Sun comes up and I go back
> to the store where I bought it, I'll still need to improve my knowledge.

It is interesting to know if you tried to install something
and failed, regarding new router. The very message is quite
strange. If it is the feature and you are happy with hard-
ware, you could install some other firmware (openwrt, dd-wrt).
All depending if the router is supported for that.

> I think I did have static IPs via DHCP.

You don't need dhcp to have ip address. Once you decide to
go static, nothing could stop you. Hosts file keeps node
names and ip addresses, pretty convinient for small net-
work.

> Anyway, I can't have a router that can have its administrative interface
> shutdown without warning in the middle of the night. I'll have to
> solve that before I can respond to your suggestions.

Strange, strange. Are you sure you didn't put something
in you configuration? Like day hours the router works?
Or time limit when you could connect to web interface?
Sounds like that.
However, some popular routers are just pieces of plastic,
with troubles in it. One of netgear models people use
successfuly is 3500 l. If you have it, put alternative
firmware and read manual carefully.
Best regards

Zoran


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Old 05-02-2011, 01:29 PM
Lisi
 
Default Need help setting up a home LAN

On Monday 02 May 2011 09:05:51 Jochen Schulz wrote:
> I know someone who absolutely despises of the
> idea that the hosts in his local network have hostnames. He likes IP
> addresses better.

+1. Much easier to remember! It took me several years to be able to remember
my computers' names without having to look them up.

Lisi


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Old 05-02-2011, 01:51 PM
Camaleón
 
Default Need help setting up a home LAN

On Mon, 02 May 2011 14:29:21 +0100, Lisi wrote:

> On Monday 02 May 2011 09:05:51 Jochen Schulz wrote:
>> I know someone who absolutely despises of the
>> idea that the hosts in his local network have hostnames. He likes IP
>> addresses better.
>
> +1. Much easier to remember! It took me several years to be able to
> remember my computers' names without having to look them up.

Let's see if you still think the same when IPv6 comes into play >>>;-)

Greetings,

--
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Old 05-02-2011, 01:57 PM
Lisi
 
Default Need help setting up a home LAN

On Monday 02 May 2011 14:51:18 Camaleón wrote:
> He likes IP
>
> >> addresses better.
> >
> > +1. *Much easier to remember! *It took me several years to be able to
> > remember my computers' names without having to look them up.
>
> Let's see if you still think the same when IPv6 comes into play >>>;-)

By then I should have succeeded in remembering all the names... ;-)

Lisi


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