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PPPCTL(8) DragonFly System Manager's Manual PPPCTL(8)
pppctl -- PPP control program
pppctl [-v] [-t n] [-p passwd] [host:]Port | LocalSocket
This utility provides command line control of the ppp(8) daemon. Its
primary use is to facilitate simple scripts that control a running dae-
The pppctl utility is passed at least one argument, specifying the socket
on which ppp is listening. Refer to the `set server' command of ppp for
details. If the socket contains a leading '/', it is taken as an
AF_LOCAL socket. If it contains a colon, it is treated as a host:port
pair, otherwise it is treated as a TCP port specification on the local
machine (127.0.0.1). Both the host and port may be specified numerically
if you wish to avoid a DNS lookup or don't have an entry for the given
port in /etc/services.
All remaining arguments are concatenated to form the command(s) that will
be sent to the ppp daemon. If any semi-colon characters are found, they
are treated as command delimiters, allowing more than one command in a
given `session'. For example:
pppctl 3000 set timeout 300\; show timeout
Don't forget to escape or quote the ';' as it is a special character for
If no command arguments are given, pppctl enters interactive mode, where
commands are read from standard input. When reading commands, the
editline(3) library is used, allowing command-line editing (with
editrc(5) defining editing behaviour). The history size defaults to 20
The following command line options are available:
-v Display all data sent to and received from the ppp daemon. Nor-
mally, pppctl displays only non-prompt lines received. This
option is ignored in interactive mode.
-t n Use a timeout of n instead of the default 2 seconds when connect-
ing. This may be required if you wish to control a daemon over a
slow (or even a dialup) link.
Specify the password required by the ppp daemon. If this switch
is not used, pppctl will prompt for a password once it has suc-
cessfully connected to ppp.
The following environment variables are understood by pppctl when in
EL_SIZE The number of history lines. The default is 20.
EL_EDITOR The edit mode. Only values of "emacs" and "vi" are accepted.
Other values are silently ignored. This environment variable
will override the bind -v and bind -e commands in ~/.editrc.
If you run ppp in -auto mode, pppctl can be used to automate many fre-
quent tasks (you can actually control ppp in any mode except interactive
mode). Use of the -p option is discouraged (even in scripts that aren't
readable by others) as a ps(1) listing may reveal your secret.
The best way to allow easy, secure pppctl access is to create a local
server socket in /etc/ppp/ppp.conf (in the correct section) like this:
set server /var/run/internet "" 0177
This will instruct ppp to create a local domain socket, with srw-------
permissions and no password, allowing access only to the user that
invoked ppp. Refer to the ppp(8) man page for further details.
You can now create some easy-access scripts. To connect to the internet:
test $# -eq 0 && time=300 || time=$1
exec pppctl /var/run/internet set timeout $time\; dial
exec pppctl /var/run/internet set timeout 300\; close
To check if the line is up:
pppctl -p '' -v /var/run/internet quit | grep ^PPP >/dev/null
if [ $? -eq 0 ]; then
echo Link is up
echo Link is down
You can even make a generic script:
exec pppctl /var/run/internet "$@"
You could also use pppctl to control when dial-on-demand works. Suppose
you want ppp to run all the time, but you want to prevent dial-out
between 8pm and 8am each day. However, any connections active at 8pm
should continue to remain active until they are closed or naturally time
A cron(8) entry for 8pm which runs
pppctl /var/run/internet set filter dial 0 deny 0 0
will block all further dial requests, and the corresponding 8am entry
pppctl /var/run/internet set filter dial -1
will allow them again.
ps(1), editline(3), editrc(5), services(5), ppp(8)
The pppctl utility first appeared in FreeBSD 2.2.5.
DragonFly 3.9 June 26, 1997 DragonFly 3.9