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Thread: Internet Connection Sharing Documentation

  1. #1
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    Internet Connection Sharing Documentation

    Hello all,

    During my unanswered posts tracking I'm seeing rather a lot of threads posted to the wireless and networking forum about sharing an internet connection on a home network (ICS). I'm sure there are many reasons for the increase in these posts. Maybe it's because we are seeing a growth in users with multiple computers who can't afford or simply don't want to buy a switch/router, who knows?

    What it does indicate is that either the current method is too hard for new users, the documentation is not good enough or it's just too difficult to find.

    The first of these can probably be dealt with by helping users through the process on an individual case by case basis, but this takes a lot of resources. So ideally I think it would be best to try and improve the documentation we already have and make it more accessible.

    The best of the current documentation that I have found are as follows.

    This wiki page contains a wealth of information, but it suffers from bad formatting and is in great need of a clean up. The difficulty is in clarifying the material without sacrificing depth. Initially I pointed most users to Firestarter, as that's what I first used. Unfortunately it doesn't work in all cases and can sometimes create even more problems due to the restrictive firewall rules. Though it's still the easiest solution to former windows users.
    https://help.ubuntu.com/community/In...nectionSharing

    I found this wiki page only recently and found it is easy to follow but too specific in most places and lacking the formal tone of good, solid, easily translatable documentation.
    https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Ea...nectionSharing

    This wiki page is more generically focused on configuring a router and as such is a little beyond the scope of what a simply ICS guide should contain. Though it is well written and does provide some good background information and examples.
    https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Router

    There is also this excellent forum thread that contains a great script for automating the configuration of NAT and port forwarding. It is however a little verbose for beginners.
    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=111972

    Of course this functionality should be built in to GNOME's network-admin capplet or Network Manager, indeed I believe it has been discussed on the mailing lists. However, until a proper solution is found I think it would be a good idea to create a central resource from the above guides. Perhaps a clean up of the main ICS page in the wiki?

    Anyone willing to help?

    Thanks
    UP Team member

  2. #2
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    Ubuntu 5.10

    Re: Internet Connection Sharing Documentation

    "..... Initially I pointed most users to Firestarter, as that's what I first used. Unfortunately it doesn't work in all cases and can sometimes create even more problems due to the restrictive firewall rules. Though it's still the easiest solution to former windows users.
    https://help.ubuntu.com/community/In...nectionSharing
    .."

    due to the difficulties with getting on line for some machines in the house, I've started to look for solutions. I tried to follow the Firestarter info, but found that for Ubuntu you can get it for 4.10 and 5.4, but nothing after that? Is that correct? Or maybe I just haven't found them, yet?

    And a very dumb question here but in this:

    Key Features

    *Suitable for use on desktops, servers and gateways
    *Enables Internet connection sharing
    * Allows you to define both inbound and outbound access policy
    *Wizard for easily configuring your firewall
    * Sets up DHCP for a local network
    *Real time firewall events view
    *View active network connections, including any traffic routed through the firewall

    The first line that says it's suitable for use on "desktops".....etc.
    Is that literal as in you can't use it for a laptop?

    Thanks for your answer, and thanks for starting this project!

    babysteps

  3. #3
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    Re: Internet Connection Sharing Documentation

    Firestarter is available on all Ubuntu releases in the universe repository. Though it hasn't seen any significant updates for nearly two years (since Breezy).

    There is no reason why it wouldn't work on a laptop, I believe the reason it wasn't specifically mentioned was that laptops aren't typically used as a router/server due to their mobility advantage.

    I am hoping that this team can do more than just answer posts. It seems like a waste of time trying to fight a never ending battle. To me it makes more sense to attempt to reduce the number of easily solved problems and improving documentation is one way this can be achieved.
    UP Team member

  4. #4
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    Ubuntu Development Release

    Re: Internet Connection Sharing Documentation

    I am hoping that this team can do more than just answer posts. It seems like a waste of time trying to fight a never ending battle. To me it makes more sense to attempt to reduce the number of easily solved problems and improving documentation is one way this can be achieved.
    Agreed.

    By the look of your first post, it seems that you are coming up across a bunch of threads like these. If you have found a common solution, whether it is a list of links from the wiki or instructions, feel free to check out the Canned Responses section:
    https://wiki.ubuntu.com/UnansweredPostsTeam/Canned/

    Anything on the Responses subpage on that wiki is automatically pulled into the extension. I haven't really publicized it much yet since I am still tweaking with the script. I'll make an announcement on the forums whenever it is finished.

    As for the wiki pages on ICS, again I couldn't agree more. Although, I am curious on what troubles you are having with Firestarter. I am on a laptop myself, and I can use ICS just by using the Firestarter GUI.

    Jacob

  5. #5
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    Re: Internet Connection Sharing Documentation

    Hi I wrote something back in late 2005 that is along these lines.
    It was written for beginners setting up ICS for the first time.

    More specifically, I wrote it to connect an original xbox to a computer via ethernet,
    and then connect the PC to the internet.

    I used firestarter to do all the heavy lifting

    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=103881

    I hope this will help some,

    Cheers.
    The most likely way for the world to be destroyed, most experts agree, is by accident. That's where we come in; we're computer professionals. We cause accidents.

    Nathaniel Borenstein

  6. #6
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    Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala

    Re: Internet Connection Sharing Documentation

    Since sharing Internet connection requires nothing more than NAT configuration with ipchains, the option to share internet connection should be included within Network Manager applet as simple checkbox.

    That is what Vista users will expect and it is really convenient to have an ICS option there.

    Firestarter is an overkill, and in my case, it screwed up my network connection completely (I have computer with one network card and VPN connection to my ISP). That gives us dynamically assigned IP on my eth0 interface and VPN PPTP connection on ppp0. Home LAN is supposed to be configured on eth0:1 logical interface.

    Neither Network Manager or Firestarter could deal with logical interfaces but I will be happy for laptop users with wireless cards if they could easily share their ethernet based Internet connection over wireless home LAN. Any ideas on how it can be implemented with Network Manager applet? Maybe to have a top level menu item that says "Share network connection" and then present the user with the dialog to choose "From" and "To" interfaces, "From" being connected to the Internet. Then there should be an option to stop sharing, also activated on Internet disconnect (to handle cases when ppp0 interface cease to exist).

  7. #7
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    Re: Internet Connection Sharing Documentation

    I just went through the server configuration of the ICS wiki with an eye toward organizational changes and parallel structure. I broke things down a bit by adding a few helpful headings. I also corrected the confusing iptables commands.

    In the very near future, I also intend to spend some time on the client side as well as clean up the "other approaches" sub section as I get time.

    This is my first major wiki edit, so I'm glad to have input. It's not perfect, but it's a start.
    Last edited by dmizer; July 21st, 2008 at 08:37 AM. Reason: included ics wiki link

  8. #8
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    Re: Internet Connection Sharing Documentation

    I need to connect a xbox to a ubuntu machine in rear of house wireless to ubuntu machine and lan to xbox 360 but found fire starter unable to make connection and made wireless to ubuntu extra slow less than 900bytes transfer at best any ideas or how to make work in simple wording would help

  9. #9
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    Re: Internet Connection Sharing Documentation

    Quote Originally Posted by lincoln32 View Post
    I need to connect a xbox to a ubuntu machine in rear of house wireless to ubuntu machine and lan to xbox 360 but found fire starter unable to make connection and made wireless to ubuntu extra slow less than 900bytes transfer at best any ideas or how to make work in simple wording would help
    okay, have you looked at the wiki article?

    if so, what points do you think need clarity?

  10. #10
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    Re: Internet Connection Sharing Documentation

    Cleaned up the client configuration section, and rewrote the introduction. I felt as though the original introduction was cryptic and far from helpful.

    Client section now includes concrete configuration examples which match the server configuration section.

    I also included some external links to aid in understanding terminology.

    My next step will be to provide good documentation for alternative configurations, as well as to give a few advanced configuration examples.

    Looking for testers to provide feedback on the documentation. Thank you.
    Last edited by dmizer; July 21st, 2008 at 08:39 AM.

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