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Date:	Thu, 28 Feb 2008 09:27:03 +0000
From:	James Chapman <>
To:	Dan Williams <>
CC:	Kevin Lloyd <>,
Subject: Re: Network device driver with PPP

Dan Williams wrote:
> On Wed, 2008-02-27 at 17:28 -0800, Kevin Lloyd wrote:
>> Hi all,
>> I have a device that is currently supported via a combination of loading the device with usb-serial (drivers/usb/serial/sierra) to expose the serial ports and connecting by manually launching pppd.
>> I would like to support this device in a network driver as opposed to a serial driver in an effort to offer a seamless always-on device, such as an Ethernet device.
>> From what I understand the ppp support in the kernel is only for ppp framing and that all control (e.g., IPCP) is done in user-space via pppd. Are there any network drivers that currently manage the ppp connection (entirely, IPCP included) internally to the driver and expose either a raw ip or ethernet stream to the user-space?
> That seems quite icky to do all in kernel space and a pile of code
> running in the kernel.  What's so wrong with userspace?  Don't you need
> to push values to the driver like username/password and get IP config
> out of it (which would involve userspace anyway)?  It just seems like
> there's a different solution to your actual problem here than stuff all
> off pppd into kernel space.

I agree.

Kevin mentions manually launching pppd and the desire for a seamless 
always-on device. I think this could be done using udev/hotplug rules to 
launch/stop pppd automatically when the usb device is hot-plugged. No 
additional kernel support needed.

James Chapman
Katalix Systems Ltd
Catalysts for your Embedded Linux software development

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