Can AT&T High Speed Internet Be Used With Ubuntu 8.10?

Asked by Melinda

My brother just got high speed internet with AT&T but they are telling us the Linux system is not compatible with AT&T High Speed Internet. He uses Ubuntu 8.10 version. I'm a bit confused because I have AT&T High Speed Internet, use Ubuntu 8.4, and have no problems connecting to the internet. So can any one tell what the problem is? Thanks!

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Steve (stupendoussteve-deactivatedaccount) said :

How does he connect? If it is ethernet to the modem there shouldn't be a problem. Many ISPs say they don't support Linux because they would have to write a new script for the support workers.

Try with the live cd, if it works an install should work fine.

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Melinda (melired15-deactivatedaccount) said :

Hi! He connects to the internet with a modem Ethernet. It didn't come with a Live CD just a Back Up installation CD, but it says only to use if your having connection problems. Or use it as a last resource.

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Loye Young (loyeyoung) said :

The answer is Yes! I do it for customers here in Laredo, Texas all the time.

AT&T Tech Support is very uncooperative, but despite what the front line tech support reps say, it is possible.

The problem is the registration script that AT&T uses on its CD is a Windows program. If that doesn't work, the script will direct the user to a site that uses ActiveX controls, and thus requires Internet Explorer. When you call for help, the Tech "Support" people will say they don't support Linux (which turns out to be a lie, but more on that later).

AT&T does have a web-based solution that does work, however: If you've set up the access before, the information needed will be on the monthly statement, such as the phone number on the account and the email address (if it's been set up already). If you haven't and are setting up the modem/router for the first time, the packing slip that comes with the router will have the phone number for the account.

If you get stuck and do need to call AT&T Tech Support, here is how to get them to help you. When the support person asks what operating system you are using, don't say Linux, but instead answer "UNIX". If the person on the phone says they don't support Unix, tell them that can't be right because AT&T invented UNIX. That answer will get someone on the line who can help you.

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Melinda (melired15-deactivatedaccount) said :

Can I register my brother on here from my computer? Or must I do it from his computer? He doesn't have internet access, and I do. Thanks!

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Loye Young (loyeyoung) said :

It turns out that he does have Internet access, but his modem/router isn't letting him connect because his device and user account aren't set up.

He needs to log in from his computer, connected with his router at his house (I assume it's at his house).

You may need to configure the router/modem manually, which can be done by browsing to or, depending on the model of router or modem he's using.

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Melinda (melired15-deactivatedaccount) said :

Yes, it's his house. I'll setup the user account for him then and hopefully it will work. I'll let you when it's working. Thanks for the information. Bye!

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Melinda (melired15-deactivatedaccount) said :

Hi Loye Young! We've tried all the instructions but still can't get a internet connection. We were told moving to the new Ubuntu 9.04 would help, and that we would be able to get connected with no problems. But we still can't get a internet connection, and my brother is now using Ubuntu 9.04. It's also been a bit difficult to find someone in our area who works on the Ubuntu operating system. I've tired a few computer technicians in our area but they only operate on the windows system. Do you know of anyone in the Kingsville, Texas area who can be of help to us?

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Melinda (melired15-deactivatedaccount) said :

Also a message comes out that says something about AT&T software not meeting the minimum requirements.

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Steve Dodier-Lazaro (sidi) said :


Here is a list of Linux User Groups in your country :

Cordially, SD.

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Melinda (melired15-deactivatedaccount) said :

Hi! Thanks for the information, but I've tried them before, and I never received a response back. I'll try again maybe this time someone will respond back. Bye!

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Loye Young (loyeyoung) said :

I travel between Houston to Laredo frequently. Kingsville is only about an hour out of the way. If you would like someone to set it up for you, I would be happy to make a service call at your location.

If you are interested, send me contact information by using the Launchpad contact form here:, or through the contact form here:

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Melinda (melired15-deactivatedaccount) said :

Hi Loye Young! I just wanted to let you know some good news. Today I was finally able to establish my brother's Internet connection, and he's now able to get online, with no problems. I called AT&T, and someone in technical support Guided me through the installation, connection, process. I had tried them on previous occasions before but couldn't get help but I'm glad I did this time. Thank You for all your help, information. Bye!

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Loye Young (loyeyoung) said :


Yee hah.

If you remember any details that might be of help to others, post them here
so that others may be spared the pain.

Happy Trails,

Loye Young
Isaac & Young Computer Company
Laredo, Texas (coming soon to Houston!)