Category Archives: Computing

Installing Bell Fibre Internet

Unfortunately it appears that TSI is throwing in the towel as a truly independent ISP. So for this and some technical reasons (it’s the only way I can get FTTH where I live), I’ve decided to go back to being a Bell Canada Internet customer.

It’s the first time I’ve been with Bell for home Internet service since my original DSL connection! Though to be fair, in general, I’ve never had any big problems with their technology, just their business practices.

So I now have a Bell HH4000, a Bell branded Sagemcom F@st 5689, on my shelf. The hardware itself seems fairly well made, though it’s definitely intended for Bell’s average customer, and out-of-the-box it is configured as a combined modem/gateway/wifi-router.

I’ve been reading through the various forum and blog posts from people who have successfully configured the HH4000 to act effectively as a PPPoE passthrough device, but I’m not totally satisfied with the results I’ve had based on this advice.

That said, in my limited usage, the service seems fast and stable. I’ve not seen any evidence of packet loss and the general performance and latency seems good when tested directly from the modem. (I seem to have some overhead on the link between my modem and router in the current config, possibly due to PPPoE in openwrt, possibly due to the physical topology of my old network devices).

I’m going to be making some changes on my router when I get around to upgrading my first-gen Turris Omina to my new third rev model that supports WiFi 6 and uses a 2.5Gbps SFP+ for its WAN link to the modem. At that point I’ll worry about refining the configuration. Once I’ve sorted out these details, I’ll be documenting my configuration in the wiki.

Disable terminal bell in WSL

Windows Subsystem for Linux is pretty nifty, but Windows has a very rudimentary terminal interface compared to most modern Unix implementations; though I do have high hopes for the new Windows Terminal project. One particularly annoying issue is that there is no way to directly disable sound, this can be a particularly annoying issue when using tab completion or backspace.

The easiest solution to this lack of functionality is to disable the bell in the Linux shell by modifying the readline(3) configuration in /etc/inputrc or ~/.inputrc.

# do not bell on tab-completion
set bell-style none

Using ssh-agent with Windows Subsystem for Linux

Update: I’ve since revised these instructions in this post.

This is fairly basic, but you never know what might be useful to somebody!

Due to the fact that WSL doesn’t bootstrap itself with a normal init/systemd process it can be a bit frustrating to work with SSH keys.

Thankfully the ssh-agent command is designed to set up an environment for key management without much hassle. The trivial method of doing this is to insert the following command into your ~/.bashrc or ~/.profile script:

# start ssh-agent
eval `ssh-agent`

This will initialize a socket to manage your keys and you can then use the ssh-add command as you would on a normal Linux system.

For completeness, stick the following in your ~/.bash_logout script:

# unset ssh-agent
ssh-agent -k

This will remove the socket and unset the environment so that your keys don’t remain loaded after you close your WSL session using exit or CTRL-D.