Using the ifconfig Command

Although the ifconfig command, found under the /sbin directory, is generally used in network administration by the root operator to configure network interfaces (a skill not covered in this book; see the Linux Network Administrators Guide), you can use ifconfig to see the status of your PPP connection.This command can also be helpful when you're running programs, such as newsreaders, which appear "frozen" but are actually sending and receiving data without displaying updates on your screen. To use ifconfig, just enter the following:

# /sbin/ifconfig

lo Link encap:Local Loopback

inet addr:   Bcast: Mask: UP BROADCAST LOOPBACK RUNNING   MTU:3584 Metric:1 RX packets:17257 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 TX packets:17257 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0

ppp0 Link encap:Point-Point Protocol

inet addr: P-t-P: Mask:


RX packets:676 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0

TX packets:545 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0

The command lists the current active network interfaces. Look at the ppp0 listing, and you can see the number of bytes received and transmitted (in the form of packets) over your PPP interface. Calling the program intermittently from another console or terminal window under X shows you the progress of data being sent and received.