3. Prerequisites

Enough already! How do I set it up?

Alright hotrod, we're getting there, but first there's some info you need to get, and a couple of explanations.

First, you need to get the IP address of your provider, if you don't have it already. You can do this by typing 'who' at a shell prompt there, or reading their /etc/hosts, or even just asking them. While your getting that, get the IP address of the POP/SMTP host and the NNTP server (if you don't know what those are, trust me and ask for them anyway, you'll need 'em).

Next, let me explain quickly about hostnames and domain names. The hostname is the first part of a machines name, the domain is the rest of it. Like this: hostname.domain.name (a four parter would be hostname.do.main.name). Together, they make a Fully Qualified Domain Name (FQDN).

The name of your Linux machine is stored in /etc/HOSTNAME, and yes, you can change it. In fact, please do (if you're using Slackware, it'll be "darkstar.frop.org" by default). Just edit the /etc/HOSTNAME file to be whatever you want - remember, if you are using an emulator, you are essentially invisible to the Net at large, so you can be creative. However, if you plan to get a real SLIP/PPP connection down the road sometime, you'll probably want to conform to being a sub-host of your provider. For example, if your provider is "info.superhiway.com", the domain is "superhiway.com" and the hostname is "info". So you could either be "offramp.info.superhiway.com" or just "offramp.superhiway.com". Either would work, and in either case your hostname is "offramp".