Marketed by various telecommunications companies in several countries, the E220 is a 3.5G HSDPA USB modem used mainly for wireless Internet access via mobile telephony networks. Technically it is a modem, USB and (due to the CDFS format) CD-ROM device. With a kernel version older than 2.6.20, getting Linux to recognize the device as a modem and accessing its functions requires a workaround.
"Linux kernel versions prior to 2.6.20 have some problems with it, as the SCSI CDROM fakevolume with drivers for Microsoft systems gets automounted by usbstorage.ko module, preventing serial device /dev/ttyUSB0 from working properly."
However, as support for it was added in 2.6.20 via modules usb-storage and usbserial, getting it to work is as simple as plugging it in and dialling up (the above statement is of no concern to us as we can load and unload modules at will, it was probably meant for pre-packaged GNU and Linux distributions). In fact, using the modem under Linux proves to be more reliable as there are no uncalled-for disconnections. This is probably due to the fact that we are communicating directly with the modem, whereas in Windows or Mac OS X drivers are installed on first run (that is what the storage portion is for) and connection is achieved through a thick software layer every time, leaving room for possible interferences and conflicts.
Archers do not use old stuff, let alone use old kernels. That is, however, not enough reason to explain why in some cases the modem still needs the workaround. Thus, you have to see for yourself if you are one of the lucky ones. It almost seems as if the "support" in kernels > 2.6.20 is a myth, although that may be entirely incorrect (maybe it is how Arch developers package the vanilla kernels in which case we have only phrakkkture and gang to thank).
The magic (trick) lies in the kernel modules; udev rules, unloading, blacklisting, reloading and loading things will get it done.
Easy Install using Network Manager
If you are using network-manager then this modem should be plug 'n play. I tested using Huawei E270, but since lsusb said that my modem is E220/E270 then I assume it is the same.
The required packages are modemmanager and network-manager-applet from extra.
Start the networkmanager demon from rc.conf or manually using /etc/rc.d/networkmanager start. Start the nm-applet if it hasn't started yet. Make sure the modem is connected; I used a cable with two usb port like the one for an external harddrive. Then from nm-applet add a wireless broadband config using the edit connection button. Set the config according your network; usually apn, username, and password. Activate the connection by choosing it. And it will try to connect, once it is connected the icon will change. You're good to go then.
If you have UDEV and HAL set up right but do not want extra bulk like an entire package (yeah right as if it adds a GiB full of stuff), then have no fear - bash is here. You can have my custom "installer" which incorporates everything including the HAL and UDEV rules. You can change the default installation of stuff to /usr instead of /usr/local if you want. Well, you can change anything if you want (or can). Download the tar archive and then extract it and pwn it:
$ tar xf huawei-e220.tar.gz $ cd huawei-e220 $ nano setup.sh # if you want to # ./setup.sh
Enjoy me lad!
You can just try Plug 'n Dial first to see if it works (I will give you free beer if it does!). After hooking up to the USB port (some say an upright position is best; let it hang over the edge of the desk), check to make sure it is detected.
$ cat /proc/bus/usb/devices
You should see Huawei somewhere there. If not, you are on your own. The usb-storage and/or usbserial modules must be loaded, whether manually or by HAL is up to you and/or your system.
# modprobe usb-storage # modprobe usbserial $ sleep 6 # the modem may take a while to initialize $ ls /dev/ttyUSB*
You should see three renditions of ttyUSB. If not, we will get to that later. This is a "Quick Start" after all, no? The ports:
- ttyUSB0 - Modem
- ttyUSB1 - USB?
- ttyUSB2 - Nothing
Now you need a dialler. Most convenient of all would be wvdial, so install it. You should have ppp already, if not just pull them both in.
# pacman -S wvdial ppp
Configure n' Dial
Most SIM and data services provided together with the device do not require special settings and work with similar configuration to get connected. They are almost "Plug n' Play", a special trait of Linux. Edit /etc/wvdial.conf and use something like the following:
[Dialer hsdpa] Phone = *99***16# Username = 65 Password = user123 Stupid Mode = 1 Dial Command = ATDT Modem = /dev/ttyUSB0 Baud = 460800 Init2 = ATZ Init3 = ATQ0 V1 E1 S0=0 &C1 &D2 +FCLASS=0 ISDN = 0 Modem Type = Analog Modem
For providers that do require a specific Init string and user/password combination, mkwvconf-git in AUR can help generate a wvdial configuration (based on the mobile-broadband-provider-info-git package).
If using PIN code add this before Init2
Init1 = AT+CPIN=9999
where 9999 is changed for your PIN-code
There is an example here by a "Linux Guru". Then load the PPP module.
# modprobe ppp-generic
You can now connect immediately, but probably only as root, which is not a disadvantage.
# wvdial hsdpa
Edit: This section is nullified if you have UDEV and HAL workarounds, or a script, or a package from AUR.
So why then? Well, for some reason those of us on newer kernels still have to ride the old ways. In some cases, all that is needed to be done is to remove the usb-storage module first, then load usbserial with the device IDs. The first cat command on this page will have that information, while lsusb is an alternative. Anyhow, the IDs are the same for almost all E220s, so you can copy wholesale.
# modprobe -r usb-storage usbserial # modprobe usbserial vendor=0x12d1 product=0x1003
In other cases, where the option module gets autoloaded for use by usbserial, you just have to blacklist it in rc.conf:
When you cannot salvage anything from this either, you have to go Gentoo and compile something. Do not worry, it is only a script and we do things like this almost everyday, albeit in bash.
$ mkdir ~/huawei-e220 && cd ~/huawei-e220 $ wget http://www.kanoistika.sk/bobovsky/archiv/umts/huaweiAktBbo.c $ gcc -lusb -o e220 *.c # ./e220
This gets around the kernel to recognize the modem functionalities of the device. You can now carry on and connect using the above methods. If you had to follow this step, you will always need the script unless you set udev rules and such (package link below). So move it to a global PATH.
$ cd ~/huawei-e220 # mv e220 /usr/bin/e220
Now it is easier.
Note: It seems some people get it to work using ttyUSB1, which should not be the case, but rest assured that at least on recent kernels and systems ttyUSB0 is the correct port to dial with.
To check if the device is functioning alright on a particular serial port, there is a program for probing serial devices.
# pacman -S minicom
Now run it.
# minicom -s
Change the serial port to /dev/ttyUSB1 and exit from the page, this will open the main program. When it initializes the modem, issue the command AT. The answer should be OK, which means the modem is working well on that port.
The hald daemon detects the SCSI CD-ROM drive and because of that it will try to change the modem to storage mode. To prevent this you need to create a Hal policy so it ignores the device.
Create a file the /usr/share/hal/fdi/preprobe/20thirdparty/10-huawei-e220.fdi and putt this in it
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?> <deviceinfo version="0.2"> <device> <match key="usb.vendor_id" int="0x12d1"> <match key="usb.product_id" int="0x1003"> <merge key="info.ignore" type="bool">true</merge> </match> </match> </device> </deviceinfo>
With this, for my experience, only two USB serial ports are created and them vodafone-mccd doesn't recognize correctly the modem but you can connect correctly with wvdial.
If problem with connection through ppp0 one might need to add the network manually:
route add -net 10.0.0.0 netmask 255.0.0.0 ppp0
if the remote adress starts on 10.
Then you add default route and dns as usually:
route add default gw 10.x.x.x
(change to remote adress recieved and viewed with ifconfig)