This page exists to coordinate and describe the Retro-Networking / BBS-Revival setup at 36C3, the 36th annual Chaos Communication Congress

The "BBS-Revival / Retronetworking" assembly

There's also a related thread on the mailing list, see

WTF? How can I use this setup? What is this for?

The rationale for this setup is to re-discover (or discover, if you're of younger generations) how data communications and early internet access worked in the 1980ies and early to mid 1990ies: The dialup experience.

Physical Connection to our telephony network

First you have to get physically connected:

  • you can bring your own computer/terminal and modem and connect to our PBX via anlog (POTS) or ISDN (S0)
  • you can bring your own computer and borrow a modem (and USB Serial adapter) to connect
  • you can simply use one of the retro laptops we set up with modems attached

What can I dial into?

You can dial the number 03111 from both ISDN and analog lines. If the dial-up connection works, you will receive a "login:" prompt which we use to differentiate services:

User Purpose
acid You get forwarded to ACID Underworld on Searchlight BBS. This is a BBS with an amazing collection of RIP artwork galleries. Please consider donating to the SysOp for keeping this alive!
ppp You get a dynamically allocated IPv4 address over PPP and can use dial-up internet at up to 64kBps. You can also simply start to send PPP frames, which will automatically trigger the 'ppp' user. There is no password.
vert You get forwarded to Vertrauen BBS, home of the Synchronet BBS software
kuehlbox You get forwarded to Kuehlbox BBS
evsfy You get forwarded to a 36C3 specific BBS operated by evsfy ( in Taiwan. use 'guest' as username + password
telnet You can telnet to any BBS on the internet by entering the IP / hostname

We are planning to add more services as 36C3 progresses. If you'd like to offer any specific service, we can either offer you analog or ISDN lines so you can operate that service with your own modem, or we can offer telnet/rlogin or raw TCP break-out from our RAS.

This setup works as follows:

Dialup Internet Access

If you dial to 03111, the RAS will automatically detect PPP frames without requiring any specific connect script. You should use the user ppp and an empty password.

We've tested dialup via both analog and ISDN, and from both Windows 2000 and Linux.

Equipment used in this setup

See Dialup_Network_In_A_Box for a schematic overview and more information.


  • Harald "LaF0rge" Welte
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