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New Visitor
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎07-01-2003
Is it possible to run Linux and have Comcast support. Does anyone run linux and have a highspeed Comcast account?
Contributor
Posts: 23
Registered: ‎06-30-2003

Re: Linux

Linux will run on Comcast just fine. However, if you have any problems, I would be very surprised to find a tech support person who could help you. (Even Mac users have trouble getting competent tech support, so you can imagine what it's like trying to find Linux support.)

(Fortunately, most Linux users quite familiar with the operating system, so they rarely have to rely on a scripted phone tech.)
New Visitor
Posts: 20
Registered: ‎06-30-2003

Re: Linux

lol you got that right. Linux will work fine with Comcast. but jeff is right, good luck getting support for it if there is any problems since linux isnt the cookie cutter operating system like Winblows or Winbloat is.

-Peace
New Visitor
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎07-01-2003

Re: Linux

I would suggest you set one machine up dual boot. If you have problems, then boot into Windows and make sure the problem is still there - then call TechSupport.

Otherwise, everything is going to get blamed on Linux.

I do the same thing with my 2Wire home portal - I have an old P-90 laptop sitting next to the CableModem. Swap one wire, reboot and I'm back in 'support' land. (Oh, yeah, and the WAN MAC address on the 2Wire is the same as the NIC in the P90...)

-----Burton
Contributor
Posts: 7
Registered: ‎07-01-2003

Re: Linux

I am using linux also with comcast, recently (this week) transferred from attbi. Same settings for the basic network connection, just changed the usernames / servers for Email etc. and it all worked.

Linux can give you some good tools for trying to figure out what is happening when things do not work. Ethereal will let you observe packets delivered by your cable modem and decode them to look for protocoll problems. Traceroute can find how they are trying to route you places. If things are working for you, you might want to traceroute to a few important sites, like your pop and smtp servers, some of the root DNS servers and maybe google or yahoo. Keep these route listings as refrences for the future when you have problems. You can compare the broken route to the one that used to work, and perhaps spot basic trouble areas within their network ( I did that several times with @home and AttBI ) Of course, as they upgrade their network, the "normal" routes will change also. For long term trending MRTG is a good package. If you keep your linux box up 24X7, you can plot network latency to the pop server or even available bandwidth ( sending data to a nodes echo port and measuring time to transfer a known amount of data ) These plots could be interesting!

Good Luck

Jim
New Visitor
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎07-07-2003

Re: Linux

I've been running a Linux-based firewall, called Smoothwall for some number of years, since before Road Runner in these parts was bought out by AT&T, and then Comcast. I've never had any problem with it. You can download an ISO image and burn a CD from it. Take an old PC and stick two network cards in it (one designated RED that hooks to the cable modem, and the other GREEN that faces your interior network). Boot the CD, and follow the instructions to configure. ***WARNING*** it *WILL* format your hard drive, so be sure you don't want whatever was on the hard disk in the 'donor' system.

I started a number of years ago with a 386DX40 system, running a dial-up connection and Smoothwall, and migrated eventually to an old Dell P100 when I wanted to run IPSEC-encrypted VPN tunnels, figuring the extra horsepower for the encryption algorithms justified moving to a 100 MHz Pentium. The system just lazes along, and I check it ocassionally and download the latest security packs that are published on the Smoothwall site. It also automatically registers any dynamic IP addresses changes with dyndns.org, free account there for quasi-static IPs.

On the interior LAN, I have a 24-port 10/100 switch, with a mixture of Windows and Linux boxes, including a Linux file server which serves up all our home directories, both via NFS for the Linux boxen and Samba (SM:smileycool: for the Windows boxen. At one point, I was running Netatalk since my daughter was bringing a Mac notebook home from school, and needed to transfer data back and forth tween the Mac and her PC. It was easy to just copy the stuff to her home directory on the server, and over to the other machine. She asked me once, "teach me how to use Linux, because it works with everything!" Heh.

If you have a bent for tinkering, Linux will work out just fine, and may even be advantageous for you, doing yeoman's duty as a firewall, file server, print server, etc., etc. It's fun -- jump in, the water's fine! 8-)
Message was edited by: theoldmoose
Bronze Star Contributor
Posts: 372
Registered: ‎07-02-2003

Re: Linux

To answer your questions, No, and Yes. NO you are not going to get Comcast to support Linux at least not officially. If you have the luck of a Lotto winner then you might find someone at Comcast support to help you out but for the millions of other users this won't happen.

Yes, Linux will run just fine with the Comcast broadband network. My Linux computers have no problems whatsoever with the Comcast system.

Contrary to what others have suggested that you keep a Windows box around when you need support, I have not had any Comcast support people display any strong technical skills with this OS either. The only skill I have seen level one support demonstrate is that they can read the script (reboot modem, reboot computer, see, it is all fixed, have a nice day, goodbye).

My experience has been that if you have a problem and you can't troubleshoot it yourself and fix it then the only way Comcast will be able to fix it is if they send someone out and even that is a crapshoot.
Regular Contributor
Posts: 28
Registered: ‎07-09-2003

Re: Linux

What I hate is when I go through all the troublshooting, and know the problem is not on my end, 9 out of 10 times they still won't deviate from the script.

After the @Home to Comcast HSI switch, I had some trouble with mail. I informed the tech that I was not using Outlook Express after she asked me if I was. She then told me the steps to get to the account settings in Outlook. I know enough about Outlook and Evolution to correlate what she wanted me to do to what I needed to do, but I thought it was funny. She didn't just ask me what my settings were, she kept giving me explicict instructions that were only applicable to Outlook.
New Visitor
Posts: 20
Registered: ‎06-30-2003

Re: Linux

sarcasm on/

"turn your modem off and shut down your pc and wait 5 minutes" ©2003 Comcast :smileyhappy:

They say that every time
Regular Contributor
Posts: 50
Registered: ‎06-30-2003

Re: Linux

I've used a linux box as a gateway for the past 1 1/2 years & have had no trouble at all (except for IPTables LOL). Just set the NIC facing the cable modem for DHCP.

It's good stuff, man. :smileyhappy:

BTW, if you're going to run Linux (and be at all serious about it), the fact that you can't get tech support from Comcast shouldn't be a *huge* problem :smileywink:
New Visitor
Posts: 18
Registered: ‎07-01-2003

Re: Linux

Most folks who use linux are already gearheads anyway
and probably do a lot of troubleshooting before they
pick up the phone or try a help session.

My home network seemed totally unfazed by the switchover,
except for having to manually change mail changes in KDE
and losing my user name I had for years with AT&T and
MediaOne.

Say, how come Comcasts's logo looks so much like the Death Star? :smileyplain:
New Visitor
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎07-02-2003

Re: Linux

Say, how come Comcasts's logo looks so much like the Death Star?

No more so than AT&T, really :smileywink:
Bronze Star Contributor
Posts: 473
Registered: ‎08-23-2003

Re: Linux

comcast can support linux by indicating that they use dhcp for ip addresses and all automatic settings. other than that, there isn't a whole lot more to it than the network card troubleshooting. if you're using linux, you don't need someone to tell you step-by-step where you put mail settings or whatever.

check ip address:

# ifconfig

take down card

# ifdown eth0

bring up card

# ifup eth0


there are so many real operating systems out there and different distros of linux that it would be next to impossible to support them all on the same level they support windows. now, why they don't spell it out more like that is just beyond me.
New Visitor
Posts: 18
Registered: ‎07-01-2003

Re: Linux

Heck, yeah! Linux is all about networking.

I use SuSE 8.1 here. Its GUI is not problem free, but it's Windows free.
Networking Expert
Baric
Posts: 24,238
Registered: ‎07-28-2003

Re: Linux

I run Redhat 9.
New Visitor
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎08-23-2003

Re: Linux

I have tested RedHat Linux 7.3 on Comcast. It does not work with USB, but I went to WalMart, picked up an Ethernet card from SysLinks. Installed the card, rebooted my box, and everything went well. Linux detected the card and began installing right away. I didn't even have to use any discs or download any extra software.
You just have to know what info to put in your system when you configure it, such IP Address, etc.

So, if it works on RedHat 7.3 by default basically, it should work on newer versions just as easily.
Bronze Star Contributor
Posts: 473
Registered: ‎08-23-2003

Re: Linux

i'm running rh 7.2, but should be going back to 7.1 soon. i just gotta back up some config files and data...when my work schedule permits.
Networking Expert
Baric
Posts: 24,238
Registered: ‎07-28-2003

Re: Linux

Why go backward?
Bronze Star Contributor
Posts: 473
Registered: ‎08-23-2003

Re: Linux

i don't like the newer stuff that it automagically loads for me on the newer versions. 7.1 with the new kernel would be fine. actually, 6.1 was my favorite to date :smileyhappy:
Bronze Star Contributor
Posts: 473
Registered: ‎08-23-2003

Re: Linux

remember that in linux you will need to have the device listed in /proc/usb and then mount the device. kudzu may or may not pick up the device.
New Visitor
Posts: 18
Registered: ‎07-01-2003

Re: Linux

> remember that in linux you will need to have the
> device listed in /proc/usb and then mount the device.
> kudzu may or may not pick up the device.

Right, and on a related note, there seems to be no support for USB Wi-Fi NIC, at least not yet. But my PCMCIA Wi-Fi was plug-and-play, at least on SuSE 8.1.
Regular Contributor
Posts: 32
Registered: ‎08-22-2003

Re: Linux

I'm running Red Hat 9 on my one box with windows 2k. I've been using it for about 5 months. I find myself using windows 2k more though since linux cd burning is not as compatable as a windows based pc with nero :smileyhappy: I do enjoy messing around with it from time to time though.
I do agree with the point made earlier, for us (comcast) to support linux officially would be very difficult to implement since its open sourced and so many versions of linux OS exist. It's too bad comcast locks its tech support reps out of the internet, my main gripe. I have so many tools online that could help me support customers more effectively. They keep taking tools/priviledges away from us :smileysad:
/end rant
Networking Expert
Baric
Posts: 24,238
Registered: ‎07-28-2003

Re: Linux

This is Linux we're talking about here. You can control what starts up, heck you can even go edit the standard startup script if you like. One of my favorite things to do is play around with the startup scripts. Linux is a bit head's dream, you can touch and control everything, unlike Winblows.

Newer versions of Redhat (like 9) have dhclient, so you don't have to jump through hoops to get connected to Comcast. AS I remember 7.2 did not dhcp support (but it's been awhile).
Bronze Star Contributor
Posts: 463
Registered: ‎08-09-2003

Re: Linux

When I booted knoppix my internet access was there and I didn't have to confiqure anything or cycle the modem.

http://linuxiso.org/distro.php?distro=44
New Visitor
Posts: 7
Registered: ‎10-03-2003

Re: Linux

Hi, I just read your thread at the Comcast Help Forum concerning using Linux with your broadband connection, and am glad to hear this. I have an internal LAN setup in my home, and am presently using ICS with my own personal machine acting as the gateway (this network has one Linux box setup within the Network, and I'm running FTP, WWW, and Samba to allow access from my Winblows boxes to the Linux box). I'm now in the process of securing my network from the "script-kiddies", and am researching LEAF (LRP - Linux Router Project), which would allow me to use an old machine (presently using a PB Pentium120)as a firewall ONLY, with the LinuxO/S running from a FLOPPY DISK! ( I think this is SO COOL!). Prob is that I'm still a Linux noob, and am still learning how to set up firewalls on Linux. Have you heard/used this product? And if so, do you have any suggestions on setting it up to use the Comcast connection?
New Visitor
Posts: 7
Registered: ‎10-03-2003

Re: Linux

TO ANYONE USING LINUX WITH THEIR COMCAST CONNECTION:

How do you authenticate? I mean, do you continue to use the software and setup on a windows machine, and pass the info along, or do you somehow install the Comcast software onto your Linux box? Is their a way to write a script for Linux to authenticate to Comcast? I'm really close on this, and want to implement an LRP (Linux Router Project) for firewall purposes..... (feel free to email me anything that may be of help)

Earl aka blakman2
ewilson1313@comcast.net
Networking Expert
Baric
Posts: 24,238
Registered: ‎07-28-2003

Re: Linux

What do you mean, authenticate? Comcast requires no authentication past that provided internally by your cable modem. There is no software required on Linux or any other OS. Never setup LRP so I can't comment on that, my firewall is in my wireless router. My Red Hat 9 system is connected to my router and has free access to the Internet.
New Visitor
Posts: 7
Registered: ‎10-03-2003

Re: Linux

Thanks for answering, Baric; to understand what I'm trying to accomplish, some info. I have a primitive house network setup with 6 machines, 5 windows boxes, and a linux RH 9 box that I DO NOT want to allow net access to. I also share my Comcast connect via Internet Connection Sharing (I know, really not secure)from my machine where the cable modem connects. Since I've been delving into linux ( I'm still a linux noob), I ran accross the Linux Router Project; after researching it, I decided to try it. LRP basically places a stripped-down version of Debian Linux onto a floppy, and the community has tweaked it to come up with a firewall ISO setup. So what I've been trying to accomplish, is to use this as a firewall AND a router, and to allow it to pass internet access through it to my own Windows box. I CAN, using LRP, get and hold a valid IP on the box I'm using for this (an old PB P120); but my plight is to pass the same IP it gets to my Windows box; this would allow the Comcast System Agent software to acknowledge and allow my Windows box access (second step would then be to share it to the other machines).
I know this could be accomplished simply buying a router and using that, but 1.)I really don't have the cash available, as I've just been laid off; and 2.) I'm using this as a learning experience to further my Linux knowledge.
Again, thanks for your reply; if you have any suggestions on how to pass the ip, I'd appreciate it.
New Visitor
Posts: 12
Registered: ‎11-19-2003

Re: Linux

Howdy,

I did much the same as you only I used a Freesco router on a floppy running on an old 233mhz Athlon homemade computer. I had to use my Microshaft Windoze XP Laptop to get the DNS addresses etc. I'm using 3 RH Linux computers and 1 XP desktop connected to the Freesco (http://www.freesco.org) router using a Linksys 8 port hub. It's worked continuously since the first boot up about 8 months ago. The Freesco router is completely trouble free. I had the comcast "engineer" come by and troubleshoot the connection (they had a signal problem) and he was amazed that my computer would work at all! (I was using the BSOD screen saver on my RH 9 box ...he thought my computer was crashing over and over again!!)....I go tthe IP addresses from the MS laptop using ipconfig/all in DOS I think...it's been quite a while ago...I do know that if I need to reconfigure this thing I'll have to re-install the comcast spyware back on my laptop to get those addresses again. I'm not sure but does anybody know if Comcast changes their DNS addresses very often. I'm told that the IP addresses will change once in a while but they couldn't answer any questions about DNS. (I don't think they know what DNS means!)

Cheers,

Keep pushing Linux!



Rick
New Visitor
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎11-20-2003

Re: Linux

On the SMOOTHWALL LINUX setup do you have to set external NIC to specfic IP (static)? I have used IPCOP and smoothwall for 5 years with MODEM but just signed on to COMCAST cable modem.

So I am not familar with this type of setup so I am looking for some help. I know all the MAC stuff and routing with WIN/LIN already.

Such as when COMCAST sees the LINUX box does it care about username such as *******@comcase.net?

Does the linux box HOSTNAME have to be set to whatever@camcast.net?

THANK YOU.
New Visitor
Posts: 9
Registered: ‎11-20-2003

Re: Linux

Just to throw in my two cents.

I'm running (although not currently, as the Comcast network is having problems in my area) a Red Hat Linux 9 system on Comcast internet. I would recommend that you use the Ethernet interface on your cable modem if you try to install it, as it is much easier to try setting up networking on /dev/eth0 instead of wherever the device shows up on the USB bus (Never used the USB interface as kudzu didn't even pick it up at all, so I went and did the old fashioned networking install). The only problems that I have seen have been with the Comcast network, and not necessarily with the system itself. I also recently installed a Slackware 9 system to act as a NAT Translator/Firewall. Works great.

I do have to echo those comments about finding tech support for Linux. If you find one, consider yourself really lucky. With my experiences, I've yet to find someone who was competent with Windows! I've finally given up calling, unless I'm calling for a credit, but those don't usually measure up in terms of lost productivity.

So if you want a system that does everything (Web Server, File Server, General Purpose Computer, SETI Client...etc) get a Linux system. If you can wade past the lack of "tech support" then I'm sure you will find that the water's just fine.
Networking Expert
Baric
Posts: 24,238
Registered: ‎07-28-2003

Re: Linux

ah SETI...5642 WU and counting...
New Visitor
spazdaddy
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎12-27-2011

Re: Linux

[ Edited ]

BobT wrote:
To answer your questions, No, and Yes. NO you are not going to get Comcast to support Linux at least not officially. If you have the luck of a Lotto winner then you might find someone at Comcast support to help you out but for the millions of other users this won't happen.

Yes, Linux will run just fine with the Comcast broadband network. My Linux computers have no problems whatsoever with the Comcast system.

Contrary to what others have suggested that you keep a Windows box around when you need support, I have not had any Comcast support people display any strong technical skills with this OS either. The only skill I have seen level one support demonstrate is that they can read the script (reboot modem, reboot computer, see, it is all fixed, have a nice day, goodbye).

My experience has been that if you have a problem and you can't troubleshoot it yourself and fix it then the only way Comcast will be able to fix it is if they send someone out and even that is a crapshoot.

   Concisely put Bob, that has been my experience as well. The only thing I'll bother to talk to tech support about is to determine the cause and expected length of a service outage. Beyond that they don't really have much to offer.

   I've never been in a situation where I actually needed windoze for anything, Comcast related or otherwise.

I made a clean break with m$ about 4 yrs. ago and in that time I have never even once thought, "Dang, I wish I had a windoze setup to do this." Although, I will admit that in my very first year with Linux I maintained a dual boot, but I was intent on figuring out how to use Linux for everything and ended up never using my w7 install anyway. IMHO a clean break is always better.

   Linux can pretty much do most anything any other OS can do, often much better, it's only real limitation is the user.

Connection Expert
EG
Posts: 41,832
Registered: ‎12-24-2003

Re: Linux

Eight year old thread closed.