OS/2: How to set up a DSL-Internet-Connection

Lutz Wagner, Hamburg
Latest rev.: November,2001


  1. It really is (astonishingly!) simple.
  2. This text does not cover the DSL-topic completely; it only describes the one specific case, which was given in my situation (but which I belive is not technically specific at all):
    • Carrier: Deutsche Telekom ('T-DSL')
    • Provider: T-Online AG ('DSL-Flat')
    • System: OS/2 Warp 4.51 (Conv.Pak) (Details...)
  3. For a broader discussion of the DSL-problem and other solutions refer to the OS/2 xDSL Experiences (aus VOICE, Jan.2001)
  4. The solution which is presented here ist by no means the only one possible; it is just the way it goes on my system.


  1. Required Hardware:
    • Ethernet Adapter with OS/2 NDIS-driver. In my case: RealTek 8139
    • DSL-Equipment from your carrier (DSL-splitter und DSL-modem)

  2. Required OS/2-Software:
    • SafeFire. Visit the SafeFire-Site, choose the 'SafeFire PPP' product for download. (Some use InJoy, others ISDNPM instead of SafeFire, maybe there are still more alternatives. As for my part, SafeFire is the product of choice, it is easy to handle and functions well.
      SafeFire is a multipurpose program. On one hand it contains the required PPPoE-protocoll driver (PPP over Ethernet), on the other hand it serves as a front-end to establish the internet-connection (to call SafeFire a 'dialer' would be incorrekt, as you do not 'dial' with xDSL. Instead DSL is a true network connection, i.e. it is 'always there'.)
      SafeFire is shareware, you should register it after 30 days. If you don't then the program will loose some of its functionality, but will still fulfill its main purpose.
    • Ethernet Network Driver. You need an NDIS-driver for OS/2 for your ethernet card which must be included in your Config.sys.

The Doing, Step by Step:

Step-1:Install SafeFireDetails...
Step-2:Bind the PPPoE-Protocoll to the Ethernet-AdapterDetails...
Step-3:Reboot Your SystemDetails...
Step-4:Configure SafeFireDetails...
Step-5:Start Surfing!Details...




Step-1: Installation of SafeFire:

After the download of the Zip-file and unzipping it into a temporary directory you start a commandline-session. Log into the temporary directory. Enter 'Install'.
The process is very simple and need not be explained. When you are asked, if there should be a WPS-object for SafeFire created on your desktop you should answer with Y (yes).
It is being reported that SafeFire in some versions automatically starts the configuration dialog after installation. If this happens to you then you can easily perform step-4 (s. below) at this time.


Step-2: Bind the PPPoE-Protocoll to the Ethernet-Adapter:

Select 'MPTS' from the 'Configuration' folder (in 'System'-folder), click on 'Configure'.
Select "Other protocols"; a window pops up where you must enter the path of your SafeFire-NDIS-directory: "x:\SafeFire\NDIS" (where x:\SafeFire specifies drive-letter and path where you installed SafeFire). OK klicken.
After this you will find a new entry in the listbox 'Protocols': 'SafeFire FireWall Protocol'. Doubleclick on this entry. The SafeFire protocol is added to your adapter, which is shown in the listbox at the bottom of the MPTS-window.


Step-3: Reboot Your System

Because of modifications in your Config.sys.


Step-4: Configure SafeFire

As a result of the installation step you will find a new object on your desktop: 'SafeFire Link'. Doubleklicking on it will bring up the small program window. Klick on right mouse button for the context menu. Choose 'Settings...'.

  1. Select a 'Scenario': 'DSL (PPPoE) client (simple)'
  2. Type in your User-ID and Password.
    Important: After the string in 'User-ID' you must specify your provider-ID.
    The provider-ID may be an IP-address or a URL. In my case it is T-Online: t-online.de.
    As a concatenation character you must use the '@'-character.
    Finally the content in your user-ID field spells: <user-id>@t-online.de
  3. There is no need for further modifications of the Settings-notebook.

Step-5: Start Surfing!

After you're done with the configuration of SafeFire you simple click on the 'Connect'-button. If all things are correct you are online in a few seconds, what can be recognised by the 'Connect'-Button having changed to 'Hangup'.


Sources of Errors:

  • Ethernet driver not loaded
  • No provider-ID has been specified (as part of the user-ID field in the SafeFire-Settings-dialog) (ref. Step-4)
  • PPPoE-protocoll not bound to the Ethernet adapter (ref. MPTS, Step-2)
If there should be need for further analysis please read the
article from VOICE. Additionally the docs which come with the SafeFire product contain valuable informations, esp. the file index.html in x:\SafeFire\doc\eng\.


My PC-System:

OS: OS/2 Warp 4.51 Convenience Pak
CPU: AMD Thunderbird 1,2 GHz
RAM: 256 MB
Network adapter: Noname ethernet, 10/100 MBit, with RealTek 8139-Chip
Misc.: SCSI, ISDN-adapter ( now no more needed :-)) )