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Huawei E220 3G USB modem in Ubuntu Edgy
Written by r3uk   
Monday, 05 February 2007 00:00

Install Huawei USB E220 3G (UMTS) modem on a Ubuntu 6.10 (Edgy) client.

Configure Huawei modem for establishing 3G connections (in this case to Vodafone UK).

As with any installation on any computing platform, it is good practice to ensure important data is backed up in case unforeseen difficulties arise.
Review all instructions on this page before you begin.

Text file editing from the command line.
This guide uses the Nano application for text editing because of its simplicity. Alternative text editors are available. Basic Nano key combinations to remember are CTRL-O to save and CTRL-X to exit.

Page dependencies (ensure you have access to everything you need before you begin).
Commands issued at the command prompt in this section are done so as superuser or root unless otherwise specified. When installed, Ubuntu does not ask for a root password to be specified. Either set a root password using sudo passwd root so that you can log in as superuser, or enter the commands listed in this guide prefixed with 'sudo'.

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Text in this format indicates a normal return from the system.
Beware of similar characters such as 1(one), l(lowercase L), 0(zero), O(uppercase 'o'), | (pipe – Shift ' ' usually).
Text enclosed in [square brackets] indicates a build-specific variable such as a version number or user name.

This page was written for Ubuntu 6.10 (Edgy) and may contain content or instructions that are not relevant to other distributions.
This information is provided for guidance only. Use of these instructions is deemed to be at your own risk.
R3UK Limited welcomes comment on this information but cannot guarantee a reply and provides no technical support. Please use one of the many dedicated Linux forums or IRC channels if you require assistance.
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GUI instructions were written for the Gnome 2.16 desktop environment and may differ for other desktop environments.

The Huawei E220 USB modem (packaged by Vodafone as the USB Mobile Connect Modem) is a great product for people wanting 3G access from their computer - especially as it doesn't need Windows or a PCMCIA slot like most other products. Another bonus is this device is Mac compatible out of the box and can be made to work with Edgy with just a bit of tweaking. On a side note, I also mention the E220 in relation to the OSX platform here and talk about 6.06 Dapper and the PCMCIA 3G cards made by Option here.

A Google search brings up various methods for getting this device working but as with everything else on Tech Tips, I'm going to document what worked for me in the hope that it works for others.

First things first then, open a terminal window and start monitoring syslog:
tail -f /var/log/syslog

Insert the modem into a USB port. I'm using a Sony Vaio VGN-TX2XP subnotebook and the SIM card in my Huawei modem is provided by Vodafone UK. When inserted, a 20MB chunk of memory in the modem which contains Windows installation files is detected as a storage device and mounts onto the desktop. You can right-click this and eject it, but before you do, have a look over the syslog output to see which device number was allocated to it (look for a line that reads something like usb-storage: device found at 5).

Stop monitoring the syslog by pressing CTRL-C

Navigate to the address below and download the executable called huaweiAktBbo-i386.out - save it to your desktop (or somewhere). http://www.kanoistika.sk/bobovsky/archiv/umts/

Now, back at the command prompt, use the lsusb command to see what the vendor ID and product IDs are. If you have multiple USB devices plugged in then go by the numbers next to the device number you found with the tail command above. In my case the output was:

Bus 001 Device 005: ID l2d1:1003 (where l2d1 is the vendor ID and 1003 is the device ID).

Enter the following modprobe command using the vendor and device IDs you obtained (preceeded by 0x as below)...

modprobe usbserial vendor=0xl2d1 product=0x1003

Now run the executable downloaded earlier (don't forget to switch to the directory where the executable is saved (your desktop or whatever)) - i.e.

cd /home/[username]/Desktop

Running the executable will reinitialise the modem so you'll have to wait a few seconds for it to settle down and detect the data network again. It will also remount as a storage device onto the desktop but there is no need to 'eject' or disconnect it again unless it gets in your way.

... and that's it! Well, for me anyway. The only remaining step is to configure your PPP connection. In my case, I have two ways of connecting, via the command line or via the GUI.

Command Line:
To dial from the command line, edit /etc/wvdial.conf so that it contains the relevant info. Mine is listed below:

[Dialer Defaults]
Phone = *99***1#
Username = wap
Password = wap
Stupid Mode = 1
Dial Command = ATDT

[Dialer 3G]
Modem = /dev/ttyUSB0
Baud = 384000
Init2 = ATZ
Init3 = ATQ0 V1 E1 S0=0 &C1 &D2 +FCLASS=0
ISDN = 0
Modem Type = Analog Modem

With the above config file I can establish a connection to Vodafone UK by using the command wvdial 3G and I can kill the connection with CTRL-C.

You can use Gnome PPP to handle the connection from within the GUI. The username, password and phone number will be the same as those shown in the config file above (if using VF UK) and the 'device' is the same as 'modem' above (i.e. /dev/ttyUSB0). You can place a Gnome PPP icon on the top panel for quick access.

If you unplug the modem, you may need to repeat the steps involving modprobe and the executable.

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Last Updated on Saturday, 17 May 2008 12:24