Monday, June 23, 2008

3G surfing with SLED 10 SP2

Got my hands on a 3G HSPDA modem (USB) a few weeks ago from Starhub (link). While the device is capable of download speeds of up to 7.2Mbps, my subscription only has 1.0Mbps... not that I'm complaining since I don't have to pay a cent more as its part of my home broadband package deal. sengihnampakgigi

On Windows, once you plug in the device, it will mount a read-only cdrom device and the drivers are installed and configured. Wonderful user experience. I know because I tried it out on my wife's Toshiba notebook.

On Linux... well, it works but only after a little Google research.kenyit The device is a Huawei E270 HSPDA modem. Vodafone (UK) is also offering this device and there is a vodafone mobile connect card driver for various Linux distros. Unfortunately, their latest driver requires a higher kernel version than that of SLED 10. I could have used their earlier version (1.0) but the SLED 10 SP2 installed on my Thinkpad T61p is 64 bit and that didn't go too well. sedih

My solution? Turns out that SLED 10 SP2 ships with a nice little program called umtsmon. The latest version is 0.8 and its working really well for me. You can also find it on the openSUSE Build Service. Some links as reference here and here.

I'm able to surf the Web on SLED 10 SP2 with my Huawei E270. menari The caveats (work-in-progress to resolve) are:
  • I have to boot up my Thinkpad with the device attached so that /dev/ttyUSB* appears. If I hotplug the device while SLED 10 SP2 is running, it will auto-mount the read-only CD-ROM device with Windows drivers (not a big issue) BUT there will be no /dev/ttyUSB* available for umtsmon to work with.
  • I have to run umtsmon as root because of some permissions issue with normal user unable to initiate a pppd session.
So, if anyone out there knows how to resolve the 2 items above, would love to hear from you. Although I can work/live with the current setup, it will make it a little more elegant. Thanks in advance. senyum

PS: With reference to my previous post on the NAT setup with Xen, hoping to bridge to the Xen clients on a private subnet so as to access the Web with the USB 3G modem attached.... another work-in-progress.


  1. Great, look I installed the SLED10 SP2 and installed UMTSMON and I have HUAWEI (CE0682) usb modem, after connecting the usb to SLED, the usb wont show up the and you dont see the modem, then I start to use command, lsusb and I could see it and it is second Bus

    cnd7502kqz:~ # lsusb
    Bus 002 Device 001: ID 0000:0000
    Bus 001 Device 006: ID 12d1:1001
    Bus 001 Device 001: ID 0000:0000

    Then I run the UMTSMON command and it gives me an error:

    cnd7502kqz:~ # umtsmon

    umtsmon version 0.8-SLED10 .
    installing GUI SIGABRT handler
    ##P1 t=161: aLocale '(null)' denied
    error: command interface-name failed
    ##P1 t=161: *** CRITICAL ERROR: Could not connect to the smpppd, the application will close.
    Make sure that you are in group dialout and that smpppd is running.
    DCOPClient::attachInternal. Attach failed Could not open network socket
    DCOPClient::attachInternal. Attach failed Could not open network socket

    *** umtsmon version 0.8-SLED10 closed due to an unrecoverable program error.
    ##P1 t=173: Critical Popup - application will halt

    And I tried to insert the model to kernel and it gives me an error:

    cnd7502kqz:~ # insmod /lib/modules/ vendor=0x12d1 product=0x1001
    insmod: error inserting '/lib/modules/': -1 File exists

    The funny thing I could use the same modem with umtsmon on OPENSUSE11 and it works fine but with SLED10 SP2 it does not work any tips will be great

  2. You can add a udev rule to ignore the fake volume - see

  3. Thanks Marco,

    I'm lazy and going to live with this for now... I have already tested it with openSUSE 11.1 and it worked seemlessly... which means this challenge will be gone in a few months as I upgrade to SLED 11 on my business Thinkpad. :)