I decided it was time to add broadband to my mobile setup. So I have signed up with Optus (Australia’s number 2 phone and internet supplier for non Aussie readers). As part of the package they supplied a Huawei E169 USB modem. It uses the 3G/GSM network to provide wireless broadband across much of Australia or at least the settled parts.
So how to get it working with Linux? As usual the phone companies deny it will work but what do they know? First I set it up installing the supplied sim card. Next after turning off wi-fi on the laptop I plugged the modem in. It recognised it as a USB device and asked what I wanted to do with it. I elected “do nothing” and then clicked on the Network Manager icon in the panel.
Network Manager showed the GSM device and offered to connect. I clicked and SELinux gave an error and blocked the action. After setting SELinux to permissive I tried again. The light flashed encouragingly and I opened Firefox and surfed away. It was literally that easy.
I expected to fiddle for a while but no it all worked boringly easily. I’m using it to post this now. Only “problem” so far is getting Conky to display the connections details. If only everything was that simple but then I wouldn’t have much to talk about here would I?