Tuesday, August 10, 2010

How to get Huawei E1750 USB modem working on Ubuntu Lucid

Some times ago I installed Ubuntu 10.4 LTS (aka Lucid) on my laptop. At that point I wasn't sure whether my Huawei E1750 USB modem were recognized or not by the new OS, so I plugged it into a USB port. The result was the USB modem was recognized as a mere USB drive, so no internet connection could be established.
In order to solve this problem, I discovered that I needed to install a package named "usb-modeswitch".
As the documentation says, several new USB devices have their proprietary Windows drivers onboard, especially WAN dongles. When plugged in for the first time, they act like a flash storage and start installing the driver from there. If the driver is already installed, the storage device vanishes and a new device, such as an USB modem, shows up. This is called the "ZeroCD" feature.
On Debian, this is not needed, since the driver is included as a Linux kernel module, such as "usbserial". However, the device still shows up as "usb-storage" by default. usb-modeswitch solves that issue by sending the command which actually performs the switching of the device from "usb-storage" to "usbserial".
Also I discovered that before installing "usb-modeswitch" the package "usb-modeswitch-data" must be installed.
I then downloaded these two packages using a Windows machine with a working internet connection. The URL I used were:
Using a USB storage key I moved the downloaded packages on the Ubuntu machine.
Then I installed them using the following terminal commands:
    sudo dpkg -i usb-modeswitch-data.deb
    sudo dpkg -i usb-modeswitch.deb
I restarted Ubuntu, connected the USB modem and now it was perfectly recognized. As a proof for this I noticed that Ubuntu's network menu (located top right) showed a new item, Mobile Broadband, with the option to connect to a mobile network.
Please note that this solution is working not only for Huawei E1750 USB modem but also for many other devices, as specified here.

1 comment:

Ramaswami said...

Thank for the valuable suggestions that helped resolve the problem of using Huawei 1750 under Ubuntu 10.4. After following the steps, I have got the connection established and finally able to use th Huwaei with 3.

Thank you again.