How to Build a Linux Leafsite

This WWW pages tells you how to create easily a "leafsite" (a computer without permanent connection to the Internet), saving money, but very powerful.

Using a terminal program you can't do too much - you can "telnet" to somewhere; but transferring binary data is somewhat difficult with it.

So we use a protocol allowing temporarily a full connection of our computer to the Internet: PPP (Point to Point Protocol). You get an own IP address while the connection is established. With this, you can use FTP or WWW browsers, for example.

Connections into the Internet cause bigger telephone bills, so we must do as much as possible "off line" - i.e. we should be able load down email and news, and read them after download without an active connection. This procedures are described here, too.



You must have access to your provider. Please ask him what you need to connect to him.

These pages contain a database file (which currently is very small) with the data of some providers. If you can add an entry I would be very pleased.


You need an ISDN card or a modem. The software described here (isdn4linux) supports cards with a special Siemens chip set on it (ISAC and HSCX), and also some other cards. Read the FAQ (also loadable from these pages - people who loaded down the archive must load down the FAQ in an extra step!).


You need the PPP daemon, which comes with each Linux distribution. If you use a ISDN card and need a modem emulation, you need the "ISDN4Linux" ("i4l") package by Fritz Elfert. I describe it here because of some practical reasons. Also available are some other packages like "UISDN" by Matthias Urlichs. Only i4l offers kernel internal drivers yet, however.

If you want to be told about the development of the i4l software you should subscribe to the isdn4linux mailing list (about 30 mails per day). Therefore you should send an email containing

  subscribe isdn4linux <your_own@email.address>
in the body to
(no subject required). The folks talking there also speak English.

Copyright © (GPL V 2) 1996 Bernhard Hailer
Last modification: 21-Feb-97 BeH