Bug 6646 - PPP Problems
PPP Problems
Product: Red Hat Linux
Classification: Retired
Component: ppp (Show other bugs)
i386 Linux
high Severity high
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Assigned To: Nalin Dahyabhai
Depends On:
  Show dependency treegraph
Reported: 1999-11-02 10:19 EST by roberts
Modified: 2008-05-01 11:37 EDT (History)
6 users (show)

See Also:
Fixed In Version:
Doc Type: Bug Fix
Doc Text:
Story Points: ---
Clone Of:
Last Closed: 2002-12-13 20:21:34 EST
Type: ---
Regression: ---
Mount Type: ---
Documentation: ---
Verified Versions:
Category: ---
oVirt Team: ---
RHEL 7.3 requirements from Atomic Host:
Cloudforms Team: ---

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Description roberts 1999-11-02 10:19:49 EST
On all instances of RedHat 6.1 installs I am left unable to
use modem devices. If I use the ppp Dialer I get messages in
/var/log/messages of: can't locate module char-major-108.
The second message that appears in the message log is: The
remote system (ppp0) is required to authenticate itself but
I couldn't find any suitable secret (password) for it to use
to do so.

If I try to activate the ppp0 connection from the
control-panel I get: Failed to activate
/etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ifcfg-ppp0. I look in
/var/log/messages and get the messages that appear in the
about statement.

It is important to note that I am getting this on all
machines were I install RedHat Linux 6.1.
Comment 1 iwade 1999-11-06 00:49:59 EST
same problem here .. multiple installs where i'm at too.

the only reference to char-major-108 i could find was in the
README.linux file for pppd /usr/doc/ .. it stated that this was a new
architecture for pppd which was for kernel 2.3 .. so why is 2.2.12-20
trying to use it?
Comment 2 Michael K. Johnson 1999-11-06 14:10:59 EST
Second question first: it is trying the new architecture in case
you are running a 2.3 kernel -- this means that if you choose to
upgrade your kernel, pppd will not suddenly quit working for you.

Are you using CHAP authentication?  I'm not sure what you mean
by "the about statement" but are you getting errors about CHAP
authentication failing?
Comment 3 iwade 1999-11-06 19:46:59 EST
I've tried creating connections in three different (sorta) ways, all
with the same results:

1. netcfg
2. the new rp3
3. the ppp- on/on-dialer/off scripts

the first 2 use pap/chap as far as i know .. i used defaults - no
connection scripts. the ppp-on scripts use chat scripts to

all three produced the same results, a lot of hard disk activity as it
repeatedly wrote syslog message re: char-major-108 and couldn't find
secret etc..

also, the diallers never even managed to get the modem to dial .. it
repeatedly took the modem on/off hook .. the light went histerical :)

this was a fresh install in both custom mode and gnome workstation.

(irrelevant side note: the chat scripts generated by RP3/netcfg for
pap/chap in /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ have a last line of


this sends a CR after seeing CONNECT which causes the equipment my isp
used to use -- bay networks versalar(sp?) 8000 -- to enter CLI
authentication mode .. a bad thing. doesn't happen anymore since we've
switched to cisco.. but i thought i'd mention it..is there a reason
for the ''?)

------- Additional Comments From   11/06/99 23:47 -------
Whoa .. i just re-installed rh61 again, this time it is working ..
only things i did different where choose an outrageous X theme and not
tick 'let PPP do all authentication' .. i wonder which made the
difference ;)

i did have the problem i've seen discussed elsewhere tho' -- first
connection failed, subsequent re-dial succeeded w/o any changes.
Comment 4 Michael K. Johnson 1999-11-08 10:25:59 EST
The "remote sytem ... is required to authenticate itself" is a new
"feature" in pppd where it will no longer replace the default route,
so if you have, for example, an ethernet connection that has set the
default route, then you can't use the ppp option "defaultroute",
which we set by default in our startup scripts as it is the right
thing to do for normal dialup connections.  I've asked the pppd
maintainer about changing this.

rp3 never creates a chat script.

The CONNECT '' is to wait for CONNECT and then tickle the
modem.  It can be changed to CONNECT '\c' if you don't want
the modem tickled.

Not checking "let PPP do all authentication" lets wvdial (the
engine that does the dialing when rp3 sets up the connection)
try to do login/password authentication.

The double-dialing problem seems to be solved (please test it)
by the test release of pppd that I've put at
Comment 5 Michael K. Johnson 1999-11-18 11:46:59 EST
Two additional pieces of information: the current initscripts from the
errata add the "noauth" option when calling pppd to use wvdial so that]
CHAP works, which has the additional effect of making pppd come up with
defaultroute specified even if there is a default route.  However, it
will not replace the default route, which means that the connection will
not work very well...

Our upcoming initscripts release adds "noauth" for connections being
done in our old style with a chat script, and also deletes any existing
default route if the defaultroute option is being used (that is, the
line is in the /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ifcfg-ppp<n> file.
Comment 6 atanas 1999-11-26 06:12:59 EST
I have similar problem and isolated the buggi package.
I have upgraded from Red Hat 5.2 to 6.1. After that ppp connection still worked
until i updated all available packages using Update Agent several times. After
last update ppp stopped to work:
I worked to isolate the problem to single package and it is:


I installed the prev. version - initscripts-4.63-1.i386.rpm - and after
rebooting the system ppp worked properly.

I installed back latest version - initscripts-4.68-1.i386.rpm - and ppp das not
want to work at all. When starting ppp directly by


response is:

[root@localhost atanas]# /usr/sbin/pppd
/usr/sbin/pppd: The remote system is required to authenticate itself but I
/usr/sbin/pppd: couldn't find any suitable secret (password) for it to use to do
Comment 7 rlarson 1999-11-28 23:10:59 EST
Say, the blurb on the 4.68-1 initscripts indicates that the default route
problem was fixed, and lists this bug ID (6646) as one of those fixed by this

I do not agree with this optimism. On installation of the 4.68-1 package I was
unable to get ppp defaultroute to work without hammering it with "route add
default ppp0". Doubleplus ungood to release a package twice with the same bug
especially if is marked 'fixed'.
Comment 8 Harsha Vadlamudi 1999-11-29 15:41:59 EST
I installed 6.1 recently. It was a fresh install and I cannot get PPP to work.
The messages are similar. I tried through wvdial and minicom as well.
When I tried with minicom, I was actually assigned an IP number. I then did a
C-A Q (quit without reset from minicom) and tried to start the pppd when it said
'remote user needs to authenticate itself, but i could not find ....'

when i try through wvdial, it keeps going in a loop and the message is pppd
exited with status 1.

it also kept giving me the 'modprobe cannot find module char-major-108 error'
error. if i use pppd with noauth also it didnt work.
Comment 9 shane 1999-12-17 17:16:59 EST
I ran redhat 5.5 for a long time. I recently got a new system and put redhat 6.1
on it. New install.

I had PPP running on the old system, but I can't get it to run on this one. I
get the same "modprobe cannot find module char-major-108 error"

How did you fix this?
Comment 10 tix 2000-01-29 20:40:59 EST
I get the suitable secret error on all 6.1 boxen I have installed.  Here is
copy of the syslog:
Jan 28 19:32:56 phoenix ifup-ppp: pppd started for ppp0 on /dev/modem at 115200
Jan 28 19:32:56 phoenix modprobe: can't locate module char-major-108
Jan 28 19:32:57 phoenix kernel: CSLIP: code copyright 1989 Regents of the Univer
sity of California
Jan 28 19:32:57 phoenix kernel: PPP: version 2.3.7 (demand dialling)
Jan 28 19:32:57 phoenix kernel: PPP line discipline registered.
Jan 28 19:32:57 phoenix kernel: registered device ppp0
Jan 28 19:32:57 phoenix pppd[1471]: The remote system (ppp0) is required to auth
enticate itself but I
Jan 28 19:32:57 phoenix pppd[1471]: couldn't find any suitable secret (password)
 for it to use to do so.
Jan 28 19:33:00 phoenix ifup-ppp: pppd started for ppp0 on /dev/modem at 115200
Jan 28 19:33:00 phoenix modprobe: can't locate module char-major-108
Jan 28 19:33:00 phoenix pppd[1484]: The remote system (ppp0) is required to auth
enticate itself but I
Jan 28 19:33:00 phoenix pppd[1484]: couldn't find any suitable secret (password)
 for it to use to do so.
Jan 28 19:33:01 phoenix ifup-ppp: pppd started for ppp0 on /dev/modem at 115200
Jan 28 19:33:01 phoenix modprobe: can't locate module char-major-108
Jan 28 19:33:01 phoenix pppd[1493]: The remote system (ppp0) is required to auth
enticate itself but I
Jan 28 19:33:01 phoenix pppd[1493]: couldn't find any suitable secret (password)
 for it to use to do so.
Jan 28 19:33:01 phoenix ifup-ppp: pppd started for ppp0 on /dev/modem at 115200

This repeats until I kill pppd or down the interface (ifdown ppp0).  I have
upgraded pppd and initscripts with no change.  As you can see from the
timestamps there is no time for the modem to dial, but I do get the modem light
activity as mentioned above.
These same systems worked without fail until upgrading to 6.1 (I back up and do
a clean install to upgrade.)
Comment 11 tix 2000-01-29 20:49:59 EST
Forgot to add to the above:
I only see this error on the server or custom install and when NOT using rp3
(not installed by default in server).  Workstation installs and configured with
rp3 work fine after upgrading.
Comment 12 Nalin Dahyabhai 2000-01-31 08:20:59 EST
Anyway, jwade, roberts, tix, atanas, I suspect you all have NICs in your
computers, and pppd, deducing that it will be granting access to your network to
the other end of the PPP link, now requires the other end to authenticate itself
before it will allow a connection.  Of course, your ISP's server isn't
configured to do this, so the connection fails.  Either adding "noauth" to
/etc/ppp/options or upgrading to the latest errata for initscripts should fix
the problem.

Shane, the warning message regarding char-major-108 is normal and harmless; they
are caused by pppd's attempts to talk to your kernel as if it were part of the
development 2.3 series, and not the stable 2.2 series.  If you're having
problems, please upgrade both the ppp and initscripts package to the latest
errata releases and see if things still fail.  If you continue having problems,
please follow up with more details.

Hvadlamu, try changing the line in /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ifup-ppp that
currently reads:
  exec /usr/sbin/pppd -detach $opts $MODEMPORT $LINESPEED \
  exec strace -f -o /tmp/ppp.strace /usr/sbin/pppd -detach $opts $MODEMPORT
and then re-run your connection attempt and send in the contents of the
/tmp/ppp.strace file.  If pppd is exiting with an error ID of 1, something
unexpected (like running out of memory) is killing pppd, and the strace output
will probably help me figure out what's going on here.

Rlarson, there are probably multiple problems in this single bug ID, so an
update that claims to fix it probably only fixes one of them.  Usually, multiple
different problems get filed as different bug reports.  I can't be sure, but
4.68 probably fixed the noauth problem.
Comment 13 tix 2000-01-31 11:35:59 EST
Thanks!!  I upgrade to:

These corrected the above "no-auth" problem.
Comment 14 Brent Fox 2002-06-05 00:47:04 EDT
Is anyone still seeing these issues with the current release (Red Hat Linux 7.3)?
Comment 15 tix 2002-06-05 02:18:28 EDT
 I haven't seen this bug since upgrading to: 
as in my previous post. 
All versions after 6.1 have been installed on this same laptop without 
problems.  Currently running 7.3, with all updates, and haven't seen any ppp 

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