Mobile broadband on Karmic Koala Alpha 6

Today I decided to try out the latest code drop for the next release of Ubuntu. This will be released as Ubuntu 9.10 next month, under the codename Karmic Koala. There are some rough edges, but so far I am extremely impressed. This release has moved to some very new technologies, and yet even at this early stage almost everything is basically working.

Under the current version of Ubuntu getting my USB mobile broadband modem (a ZTE MF627) working was quite awkward. It required quite a lot of configuration work, and the installation of some additional programs. Whereas under this newer version it is almost (but not quite) working out of the box. One simple configuration file needs to be added, called /etc/udev/rules.d/ZTE.rules, containing the single line:

SYSFS{idVendor}=="19d2", SYSFS{idProduct}=="2000", RUN+="/usr/bin/eject %k", OPTIONS+="last_rule"

Once the system has been rebooted (or udev restarted), inserting the USB modem causes the udev system to automatically detect it, and switch it to the correct mode, at which point Network Manager recognises the broadband modem becoming available, and allows you to configure it with your provider details. From then on you can connect by simply selecting the mobile broadband connection in Network Manager.

All very simple. As it should be.


10 thoughts on “Mobile broadband on Karmic Koala Alpha 6

  1. Yesterday I tried daily image and I wasn’t able to connect huawei device with vodafone portugal network. On 9.04 it works great. Worst it couldn’t recognize any USB pen drive device. Rhythmbox can’t play or rip audio CD. OK, I now this is still test version and when it come out everything should work well. Good news for some people is a newer asla audio driver (1.20) that support lot more cards, specially High Definition cards, out of the box. My Acer Aspire 8920G HD laptop will be fully functional out of the box for the first time since almost one year. Linux, Gnome and Ubuntu are fantastic, hahaha.

    • The daily builds are always a bit unstable at this stage, though it does seem as though you’ve had a particularly bad experience there!
      You should see it improve a lot as we move into Beta though.

  2. Hi there, I just downloaded Karmic Koala, and my Novatel Wireless Ovation MC950D usb modem stopped working. I looked around on the web for a solution, and looked at your post, however I’m still not sure what I need to do to get it up and working again. It was working on Jaunty, after installing 3 things, but now it’s not. Any ideas what I should do?

    • I’ve no experience with this modem. However, it’s similar to my modem (in that it starts out as a USB disk, which needs to be switched to a modem), so I’d try duplicating my file, but use the ids for your modem instead; vendor=0x1410 product=0x4400. That will get your modem attached to your system as a modem rather than a disk. Whether its then recognised and has the appropriate usbserial drivers loaded for it, which would allow Network Manager to recognise it, I can’t tell. You’ll need to experiment. Good luck!

    • It doesn’t matter – the contents of any file in that directory will be added to the udev rules. However, good practice would be to call it something meaningful, so I’d suggest something like novatel.rules

      Good luck!

  3. Ok I seem to be getting stuck with not having the permissions… I did manage to create a file on my desktop, call it ZTE.rules, and managed to move it into that folder; /etc/udev/rules.d/

    the file contains this:

    SYSFS{idVendor}==”0x1410″, SYSFS{idProduct}==”0x4400″, RUN+=”/usr/bin/eject %k”, OPTIONS+=”last_rule”

    I tried restarting.. but I don’t seem to be getting anywhere.. I’m new to ubuntu, so I’m grateful for your patients 🙂

    • If you’ve got that file in that directory, then you should be good to go. There is no need to reboot – udev monitors that directory and automatically picks up any changes to files within it. If you’re not getting anywhere at this point then I’d guess that Karmic still doesn’t have the drivers that you need.

      So, an alternative approach would be to try the Betavine code – it’s supposedly the best solution for 3G cards and Linux, and it supports your modem. However, it doesn’t say it’s been tested with Karmic yet, so you’d have to hope that the current release will still work on Karmic (there’s an excellent chance it will). See for more information.

  4. Oh and I tried renaming the file ZTE.rules to Novatel.rules, however it’s not letting me.. telling me I don’t have permission.. i’m also using the root terminal… Any suggestions?

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