Ubuntu network

Gilles Gravier ggravier at fsfe.org
Tue Mar 20 06:46:32 UTC 2012

Hi, John!

On 19/03/2012 23:03, John Law wrote:
> Sorry if this is OT. I have ten PCs running Ubuntu that needs to
> connect to the Internet. I have to advise to buy either a hub, switch,
> or router. Which one is easiest to setup as my Ubuntu knowledge is
> limited?
> Is it true that I would need a server if I use a hub or switch
> (considering them as they are cheaper)?
> I already have an ethernet modem to connect to the device.

It's only OT because there is NOTHING to do on the Ubuntu side. :)

I'll start by the start. You say you have an ethernet modem. If this
really IS a modem, then it's a fairly dumb device, and you are likely to
need to buy a router. That router will take the single IP address
provided by the modem, and provide behind it a whole network for your
Ubuntu machines. Most routers can talk to ethernet modems directly using
a protocol called PPPoE. Make sure your modem and your router support
that. Chances are  (95%) this is out of the box.

Most consumer routers are also WiFi. You might (or not) want to disable
WiFi... if some of your Ubuntu machines are laptops, keep the WiFi. :)
Most routers will also need no specific LAN configurations for your
Ubuntu machines.

Most routers have a 4 port ethernet switch in the back. This is not
enough for your 10 machines. You will need to buy a switch. Since they
come in 4, 8 or 16 port versions usually, go for a 16 port to be simple.
Switches are simple devices, the router will do all the work for you.

Pull a cable form the WAN port of your router to the LAN port of your
ethernet modem.

Pull a cable from one port of your switch to one of the LAN switch ports
of your router.

Pull a cable from each of the Ubuntu machines to one of the ports on the

At this point all Ubuntu machines are on the LAN and should see the
router. You need to talk to the router (web address documented in the
user manual of the router... most likely or
http://192.1681.254/ but some router manufacturers are exotic - check
your manual). From the router administration page, make sure you
configure your WAN settings so that it talks to the Ethernet Modem
(PPPoE most likely).

You should be all set.


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