|X.25 support within isdn4linux
|This is alpha/beta test code. Use it completely at your own risk.
|As new versions appear, the stuff described here might suddenly change
|or become invalid without notice.
|Keep in mind:
|You are using several new parts of the 2.2.x kernel series which
|have not been tested in a large scale. Therefore, you might encounter
|more bugs as usual.
|- If you connect to an X.25 neighbour not operated by yourself, ASK the
| other side first. Be prepared that bugs in the protocol implementation
| might result in problems.
|- This implementation has never wiped out my whole hard disk yet. But as
| this is experimental code, don't blame me if that happened to you.
| Backing up important data will never harm.
|- Monitor your isdn connections while using this software. This should
| prevent you from undesired phone bills in case of driver problems.
|How to configure the kernel
|The ITU-T (former CCITT) X.25 network protocol layer has been implemented
|in the Linux source tree since version 2.1.16. The isdn subsystem might be
|useful to run X.25 on top of ISDN. If you want to try it, select
| "CCITT X.25 Packet Layer"
|from the networking options as well as
| "ISDN Support" and "X.25 PLP on Top of ISDN"
|from the ISDN subsystem options when you configure your kernel for
|compilation. You currently also need to enable
|"Prompt for development and/or incomplete code/drivers" from the
|"Code maturity level options" menu. For the x25trace utility to work
|you also need to enable "Packet socket".
|For local testing it is also recommended to enable the isdnloop driver
|from the isdn subsystem's configuration menu.
|For testing, it is recommended that all isdn drivers and the X.25 PLP
|protocol are compiled as loadable modules. Like this, you can recover
|from certain errors by simply unloading and reloading the modules.
|What's it for? How to use it?
|X.25 on top of isdn might be useful with two different scenarios:
|- You might want to access a public X.25 data network from your Linux box.
| You can use i4l if you were physically connected to the X.25 switch
| by an ISDN B-channel (leased line as well as dial up connection should
| This corresponds to ITU-T recommendation X.31 Case A (circuit-mode
| access to PSPDN [packet switched public data network]).
| NOTE: X.31 also covers a Case B (access to PSPDN via virtual
| circuit / packet mode service). The latter mode (which in theory
| also allows using the D-channel) is not supported by isdn4linux.
| It should however be possible to establish such packet mode connections
| with certain active isdn cards provided that the firmware supports X.31
| and the driver exports this functionality to the user. Currently,
| the AVM B1 driver is the only driver which does so. (It should be
| possible to access D-channel X.31 with active AVM cards using the
| CAPI interface of the AVM-B1 driver).
|- Or you might want to operate certain ISDN teleservices on your linux
| box. A lot of those teleservices run on top of the ISO-8208
| (DTE-DTE mode) network layer protocol. ISO-8208 is essentially the
| same as ITU-T X.25.
| Popular candidates of such teleservices are EUROfile transfer or any
| teleservice applying ITU-T recommendation T.90.
|To use the X.25 protocol on top of isdn, just create an isdn network
|interface as usual, configure your own and/or peer's ISDN numbers,
|and choose x25iface encapsulation by
| isdnctrl encap <iface-name> x25iface.
|Once encap is set like this, the device can be used by the X.25 packet layer.
|All the stuff needed for X.25 is implemented inside the isdn link
|level (mainly isdn_net.c and some new source files). Thus, it should
|work with every existing HL driver. I was able to successfully open X.25
|connections on top of the isdnloop driver and the hisax driver.
|"x25iface"-encapsulation bypasses demand dialing. Dialing will be
|initiated when the upper (X.25 packet) layer requests the lapb datalink to
|be established. But hangup timeout is still active. Whenever a hangup
|occurs, all existing X.25 connections on that link will be cleared
|It is recommended to use sufficiently large hangup-timeouts for the
|In order to set up a conforming protocol stack you also need to
|specify the proper l2_prot parameter:
|To operate in ISO-8208 X.25 DTE-DTE mode, use
| isdnctrl l2_prot <iface-name> x75i
|To access an X.25 network switch via isdn (your linux box is the DTE), use
| isdnctrl l2_prot <iface-name> x25dte
|To mimic an X.25 network switch (DCE side of the connection), use
| isdnctrl l2_prot <iface-name> x25dce
|However, x25dte or x25dce is currently not supported by any real HL
|level driver. The main difference between x75i and x25dte/dce is that
|x25d[tc]e uses fixed lap_b addresses. With x75i, the side which
|initiates the isdn connection uses the DTE's lap_b address while the
|called side used the DCE's lap_b address. Thus, l2_prot x75i might
|probably work if you access a public X.25 network as long as the
|corresponding isdn connection is set up by you. At least one test
|was successful to connect via isdn4linux to an X.25 switch using this
|trick. At the switch side, a terminal adapter X.21 was used to connect
|it to the isdn.
|How to set up a test installation?
|To test X.25 on top of isdn, you need to get
|- a recent version of the "isdnctrl" program that supports setting the new
| X.25 specific parameters.
|- the x25-utils-2.X package from
| (don't confuse the x25-utils with the ax25-utils)
|- an application program that uses linux PF_X25 sockets (some are
| contained in the x25-util package).
|Before compiling the user level utilities make sure that the compiler/
|preprocessor will fetch the proper kernel header files of this kernel
|source tree. Either make /usr/include/linux a symbolic link pointing to
|this kernel's include/linux directory or set the appropriate compiler flags.
|When all drivers and interfaces are loaded and configured you need to
|ifconfig the network interfaces up and add X.25-routes to them. Use
|the usual ifconfig tool.
|ifconfig <iface-name> up
|But a special x25route tool (distributed with the x25-util package)
|is needed to set up X.25 routes. I.e.
|x25route add 01 <iface-name>
|will cause all x.25 connections to the destination X.25-address
|"01" to be routed to your created isdn network interface.
|There are currently no real X.25 applications available. However, for
|tests, the x25-utils package contains a modified version of telnet
|and telnetd that uses X.25 sockets instead of tcp/ip sockets. You can
|use those for your first tests. Furthermore, you might check
|ftp://ftp.hamburg.pop.de/pub/LOCAL/linux/i4l-eft/ which contains some
|alpha-test implementation ("eftp4linux") of the EUROfile transfer
|The scripts distributed with the eftp4linux test releases might also
|provide useful examples for setting up X.25 on top of isdn.
|The x25-utility package also contains an x25trace tool that can be
|used to monitor X.25 packets received by the network interfaces.
|The /proc/net/x25* files also contain useful information.