May 09, 2009

O2 Huawei E169 USB modem Gentoo GNU/Linux

This post is for anyone having problems getting the O2-provided Huawei E169 USB modem to work under Linux. I’ll assumed you’ve searched elsewhere and have an idea of what is going on.

In my case, I had a Gentoo GNU/Linux desktop without internet access although I did have a Windows XP laptop to help me. The best thing to do is use the USB modem on the laptop, connect up your desktop by ethernet cable and share the Dial-up connection in order to download any packages you may need.

gentoo-sources-2.6.28 is a good enough kernel to get things to work.

emerge usbutils ppp wvdial

cd /usr/src/linux
sudo make menuconfig
(Refer to Gentoo handbook for full details of installing a new kernel.)

Device drivers --->
    Network device support --->
        <M> PPP (point-to-point protocol) support
        <M> PPP support for async serial ports 
    USB support --->
        <M> OHCI HCD support
        <M> USB Mass Storage support (provides usb-storage so it can be unloaded)
        <M> USB Serial Converter support (provides usbserial, very important)
            [*] USB Generic Serial Driver
            <M> USB driver for GSM and CDMA modems (provides 'option' module, v. important)

sudo make -j 3
(Install kernel.)
sudo make modules_install
(Which installs the kernel modules. Restart computer.)

Plug in device when you have a terminal open. /usr/sbin/lsusb
should give

Bus 004 Device 006: ID 12d1:1001 Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd. E620 USB Modem

(**) <- marker. Read ahead to see why this is here.


should ideally not show ‘usb-storage’

sudo rmmod usb-storage

just in case.

sudo modprobe usbserial vendor=0×12d1 product=0×1001


ls /dev/ttyU*

should give
/dev/ttyUSB0 /dev/ttyUSB1 /dev/ttyUSB2
if only /dev/ttyUSB0 is shown, then unload modules ‘usbserial’ and ‘option’, unplug device and try again from the marker (**).

sudo wvdialconf

to get a template /etc/wvdial.conf for editing. Refer to and other websites to aid configuration.

APN (Access Point Name)
user: o2web
pass: password
Phone number should be *99***1# otherwise try *99#

When you have your /etc/wvdial.conf set up properly, connect with

sudo wvdial

One section I have is

[Dialer internet]
Init5 = AT+CGDCONT=1,"IP","" 
Stupid Mode = 1

Carrier Check = no
in your defaults if you get no carrier errors.

Good luck!

- 2 comments by 1 or more people Not publicly viewable

  1. mcbluegreen

    I have a short question. I too have a desktop on which I want to install Gentoo, but no internet connection for downloading the sources. However, I too have a Windows XP machine with an USB modem. How can I connect those two with an ethernet cable?

    Many thanx

    25 Jun 2009, 07:43

  2. Connect laptop to desktop, boot laptop, connect to the internet using USB modem

    Go to the network connections on laptop (where ever the ethernet wired connection and USB modem are shown together). Select both the ethernet connect and USB modem connection together (use Ctrl and mouse), right click on one and select bridge connection.

    Wait for completion. Boot desktop. Desktop should recognize it can acquire an internet connection via the ethernet cable. (This assumes you’ve either installed Gentoo already or you are booting from a LiveCD which you have downloaded per the Gentoo handbook instructions as one of the installation options given.)

    Be careful you don’t go over your allowance on the USB modem as the charges can quickly spiral into the thousands of pounds (so I hear). The installation CDs vary from 140 MB for minimal advanced usage to 710 MB for a fool-proof LiveCD. The installation is the most network intensive part of the Gentoo life cycle: expect hundreds of megabytes of sources if you’re fussy about what you want on your desktop.

    26 Jun 2009, 22:43

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