SUMMARY Re: SLIP implementations

Date: Mon Mar 02 1992 - 13:46:25 CST

My orriginal Query:

> I need to find a SLIP implementation I can run on a SUN
> Workstation (SunOS 4.1.1, Arch=sun4c/sun4) If anyone has any
> experience with implementations of SLIP for the above hardware/
> software I would appreciate hearing from them, I also need to know
> prices and availability (i.e. How and Where do I get it), performance
> info, problems had etc.

        First of all thank-you for everybodies replies (I received
    info from the following:
                Bill Morrow <>
                Gustavo Vegas <>
                Chuck Yerkes <>
                Grep Skinner <>
                Kevin Sheehan <>
                Tim Miller <>
                Craig Hunt <>
                Dan Lorenzini <>
                Matt Crawford <>
                Scott Muir <muir@wdceng.uucp>
                Richard Wong <>
                Bob Sutterfield <>
                Paul Lind <pl!>

        Several different PD implementations of SLIP, or locations
    where implementations could be found, were suggested by various
    people these included:
                slip-attach - Used previously by Bill Morrow
       - also has PD PPP
                                - this was mailed to me as well,
                                  apparently requires SunOS 4.1.1
                                  patch 100149-02 (mclput)
        Kevin Sheehan sent me a summary (included below) that was
    posted to sun-managers reciently that also mentioned that PC-NFS
    came with SLIP and that FTP software has a product that supports
    PPP, and that PD KA9Q can do PPP but has no NFS. But that the
    author had no experence with any of these.

        Many people who responded (Gustavo Vegas, Chuck Yerkes, Kevin
    Sheehan, Tim Miller, Scott Muir, and Richard Wong) said that PPP
    was the way to go (the wave of the future etc.)

        Two people (Scott Muir and Tim Miller) had said that they had
    tried the PD SLIP/PPP route but had ended up going with a
    comercial product from MorningStar Tech. Richard Wong also
    suggested MorningStar's PPP. Both Scott and Tim were, relativly,
    enthusiastic about MorningStar's product and the support provided.

        Finally Bob Sutterfield (He works for MorningStar, and was
    recomeneded as a contact by both Scott and Tim) sent me a fact
    sheet on MorningStar's product (included below, also included are
    Tim's and Scott's replies)

        Paul Lind also sent me an article describing some hardware
    solutions, this article is also included below.

              Many Thanks to all who responded to my request.

        My own interpertation of the resposes is that PPP is the way
    to go and MorningStar is the way to get there. (if anyone wants a
    copy of the original set of replies, please mail me)

Michael A. Thompson |*| SCA: Deormod Hathuwiges sunu|*|Have
Iotek Inc, 1127 Barrington St. |*| Phone: (902)420-1890 |*| a
Halifax, N.S., B3H 2P8, Canada |*| Fax: (902)420-0674 |*| Good
   E-Mail: |*| Home: (902)466-2868 |*| Day :-)

Kevin Sheehan's response:

> This question (and summary) came out recently. For your amusement.
> From: fourx!!benson
> Message-Id: <>
> To:
> Subject: PPP and friends, summary
> Status: OR
> Here goes:
> So you want TCP/IP over serial lines. First, a little history:
> first there was slip. Slip sent raw IP packets over serial lines.
> That consumes bandwidth in wholesale quantities. It had no error
> checking.
> Then Van Jacobson (I've probably mispelled him) went to work on ,
> amongst other things, IP compression. He produced cslip. Far as I can
> tell, cslip, for Compressed Slip, was almost instantly rendered
> obsolete by PPP, for Point to Point Protocol. PPP is the official
> serial IP protocol blessed by the people who bless such things.
> For sun's, there's a PD PPP available on uunet. I'm using it
> as I type this between a sun3 in my house and an IPC at my office,
> over a brace of T1600's with quite respectable performance, so long
> as I don't try to do anything much else at the same time as a big
> file copy.
> I haven't tried NFS yet.
> X works pretty good, though line editors like bash are slugish.
> In my initial message, I asked about PC's.
> PC-NFS comes with plain old slip. I haven't tried it.
> FTP software's product can come with PPP. I also haven't tried it.
> The public domain KA9Q can do PPP, I'm told, but it has no NFS.
> So the summary of the summary is: PPP is the wave of the future.

Tim Miller's response:

> Mike,
> We recently got PPP up and running on our Sun systems. Someone else here
> actually set it up, but these are the details he told me. We bought the
> software from Morning Star. The guy that set it up said that the support is
> excellent. PPP is a superset of SLIP and I here a replacement for it. You can
> email Morning Star and get all kinds of information from them. Their email
> address is:
> ppp-users-request@MorningStar.Com
> A technical contact we have delt with is:
> Bob Sutterfield <bob@MorningStar.Com>
> You can get SLIP or PPP over the net somewhere, but then you have to compile it
> and all. We tried this at first, but it was like trying to get readnews up and
> running when you know nothing about it, so we went with buying it from this
> company.
> We haven't experienced any problems with it. We have used it from a PC to the
> SUN to connect and run an application that accesses files on the SUN from the
> PC.
> Hope this helps,
> Tim Miller,

Scott Muir's response:

> I would recommend that you at least check out the Morningstar Tech.
> PPP/SLIP offering. You do have to pay for it, the price being listed
> at $795.00 (US).
> I invested some time with a PD SLIP, and ran into a few problems. With
> the Morningstar stuff, it worked "out of the box". The people at
> Morningstar are very accessible and helpful.
> Their software is more oriented towards PPP, but they do have a SLIP
> mode, and it works quite well. I've used it with NCD X Terminals,
> a Telebit Netblazer, and other Suns.
> Call Bob Sutterfield or Jamie Laskie (I think that was the name).
> I believe Bob is one of the principals there, and Jamie is the salesperson.
> When I ran into a problem, they went so far as to provide me with one
> of their programmers home phone numbers...
> They operate a mailing list you might want to join. Seems that their
> programming staff consists of several of the people that have put out
> some of the PD stuff. The Morningstar package has nice documentation
> (with warnings about what works in other implementations, etc.), some
> neat demand dial features, and good packet filtering/logging capabilities.
> The debug features are great, and come in handy when the other end of
> the line isn't quite right...
> Their number is (614) 451-1883. They are very nice about doing evaluations,
> and their licensing policies are reasonable.
> Hope this helps.
> -Scott
> Western Digital Corporation
> 8105 Irvine Center Drive
> Irvine, CA 92718
> (714) 932-6764
> sunkist!dasun!

Bob Sutterfield's response:

> Several SLIP implementations are available for free - for example
> or*slip* or
> Some of them may even run on a SPARC, or
> under 4.1.1, and may continue to run or be ported to future revisions
> of SunOS. All of them will require some considerable amount of work
> on your part to install, test, and support in the future.
> If you want something with lots more features, amazing support, good
> documentation, and more modern protocols, and is undergoing continuing
> development, please consider our PPP/SLIP product. I'll append our
> spec sheet below, which includes pointers to further information.
> Morning Star PPP At A Glance (PPP version 1.2.1, Jan 29 1992)
> Standards Support:
> - The Internet standard Point to Point Protocol (PPP), as defined in
> RFCs 1171 and 1172 and updated in more recent drafts, providing
> - link-level error detection
> - IP address negotiation and assignment
> - PPP Address/Control field and Protocol field compression
> - link-level authentication by PAP (RFC 1172) and CHAP (October 1991 Draft)
> - link status monitoring by LQM (August 1991 LCP Draft)
> - All PPP features except 32-bit FCS negotiation
> - The popular Serial Line Internet Protocol (SLIP), as described in RFC 1055
> Optimal Performance:
> - `VJ' TCP packet header compression as described in RFC 1144
> - TCP interactive `fast queue' management
> - Asynchronous speeds as high as <sys/ttydev.h> provides, usually 38400
> - Synchronous speeds to T1 (1.544 Mb/sec) or CEPT (2.048Mb/sec) using our
> SnapLink SCSI-attached serial interface
> Ease of Management:
> - Easy and extremely flexible configuration
> - On-demand link establishment and idle line disconnection
> - Flexible "chat script" for connection establishment
> - Packet filtering and logging by protocol, source, destination, etc.
> - Flexible daemon implementation
> - Operates as either the remote (calling) or hub (answering) site
> - Uses most asynchronous modems or dedicated lines, using the workstation's
> native serial ports
> - Shares modems with other applications, such as UUCP or interactive users
> - Monitors link status, reliability, and performance
> - Multiple line failover for redundancy and high availability
> Wide industry support:
> - Currently supported on
> - SPARC (Sun-4, SPARCstation, SPARCserver, Solbourne, Tatung, CompuAdd, ...)
> - Sun-3
> - NeXT
> - DECstation/Ultrix
> - Coming soon on
> - IBM RS/6000
> - SCO Xenix
> - HP PA
> - Silicon Graphics
> - DG Aviion
> - VAXstation/Ultrix
> - BSDI on [34]86
> - Interactive UNIX
> - Interoperates with network connectivity providers
> - PSI
> - AlterNet
> - BARRnet
> - OARnet
> - Merit
> - Interoperates with other asynchronous and synchronous PPP and SLIP packages
> - Telebit NetBlazer
> - FTP Software PC/TCP
> - cisco AGS and CGS
> - 3Com NetBuilder
> - Brixton Systems BrxPPP
> - KA9Q
> - Perkins/Clements/Fox/Christy free UNIX PPP
> - Xylogics Annex terminal server
> ? cisco Systems terminal server
> ? Intercon
> ? Marble Associates
> ? Wellfleet
> ? Proteon
> ? NCSA
> ? CSnet/BBN DialupIP
> ? Xyplex terminal server
> You can get all our marketing literature and the entire user guide via
> anonymous FTP from, in either
> (nicely formatted PostScript) or
> mst-ppp-doc.shar.Z (shell archive of troff sources and more
> configuration examples); or from; or we'll
> be happy to send them to you via electronic mail or even on paper.
> For more information, contact Jamey Laskey or Dean Schell of our
> marketing group:
> Morning Star Technologies
> 1760 Zollinger Rd
> Columbus OH USA 43221
> +1 614 451 1883 (voice)
> +1 800 558 7827 (voice)
> +1 614 459 5054 (FAX)
> (e-mail)

Paul Lind's response:

> HI Mike,
> I use SLIP regularly, using two commercial products. To dial outgoing
> SLIP to another machine, I use a hardware/software box from Livingston
> Enterprises called a portmaster. It is a 10 port serial-port box that
> works via ethernet, and has SLIP protocol built-in. This is the best
> serial box I have used, though it doesn't get much press. It costs
> about $2000. (their # is 800-458-9966)
> I use this with Telebit T3000 (V.32bis) modems. Telebit also has a SLIP
> box that sells for about $4000. I have heard it works fine, too.
> On my server at work, I just use the SLIP server capability provided with
> Sun PC-NFS. (I don't use the PC's SLIP, I just installed the server code
> on our ELC). This package does not provide dial-out capability, but will
> answer an incoming call and convert the line over to SLIP. Full source is
> provided, and it didn't look too tough to modify the code for dial-out.
> To Summarize: My SS1+ at home uses the Livingston Portmaster to dial up
> the ELC at work via T3000 modems, and then switches to SLIP. I have
> had no problems.
> NOTE: Two Portmasters running at 38.4kBaud with T3000s or other V.32bis
> modems can get effective throughputs of nearly 30kBaud. Sun serial ports
> do not RTS/CTS correctly, forcing me to limit the Sun serial port to
> 19.2kBaud.
> Performance: My critical need is to access a license server so I can
> use some protected SW at home - this works fine. I use rcp to copy files
> around, and I have NFS mounted various partitions. I find rcp better,
> just because I will not accidentally access files over the serial link.
> File system access is SLOW. Absolutely no comparison to normal network
> access.
> An interactive session (ie, rlogin) is a little slower than normal serial
> dialup with tip or something, because of the tcp/ip overhead. I understand
> that there is a new protocol called PPP which reduces this overhead.
> Good luck - let me know if you need more specifics,
> Paul Lind
> Trace, Inc.
> 408-438-5404

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