From D Pettersen on Thu, 28 Jan 1999
Dear Linux Guru:
Recently due to a win98 (yuck) crash I had to reformat my hard disk and reinstall both win/98 (yuck) and Red Hat Linux 5.2 (yeah). The reconfigure was going well with Linux until it came time to go on line. I can connect to my ISP with root and open and surf the net with Netscape Communicator. Since we know that a good Linux user does not surf as root there lies my problem. I can (as User) make the ISP connection with usernet , but when I try to open Netscape Communicator I get error messages usually improper DNS type. I configured the connection as I did before my reinstall so I can't figure out what I did wrong could you be of assistance.
So if you open an 'xterm' or switch to a console prompt (using [Ctrl][Alt][F2] or the like) and you try (as your normal user) to use 'ping' or 'traceroute' --- does it give any error message?
If you use 'ifconfig' does it show that the (presumably PPP) link is configured? How do you know that your ISP link is actually working? What does your routing table look like? (Issue the command 'route -n' from any root shell prompt and cut/paste or redirect it to a temp file).
Do you have 'lynx' installed? Try running 'lynx' to see if this is a Netscape Communicator specific problem or if it is a network configuration issue.