Q. I want to configure modem to dial out and connect to the Internet. Since I don’t have good display card, I am not using the X window system. How do I configure (external) modem to connect to the Internet using a PPP dialup account under Debian Linux?

A. It is true that dialup modems have become almost obsolete due to broadband Internet connections, there are still situations where dialup access can prove useful 🙂

Under Linux you can dial out using program called wvdial. It is a PPP dialer with built-in intelligence. It dials a modem and starts PPP in order to connect to the Internet. The connection started with wvdial can be dropped by switching back to the terminal from where it was started and pressing ctrl-C.

The default configuration file is: /etc/wvdial.conf.


Since you are using Debian Linux, use apt-get (assuming that CDROM is your source):
# apt-get install wvdial
Other Linux distribution users can download wvdial from Internet or install from your distribution CD/DVD-ROM disk.


First, make sure modem is installed and type the following command to configure the modem:
# wvdialconf /etc/wvdial.conf
Once modem is detected you need to edit /etc/wvdial.conf configuration file to specify the PPP username, password and dial out phone number.
For example:
[Dialer Defaults] Modem = /dev/ttyS1
Baud = 115200
Init1 = ATZ
Phone = 172226
Username = Your-USERNAME
Password = Your-PASSWORD

Save and close the file.
To connect to internet type command:
# wvdial
To disconnect, switch back to the terminal from where it was started and pressing CTRL+C.

See also:

  • PPP Howto (old document but contains some good stuff)

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🐧 14 comments so far... add one

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14 comments… add one
  • George Perez Aug 13, 2006 @ 19:07

    I have a linux machine with an internal modem. The linux I’m using is Ubuntu and would like to know how to connect this machine to the internet. I am not on a network, just a single linux machine.
    I appreciate your reply.
    Thank you.

  • 🐧 nixCraft Aug 13, 2006 @ 20:30

    An internal modem requires a Linux driver. The FIRST step towards finding a Linux driver is identifying the modem’s CHIPSET. I recommend visiting following url and download the scanModem tool which will help you to identifying the modem’s CHIPSET.

    More information is at http://linmodems.org/

    Another option is use lspci command to identify the modem’s chipset. Once you know the chipset, you can download & install the driver. Next, just follow the instruction mentioned here to configure PPP dial out.

  • chadrick Aug 14, 2006 @ 1:21
  • Linda Sep 12, 2006 @ 20:01


    I am able to dial out to my ISP, but I always have to type in the root password. I am on Ubuntu.

    Is there anyway to disable this?

  • 🐧 nixCraft Sep 12, 2006 @ 20:47

    You can disable it via sudo command itself. Add something as follows, first type sudo:
    sudo visudo

    Next Append text:
    username localhost= NOPASSWD: wvdial

    To use type command:
    sudo wvdial

    It will not prompt for your password.

    Hope this helps!

  • paul Jul 19, 2007 @ 12:50

    have a device call the MAGIC BEAMER i want configure it to access the net via dsl dialout user my laptop as a server.

  • Anshuman Oct 11, 2008 @ 7:36

    I have an application which sends some data to the COM port /dev/ttSy0.
    I want to get the data in the COM port which are send.

    Im not able to diplay the commands.
    Can anybody help , to get the command send as well receive at the com port. ( The device is not a modem) .

  • ramana Mar 13, 2009 @ 3:29

    i have external modem….end internal ethernet card how to configure internet in redhat 4
    i need procedure for that

  • Terry Aug 7, 2009 @ 9:29

    I hav a dell laptop wit internal modem.how may i use sim card 2connect 2 internet

  • anuraj Oct 28, 2009 @ 14:32


    I am using a BSnl ut300r2u modem which is already configured., But i dont know how yo configure redhat linux to connect to that modem for accesing the internet.please let me know.

  • Tathagata Sarkar Dec 31, 2009 @ 17:09

    I am using sidux. I am using MBrowse, my PC is dectctingit. When I am trying to open wvdial.conf it says no permission. I tried to access through root but the case is same. Please help me.

  • sudhakar Feb 12, 2010 @ 15:36

    This sudhakar .i am using fedora 12.how to configure modem in fedora 12 both gnome and terminal modes.
    can any one help for this problem.

    Thanking you,

  • abiya Sep 11, 2010 @ 9:46

    how do i connect my modem to operating system Linux automatically

  • Honey Singh Oct 28, 2015 @ 17:03

    Can anyone tell me how to create a dialup, because i am unable to access my internet without Dialup in kali linux.

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