Saturday, October 5, 2013

How to connect Zorin OS to a "cable" Internet?

Fine, I admit that this is not the most inspired title, but I simply couldn't find any other to be more concise and non-geeky in the same time. The proper title would probably sound like this: "How to connect your Linux (Zorin OS) PC to the internet using a DSL connection, etc, etc". Does DSL sounds more interesting and misterious? Yes, it does. Does it illuminate you? Nope! Me neither. LOL So, I think we will drop the geeky language, OK? OK!

About two weeks ago, after a long and agonizing lack of internet connection and other technological miracles of our century, and after an unexpected and blessed help, I could set up again my home Internet connection. Well, only in theory. Because, practically, I had to make the Internet connection by myself without much help from my Internet provider. (Today I still don't have Wi-Fi connection, by the way).

But let's stop rambling. So, here I was, having one notebook with Zorin OS installed on it, one internet cable and one ZTE modem. And the internet provider: RDS-RCS.

If you have the same provider like me, and you are in my situation, I hope that my article will spare you of the long numerous and annoying conversations with the one-neuron-ed girl from their help desk who always tells - in a polite way, of course - that everything is fine with your connection but you are stupid enough not to see that; and in order to get some help to make the proper settings for your connection you'll have to pay (something that you already paid for!).

So, here is how I did and I tell you to do if you desperately need an internet connection and your only option for the moment is the good old cable way.

First of all, you have to know that in Zorin OS your connection status is shown in the down-right part of the screen, near the sound, clock, and other stuff, like in Windows, and if you are not connected you will see a little white "x" on a red dot.

Connection, sound, clock and date in Zorin OS
Connection, sound, clock and date in Zorin OS


That is the Network Connections app. You can open it by right-clicking on the icon or by following the path:

Start - All Applications - System Tools - Preferences - Network Connections 

See bellow on my screen.

How to open the Network Connection app in Zorin OS
How to open the Network Connection app in Zorin OS

Once opened, you'll see a window like the one bellow. If you see any "Auto Ethernet" connection, ignore it, you don't have anything to do with it. On the other hand, I know that you might be tempted to connect by using the "Wired" connection. This is how I did at first, assuming that this is the correct choice (after all, I was dealing with a cable, wasn't I?). But I was wrong, so don't repeat my mistake. Just go to the tab labelled "DSL" and click on it.

Open Network Connections and click DSL tab

After you open the DSL tab click the "Add" button in order to create the new connection which will be automatically named "DSL connection 1".
Note: in the image bellow there is already a connection because I took a picture from my own system, but for the sake of pedagogy, let's pretend that there isn't any connection. So, as I told you, click on "Add"...

In the DSL tab click on Add button to create a new connection

After that, a new window will open with four tabs. In the first one, called DSL, write your username and your password given to you by your Internet provider (this data are in your contract). Don't write anything near "Space" and also keep untouched the other tabs. After that, make sure that you click on the "Save..." button.
Note: In my example here, I clicked cancel because it was a bogus connection - see the DSL connection 2 label. But you click on "Save...".

Write the username and password given by the provider and click Save
Write the username and password given by the provider and click Save

And then click "Close".

YOu've created the connection. Now Close!
Now, you have created the connection but you have to enable it and connect to the Internet, in order to actually start using it. So, as I have already told you at the beginning of this post, go to the connection icon and right click on it and then click on "Enable Networking", like in the screen-shot below.

Right-click on connection icon and click on "Enable Networking"

The icon will change its shape, showing you that the computer is trying to connect automatically. Don't rely on that as it is mostly useless. Once again, right-click on the icon and choose "DSL connection 1".

Right-click and then click on "DSL connection 1"
After the connection will be established, you will be announced in the nicest visual way on the right-top of the screen.

You are announced that now you are connected
And that's it! Now you can surf on the internet! If, in the future you want to edit the connection or, for some reason, you want to see the connection settings, you can see them either by following the path showed at the beinning of this post, or by right-clicking on the connection icon and choosing "Edit Connections...". See below.

It's easy to see the connection setting.
That should be all! These are the steps you have to take if you wont to connect, if your Internet is provided by RDS-RCS company and your laptop / netbook / notebook runs Zorin OS.

The information provided here is not meant to be applicable in all the situations. If you have a different provider or a different modem, things could be different. I am explaining here only what it did worked for me in my particular case.

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