Gobi Broadband Modems

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This is a short tutorial on connecting to the internet using your gobi modem.

Device identification

Install usbutils

pacman -S usbutils

and then examine the output of

$ lsusb

which will show the vendor and product IDs of the device.

For example, my HP un2430 modem:

Bus 001 Device 005: ID 03f0:371d Hewlett-Packard 

As of linux-3.1.1-1 the device is detected by the qcserial module, if not, you're going to have to recompile the qcserial module with your added product and vendor id.


"gobi_loader is a firmware loader for Qualcomm Gobi USB chipsets. These devices appear in an uninitialised state when power is applied and require firmware to be loaded before they can be used as modems. gobi_loader adds a udev rule that will trigger loading of the firmware and make the modem usable." (http://www.codon.org.uk/~mjg59/gobi_loader/)

I installed gobi-loader from the AUR (http://aur.archlinux.org/packages.php?ID=30943)

After installation, you should enter your product and vendor id in the /lib/udev/rules.d/60-gobi.rules

The tricky part is obtaining the gobi firmware files. I used a Virtualbox Windows XP installation. The official HP un2430 driver wouldn't install since the BIOSVendor was set to something other than "Hewlett-Packard".

To change these fields follow the manual at the following link: http://www.virtualbox.org/manual/ch09.html#changedmi

After a succesfull install, you need to copy your amss.mbn and uqcn.mbn files to /lib/firmware/gobi

The full path to the firmware files looks like this:

C:\Program Files\QUALCOMM\Gobi\Images\Generic\

You'll reach a directory which has numbered subdirectories, as far as I can tell the 6 is the default firmware files, the other ones correspond to different carriers. If in doubt, use the files in the 6 directory.

Then a simple reload of the qcserial module:

# rmmod qcserial
# modprobe qcserial



See main article: wvdial

The general procedure is to switch the device into modem mode, make sure the ttyUSB device(s) are recognized by the qcserial kernel module, and then to run wvdial to dial, connect and start pppd.

Install wvdial

# pacman -S wvdial

The configuration file /etc/wvdial.conf will in general depend on (a) which device you have (b) which mobile network you are connecting to. A single wvdial.conf file can be defined with named sections to be usable with several USB modems and networks, should you need them.

Run (as root)

# wvdialconf

which will attempt to write /etc/wvdial.conf correctly. You will need to add the user, password and Access Point Name (APN). You can obtain these (i) from your network provider, (ii) from other users via published wvdial.confs, or (iii) by logging the USB tty traffic under another operating system (Sysinternals' Portmon).

My /etc/wvdial.conf looks like this:

[Dialer status]
Init1 = AT+CPIN?
Init2 = ATI
Modem = /dev/ttyUSB1

[Dialer pin]
Modem = /dev/ttyUSB1
Init1 = AT+CPIN=1234

[Dialer wwan]
Init1 = ATZ
Init2 = AT+CGDCONT=1,"IP","data.apn.com"
Stupid Mode = yes
Phone = *99***1#
New PPPD = yes
Modem = /dev/ttyUSB1
Username = XXXXXX
Dial Command = ATDT
Password = XXXXXX
Baud = 460800

To simplify the procedure, I took my SIM card out and disabled the PIN so I don't have to run "wvdial pin" before connecting to the internet.

Often there will be several devices (at /dev/ttyUSB0, /dev/ttyUSB1, /dev/ttyUSB2 for example). If in doubt about which to use, try each of them in turn. Once the configuration files are prepared, the internet connection is established by running

$ wvdial <section>

The final wvdial command should start pppd and the obained IP address should be visible in the terminal output. At that point the internet connection should be live, which can be easily checked with a web browser or by pinging an external IP address.

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