NOSintro – TCP/IP over Packet Radio

An Introduction to the KA9Q Network Operating System

by Ian Wade, G3NRW



When you feel that you’re familiar enough with NOS to use it in a live on-air environment, you need to modify many of the control files already described, before turning on the radio. Otherwise you’ll pop up on the channel as NS9BOB, and then everyone will know which book you’ve been reading ..!

This chapter summarises the changes that you need to make. In several instances you may delete a file altogether if you don’t need it — you still have a read-only master copy in /public/masters to fall back on if you change your mind.


The Files to Change

/alias: (see page 311)   Set up a list of aliases appropriate for your environment (or delete the file altogether if you don’t need it).

/domain.txt(pages 318–319)   Replace domain.txt with a file containing real hostnames and IP addresses. To minimise address seek times, put the most frequently contacted stations at the front of the file, and remove all unnecessary comments. Make sure that the loopback address is included.

/ftpusers(pages 322–323)   Add real user entries to this file. For all users having access to sensitive directories, assign a login name which is longer than 6 characters, to prevent access by ordinary AX.25 stations. Check this file very carefully, and test it off-line with the bbs and ftp loopback commands, to make sure that nobody can do dangerous things to your filesystem.

/net.rc(page 324)   Remove this file if you don’t need it. Otherwise replace the existing entries with real parameters.

/popusers(page 326)   Remove this file if you don’t need it. Otherwise replace the existing entries with real names/passwords.

/signatur(page 327)   Change the text in this file to suit your own environment. Note that this file is used by PCElm, which appends it to the end of every message which you send. The file is ignored by the built-in NOS BBS.

/autoexec.nos(pages 312–317)   Change the following lines, or comment them out with the # character:

domain addserver
ip address
ax25 mycall
ax25 bctext
ifconfig tnc0 description
netrom call
netrom alias
netrom route add
netrom nodefilter add
arp add netrom
route add
ax25 route add
smtp gateway
mbox motd
mbox qth
mbox zipcode
mbox fwdinfo
mbox haddress
mbox password
popmail addserver
popmail kick

Remember that you can create many different autoexec.nos files, with different names. Then you can specify which particular file to use in STARTNOS.BAT (or even create several versions of STARTNOS.BAT files for different scenarios).

/finger/sysop(page 329)   Delete this file, and replace with one or more files for users on your system. Filenames in this directory do not have an extension.

/scripts/kisson.dia(page 324)   If you permanently run your tnc in KISS mode, this script is superfluous. Otherwise change:


/spool/areas(page 311)   Change this file as required. N.B. The first character on all comment lines must be a space.

/spool/forward.bbs(page 321)   Remove this file altogether if you are not planning to forward mail onto the AX.25 PBBS network. Otherwise replace the existing entries with real data.

/spool/rewrite(page 327)   Remove this file altogether if you don’t need it. Otherwise replace the existing entries with real data. Test the file thoroughly with the radio switched off, to make sure that addresses are replaced correctly.

/spool/signatur/ns9bob.sig:   Delete this file. Replace with similar .sig files for every NOS BBS login username (if you really need signatures, that is). N.B. The built-in NOS BBS uses these files; PCElm does not.

N:\NOSENV.BAT(page 325)   Change the timezone (TZ) variable to the local timezone abbreviation; e.g. SET TZ=PST

N:\PCELM.RC:   Change the parameters as required if you plan to use PCElm.


The First Tests

Having made the necessary changes to all these files, start NOS with the radio switched off, and make sure that no errors are reported during startup. If strange things happen when NOS reads autoexec.nos, it may be useful to start up with the -v (verbose) option, to get a detailed trace of what happens at startup time. For example:

N:\> NOS_20M -V /autoexec.nos

Then try sending mail to yourself, and transferring files to and from yourself with ftp. In fact, try everything described so far in this book, to make absolutely sure that NOS is behaving.

If everything is looking good, you’re ready to go live!

In fact, you can now, ...... at last .......................................................



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[Copyright 1992-2009 Dowermain Ltd. All Rights Reserved. This page last modified: 21 May 2009]