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7. FAQ

7.1 I have a winmodem. Will it work under Linux?

Probably not. Please see the section "Which Linmodem hardware is supported?" above, and check the Linux Modem Compatibility database at Rob Clark's site.

7.2 I get "NO DIALTONE".

Try setting your BIOS option from "PNP OS" to "non-PNP OS", from "Windows" to "Other OS", or the equivalent.

Conexant users: See the Conexant section, above.

7.3 I get a "device or resource busy" error.

  • If you have an ISA modem, did you use the isapnptools to allocate IRQ and DMA resources to the card? See "ISA Plug-n-Play", above, for more information.
  • Double-check that you created the device file correctly, and try to eliminate any IRQ conflicts you might have. If all looks well, but it still doesn't work, check the Linmodems.org mailing list to see if someone else has (and has perhaps fixed) the same problem, or try to fix it yourself and inform others of your results.

7.4 I get unresolved symbols when fixscripting/insmoding.

Unresolved symbols are a true danger of version mismatching and are, in general, bad, but are also almost inevitable with binary modules. If the fixscript reports unresolved symbols, or the module does not work despite the unresolved symbols, you may be out of luck with that kernel/module combination; however, a few common cases involve symbols like:

  • slhc_xxxx: You probably need to insmod the slhc module before inserting the modem/ppp modules; using modprobe rather than insmod should also obviate this problem.
  • printk, jiffies: Your kernel may be compiled with SMP enabled. None of the binary modules are known to be SMP-safe, and will probably only work on a single-processor machine with a single-processor kernel, i.e. SMP disabled. You should try recompiling your kernel or otherwise obtaining a version with SMP disabled. (Thanks to Tom Reinertson (treinertson(at)uswest.net))
  • tty_xxxx with esscom.o: Earlier fixscripts were not able to handle the version-specific symbols in this module. More recent versions are available at http://www.test.dclabs.com.au/linmodem/fixscript) which should be able to fix this module as well.
If a module works in an unstable fashion, it could be that, under some circumstances, you are avoiding those symbols, while in others, you slam up against them. Try out different ppp dialup programs (wvdial, kppp), which call a different set of functions under similar conditions. It is also possible that the fixscript, which was designed for the lucent module, is not "fixing" the symbols used in your module. If you find no combination that works, consider "downgrading" to a kernel which has a closer version match to that of the module.

7.5 My PCTel modem doesn't work.

  • Do you need to give the module a country code parameter? See the appendix.
  • Are you using the right driver module? There are a few PCTel drivers around (see the section "Which Linmodem hardware is supported?" above). You might try one of the others and see if that helps.

7.6 The modem dials and connects fine, but then it drops the connection.

This is an often-reported problem that may have a few, or no, solutions:

  1. It is possible that the module is installed correctly and is working, but that you have a problem with your ppp configuration. In particular, if you find an error in the log along the lines of "peer is not authorized," try changing "auth" to "noauth" in /etc/ppp/options, and/or commenting out "auth" and "lock" (by placing a '#' at the beginning of the line). Corel has a FAQ entry at http://linux.corel.com/support/html/9314.htm about this.
  2. It has been reported that, with some kernel/module mismatches, a program like kppp will give this error, while an alternative like wvdial does not, for the same modules and hardware. You may wish to try a different ppp dialer and see if that helps.
  3. Lastly, there is the potential relationship with sound support. Comparing functionality of ltmodem.o with/without sound support in the kernels, dial-in is OK, but ppp is NOT achieved for the kernel without sound support.

    Most Linux distributions do deposit a kernel configuration file along with the kernel. For Debian related distributions, it is the file

    The positive choices can be quickly displayed with:
      grep SOUND /boot/config-version |grep -v not
    For the specific example of a 2.2.17 version:

    # grep SOUND  /boot/config-2.2.17 |grep -v not

    Either CONFIG_SOUND=m or CONFIG_SOUND=yes would show that the kernel has sound support (as would simple sound output).

    If none of these helps, you may wish to consider trying to use a kernel version which is closer to the module. Otherwise, try the mailing list at Linmodems.org for help.

7.7 I get a kernel panic on closing the connection or unloading the driver.

There are a couple of possible solutions to this, neither of which may work:

  • Try a different ppp dialer (wvdial, kppp).
  • Configure the module so that it stays in the kernel, i.e. so that it is not unloaded.

7.8 Nothing seems to work. To whom can I turn for help?

  • Double-check that the modem you have is actually supported by the module you have. See "Which Linmodem Hardware Is Supported?" above.
  • Try to determine at which stage of the installation process things break down. Check the man pages on the commands used in that stage and see if you can determine the source of the problem.

If all seems lost, please see the section "Troubleshooting", below , and consider sending a message with the complete information described there to the mailing list at Linmodems.org.

7.9 Who wrote the driver for my winmodem, and how do I contact him/her?

If a contact address is not given above, you can in general assume that it was probably somebody on contract to the manufacturer, who probably does not have the authority the update/release/change the source code, and who probably doesn't have time to reply to your email in any case. See, for example, http://lwn.net/1999/1209/a/lucent.html

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