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Getting a Huawei E220 3G working on 3 with Ubuntu 8.04

I’ve never pre-ordered anything in my life. But when I saw that the Eee 901 was on pre-order at Amazon, I seized the moment and ordered. A little expensive, compared to the 900, but should be worth it. I’ve gotten a bit annoyed with having to carry a huuuuuge laptop everywhere, so something tiny that I can just use for web / email / ssh out and about would be ideal.

However, this is all fine if I were to be near a wireless access point. But what if I’m in the park? Enter the Huawei E220 HSDPA 3G modem. These USB thingies tend to come with the mobile internet bundles you see from the various mobile companies. The one I’ve got is hooked up to 3. I know this works on windows - there’s software on the modem itself that you can pull down and run. However, I’ve no plans to run windows on the Eee, so I’ve just spent the last hour figuring out how to get it working in Ubuntu. Turns out that if you know how, it’s surprisingly easy:

  1. Go to https://forge.betavine.net

  2. Download and install the latest VMC Card Driver Linux

  3. Plug in the modem - you should see some messages in the syslog about finding the device. If you’re not sure, check to see if /dev/ttyUSB0 exists. If it does, you’re in business. If not, you’re screwed.

  4. Load up the Vodafone app - I found it in my applications menu

  5. Give it a phone number of *99#, any username / password you want and an APN of three.co.uk. The DHCP DNS servers didn’t work for me for some reason, so I put in the OpenDNS servers as static instead. Try it DHCP first though

  6. Press ‘connect’

  7. Yay!

All I need to do now is wait 10 days for the Eee to show up :)