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ppp (Paul's PPP Package) is an open source package which implements the point-to-point protocol (PPP) on Linux and Solaris systems. It is implemented as single pppd daemon and acts as backend for xl2tpd, pptpd and netctl. 3G, L2TP and PPPoE connections are internally based on PPP protocol and therefore can be managed by ppp.


Install the ppp package.



Create the connection configuration file:

plugin pppoe.so
# rp_pppoe_ac 'your ac name'
# rp_pppoe_service 'your service name'

# network interface
# login name
name "someloginname"
# Uncomment this if you want to enable dial on demand
#idle 180

If usepeerdns option is used, pppd will create the /etc/ppp/resolv.conf file with obtained DNS addresses while establishing a connection. By default, the /etc/ppp/ip-up.d/00-dns.sh hook script moves this file to /etc/resolv.conf, allowing the system to use these name servers. If this is undesirable (e.g. you are using a local caching DNS), edit the /etc/ppp/ip-up.d/00-dns.sh as you need.

Put a line like this in /etc/ppp/pap-secrets or /etc/ppp/chap-secrets as required by the authentication method used by your ISP.

Chap should always be preferred, when possible, if aiming at security (to understand how chap works see this), however it is OK to write these two files at the same time, pppd will automatically use the appropriate one:

someloginname * yourpassword

You can now start the link using the command:

# pppd call your_provider

Alternatively, you can use this

# pon your_provider

where your_provider is the exact name of your options file in /etc/ppp/peers.

To see whether your PPPoE connection is started correctly, check the pppd output in system logs:

# journalctl -b --grep=pppd

On a successful connection, you will see something like the following:

Jul 09 22:42:33 localhost pppd[239]: Plugin rp-pppoe.so loaded.
Jul 09 22:42:33 localhost pppd[239]: RP-PPPoE plugin version 3.8p compiled against pppd 2.4.6
Jul 09 22:42:33 localhost network[184]: RP-PPPoE plugin version 3.8p compiled against pppd 2.4.6
Jul 09 22:42:33 localhost pppd[239]: pppd 2.4.6 started by root, uid 0
Jul 09 22:42:39 localhost pppd[239]: PPP session is 292
Jul 09 22:42:39 localhost pppd[239]: Connected to a0:f3:e4:4f:e3:b0 via interface enp4s0
Jul 09 22:42:39 localhost pppd[239]: Using interface ppp0
Jul 09 22:42:39 localhost pppd[239]: Connect: ppp0 <--> enp4s0
Jul 09 22:42:39 localhost pppd[239]: CHAP authentication succeeded: CHAP authentication success
Jul 09 22:42:39 localhost pppd[239]: CHAP authentication succeeded
Jul 09 22:42:39 localhost pppd[239]: peer from calling number A0:F3:E4:4F:E3:B0 authorized
Jul 09 22:42:39 localhost pppd[239]: Cannot determine ethernet address for proxy ARP
Jul 09 22:42:39 localhost pppd[239]: local  IP address
Jul 09 22:42:39 localhost pppd[239]: remote IP address
Jul 09 22:42:39 localhost pppd[239]: primary   DNS address
Jul 09 22:42:39 localhost pppd[239]: secondary DNS address

By default the configuration in /etc/ppp/peers/provider is treated as the default, so if you want to make "your_provider" the default, you can create a link like this

# ln -s /etc/ppp/peers/your_provider /etc/ppp/peers/provider

Now you can start the link by simply running:

# pon

To close a connection, use this

# poff your_provider

Easy wizard configuration

pppconfigAUR provides a dialog interface to create pppd configuration easily. The usage is as simple as running pppconfig as root and it will guide the configuration creation.

# pppconfig --dialog

The resulting configuration can be called using pon and discarded using poff as mentioned before.

Starting pppd on boot

  • Configure the ppp_generic module to load on boot. See Kernel module#systemd for more information.
  • Enable the systemd service ppp@your_provider.service.

Tips and tricks

Do an auto redial

If pppd is running, you can force a connection reset by sending the SIGHUP signal to the process:

# export PPPD_PID=$(pidof pppd)
# kill -s HUP $PPPD_PID

And you have redialed the connection.

Note: Make sure you have persist option enabled in your /etc/ppp/peers/provider tab. Additionally you might want to set holdoff 0 to reconnect without waiting.

Using cron

Note: There are many cron implementations, but none of them are installed by default as the base system uses systemd/Timers instead.

As root, do the following:

Create a bash script similar to this and give it a name (e.g. pppd_redial.sh):


message="Restarting the PPP connection @:" $(date)
pppd_id=$(pidof pppd)

kill -s HUP $pppd_id
echo $message

Give it execute permissions and put it on a path visible to root.

Then create a cron job using crontab -e. Check that your EDITOR env variable is set if the command fails. So add anywhere in the file,

0 4 * * * /bin/bash /root/pppd_redial.sh

Confirm that cronie service is up and running. If this is not the case, just enable and start it.

Save and exit. Your PPPoE connection will now restart every day at 4AM.

Using a systemd timer

An alternative way to force a reconnect is using a systemd timer and the poff script (in particular its -r option). Simply create a .service and .timer files with the same name:

Description=Reconnect PPP connections daily

OnCalendar=*-*-* 05:00:00

Description=Reconnect PPP connections

ExecStart=/usr/bin/poff -r

Now just enable and start the timer and systemd will cause a restart at the specified time.


Default route

If you have a preconfigured default route before the pppd is started, the default route is kept, so take a look in /var/log/errors.log and if you have something like:

pppd[nnnn]: not replacing existing default route via xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx

and xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx is not the correct route for you

  • Create a new script in /etc/ppp/ip-pre-up.d with this content:
/usr/bin/route del default

The factual accuracy of this article or section is disputed.

Reason: The following note was written with rc scripts in mind, is it still applicable since the switch to systemd? (Discuss in Talk:Ppp)
Note: Make sure you have a script named 'ip-pre-up' which launches *.sh in 'ip-pre-up.d' like other launch scripts do.

Masquerading seems to be working fine but some sites do not work

The MTU under pppoe is 1492 bytes. Most sites use an MTU of 1500. So your connection sends an ICMP 3:4 (fragmentation needed) packet, asking for a smaller MTU, but some sites have their firewall blocking that.

Enabling the PMTU clamping in iptables can solve that:

iptables -I FORWARD -o ppp0 -p tcp --tcp-flags SYN,RST SYN -j TCPMSS --clamp-mss-to-pmtu

Now, for some reason, just trying to save the resulting iptables configuration with iptables-save and restoring it later, does not work. It has to be executed after the other iptables configuration had been loaded. So, here is a systemd unit to solve it:

Description=PMTU clamping for pppoe

ExecStart=/usr/bin/iptables -I FORWARD -p tcp --tcp-flags SYN,RST SYN -j TCPMSS --clamp-mss-to-pmtu


And enable it.

pppd cannot load kernel module ppp_generic

When starting PPTP client, the pppd process cannot locate the appropriate module:

Couldn't open the /dev/ppp device: No such device or address
Please load the ppp_generic kernel module.

The solution is to create a /etc/modprobe.d/ppp.conf file with:

alias char-major-108 ppp_generic

The correct module will be loaded after reboot.