I'm able to use Firefox to configure my Actiontec DSL modem. But I'd like to know the reasons that some of my attempts failed.
I don't have DSL yet. I'm going to get it soon, so I got s used Actiontec DSL modem. I was told: Plug the power to the modem in. Press the factory reset button. Connect your computer to the modem's single ethernet connector. On your computer (System->Administration->Network) configure that ethernet connection to get an IP address automatically and activate that ethernet connection on you computer. Then you can direct the Firefox browser to go to 192.168.0.1 and you will see a web page to administer the modem.
All this is essentially true, but I have discovered some pitfalls (using FC8). With the modem on, I can activate eth1 (the connection to it) without any problem. No other network connection on my machine is active. I can ping the modem. But then I cannot get Firefox to start. A message appears on the toolbar "Starting Firefox" but it never appears. It leaves some Firefox processes running that I must kill from the command line. The workaround is, of course, to start Firefox before activating eth1.
If I am logged in as an ordinary user, I can't administer the modem. The administration page appears, a window pops up warning about sending information over the internet, I click "continue" and then the page disappears. Naturally, the workaround is to log into the machine as root even though running a gui as root is discouraged.
I'd be interested in knowing exactly why the workarounds are necessary. How does the modem know that it's root that using the browser? Firefox's home page is set to "blank". Why won't it start when eth1 is already up?