Photon TCP/IP and dialup configuration tool

Note: You must be logged in as root to make changes with phlip.


phlip [options]

Runs on:



Disable the option to create new dialups.
-c file
Use this network configuration file.
Enable debugging. If you specify this option, phlip prints the contents of the configuration file before and after spawning netmanager.
-D directory
The location from which to search for/save dialup files.
-n dialup_name
Immediately switch to the dialup panel and make dialup_name the current dialup.
-p file
Load this dialup explicitly.
-P file
Similar to the -p option, but load only this dialup.
Disable the option to remove dialups.
The initial state of the main window (iconified or normal).
-s server_name
The name of the Photon server:
If server_name is: This server is used:
node_path node_path/dev/photon
fullpath fullpath
relative_path /dev/relative_path
Turn off the automatic resolution of the IP or netmask.
Don't save the user (GUI) settings.
Display the version and configuration information.
-x position[%][r]
The x coordinate of the upper-left corner of the window, in pixels, or as a percentage of screen width if % is specified. If r is specified, the coordinate is relative to the current console.
-y position[%][r]
The y coordinate of the upper-left corner of the window, in pixels, or as a percentage of screen height if % is specified. If r is specified, the coordinate is relative to the current console.


The phlip command starts Photon's TCP/IP configuration manager. It's the front end for netmanager; it reads and writes the /etc/net.cfg configuration file.

When phlip starts, it invokes netmanager -w all to dump the current snapshot of all network configuration to the file /etc/net.cfg. It then reads the file and displays the data.

If you make changes and click Apply, phlip writes all its data and spawns netmanager -r all. If netmanager reports any errors, phlip displays them in a popup window.

After netmanager has applied the changes, phlip spawns it again to get an up-to-date copy of the network settings (netmanager -w all). Any inconsistencies between the contents of the file after phlip wrote it out and asked netmanager to apply them, and after netmanager grabbed the latest settings, are changes that for some reason, netmanager couldn't make. The netmanager should have reported these problems when it ran into them. If netmanager printed those errors, phlip should have brought up a popup window. (To check for inconsistencies, use phlip -d.)

If you make changes and simply click Done instead of Apply, phlip writes the data to net.cfg, runs netmanager -r all to apply the changes, reports any errors that netmanager prints, but then exits immediately, without updating the file and redisplaying the information.

Note: Remember that your network configuration isn't really a file, it's the state of all the network software currently running. Interfaces come up and go down, nameservers and routes come and go. The file is only a starting point. Both phlip and netmanager use net.cfg more as a scratch pad for communication.

If you have obtained a DHCP IP address from the DHCP server, and then you switch from DHCP mode to manual mode, the DHCP address is released to the server.

Configuring your network interfaces

The phlip tool displays the TCP/IP Configuration window containing a set of tabbed dialog boxes. You configure your network connections by entering information in various fields in the dialog boxes. The following section shows the dialog boxes and how to fill in the information required.

Devices tab

Devices tab

This screen gives you information about all the network interfaces detected on your computer. The name of the interface is shown next to an icon depicting a network card in the top right-hand corner of each pane.

The fields on this screen depend on the type of connection that you choose from the dropdown menu:

If you're configuring a manual connection, you just have to enter your IP address and netmask:
Enter either a hostname present in the /etc/hosts database or a DARPA-Internet address expressed in the standard Internet “dot notation.”
Enter this number in dotted decimal notation. The number sets the subnet mask for the interface selected; it shows how an Internet address is divided on a network. The netmask is made up of 32 binary bits; bits set to 1 are part of the network number and those set to 0 are part of the host number.
If you select a DHCP connection, you are given the opportunity to fill in two optional fields, ID and Server IP:
Normally, you don't need to fill in this field. Typically, a DHCP server allocates an identity for a client and sends that identity to the client automatically; the identity then becomes the client machine's hostname. Sometimes, an ISP will provide an identity separately and a client is expected to enter this identity as a security measure when they log in. If you are told to use such an ID, enter it here, otherwise leave the field blank.

If you specify an ID, it's passed to dhcp.client with the -h option.

Server IP
Normally, you don't need to fill in this field. If a network has more than one DHCP server, any request for DHCP services from a client on the network is served by the first DHCP server available. In some situations, you might need to direct your DHCP request to a particular server rather than the first one available; in this case, enter the server's IP address here, otherwise leave the field blank.

If you specify a server IP address, it's passed to dhcp.client with the -s option.

Devices + advanced options tab

Devices tab with advanced options

If you display the advanced options, you will see an additional pane showing the IP aliases for this interface. To add an IP alias, simply fill in the IP and Netmask fields, and then click the Add button. To remove, highlight the alias and click Remove.

Connections + Network tab

Connections tab with Network pane

This screen displays information about all the connections you can enable. The top pane shows the connection's name (this name will be shown in associated applications such as phdialer), its type, and its interface device.

If you want applications to automatically connect the system to your network or ISP, use the Automatically Connect check box. If you don't use this checkbox, the dialer will be started and you will have to initiate the connection. (For more information on automatic TCP/IP connection, see /etc/autoconnect.)

If you want to specify a default connection for applications to use, check Always Use This Connection for that connection.

The Network pane in this screen enables you to select which login type the connection will use:

Automatic (PAP/CHAP).
This is the type of login used most often. It does everything for you; all you have to enter is your user name and password.
Select this login type if you want to enter a set of commands when you log in. You must provide a script file containing the set of commands and enter the name of this file in the new field labeled Script. Login scripts enable you to set up a consistent set of variables for each connection.
Select this option if you want to configure the network connection via the command line.

This pane also allows you to enter optional nameservers if your server doesn't provide this information.

Connections + Connection tab

Connections tab with Connection pane

The options in this pane are self-explanatory.

Connections + Modem tab

Connections tab with Modem pane

This pane is shown only for modem interface connections. Most of the options are self-explanatory.

The Baud Rate selector is provided for those cases where the modem speed isn't auto-negotiated; you could also use this option to set the baud rate lower than would be auto-negotiated (you might do this for noisy connections when you want to reduce communication errors).

Connections + Logging tab

Connections tab with Logging pane

If you enable logging in this pane, debugging information is logged to syslogd. This pane also shows administrative information about the selected connection.

Network tab

Network tab

A check box in this pane allows you to force the connection to look into the local /etc/hosts file for hostname lookup before consulting the network server for this information.

Network + advanced options tab

Network tab with advanced options

The additional panes show information such as:

You can add or delete gateways or search suffixes as required.


Show the current version, build time and the files that phlip will edit (use this to confirm that you have the latest information):

phlip -v

See also:

/etc/autoconnect, dhcp.client, ifconfig, netmanager, route

Using the Photon microGUI in the Neutrino User's Guide