Connecting a linux machine to Vodafone full fibre pppoe

The roll-out of full Fibre1 to the premises in Urban Britain is underway in earnest. If you want to use a Linux
box (including tv-box, STB etc as well as PC) as a 3rd-party router or for spare backup device, its not as
straight forward as it is with virgin cable. Thereís a bit more to just plugging in an ethernet cable but no
longer is the added complication seen with xDSL due to the absence of VLANs. Follow these steps to get connected.

This is based on Vodafone superfast 1 broadband over Openreach FTTP into a Nokia ONT replacing a
THG3000 router/wireless AP. No provision for POTs/voice analogue phone is provided. Ubuntu/Debian based is
the target distribution but could be used for others such as Fedora once the relevant packages have been located
as the commands issued to run the tools should be the same. Config locations may vary.

1. Use Vodafone customer service webchat and ask for the PPPoE username
and password to configure third party router on your line and paste in the URL into the chat.

2. The username needs to be in the format: once provided by cs.

3. Plug your straight ethernet cable from the ONT into the RJ-45 port of your chosen box.

4. From the linux command line, install ppp daemon - apt-get install ppp.

5. Make sure you are running a kernel the with relevant ppp kernel modules included (eg ppp_async). Take a
look in /lib/modules/`uname -r`. You don't need 8021q as no VLAN is needed for fibre broadband (empirically).

6. Install roaring penguin pppoe client: apt-get install pppoe (dnf install rp-pppoe on Fedora).

7. Run pppoe-setup to configure - just need username and password from 1 & 2. Config is written to /etc/ppp/pppoe.conf
and the chap password is stored under that directory.

8. Bring up with pppoe-start. pppope-stop and pppoe-status are useful and possibly plog. Default mtu 1492
worked fine. netstat -nr should show a default route added.


A lot of guides mention VLANs / tags etc. It was discovered that a VLAN-tagged interface (VLAN 101 and 911)
was not needed - they may be a hang over from DSL and FTC. Alternatively, it may be down to the telco (ie Cityfibre).
Although other guides tell you to use pppoeconf, pon, poff, plog commands etc, they appeared not to work - even
though /var/log/syslog showed local IP address & remote IP address for interface ppp0, no traffic with traceroute etc.
If you use a VLAN2 tagged interface as your eth device during pppoe-setup, the connect pppoe-start will fail.

Thanks to Rodolf Sabalburo for tips.
1 Itís actually 1 single fibre operating like half-duplex shared with up to 64 premises at 2.488Gb/s down 1.244Gb/s up max rate.
2 See BT openreach document SIN 506 for unintelligible description.