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How to install an undetected modem in Ubuntu

Updated on April 26, 2011

Not all modem (CDMA, 3G, or HSDPA modem) can be detected automatically in Ubuntu, especially if the modem you have is a new release or of not popular trademark which is not recognized by Ubuntu driver database. To get your modem worked, you need to do some manual installation. Before continuing, please make sure that you have wvdial installed on your system. If you have not installed wvdial you can install it via synaptic package manager (if you have Internet connection) or installed off-line by downloading the package first from ubuntu repositories. Well, please the follow the following steps.

1. Insert your modem and make sure that your modem is not recognized by Ubuntu. Open terminal (Application -> Accessories -> Terminal) and type:

> sudo wvdialconf

If your modem is not recognized you will get this output:

Editing `/etc/wvdial.conf’.
Scanning your serial ports for a modem.
ttyS0<*1>: ATQ0 V1 E1 — failed with 2400 baud, next try: 9600 baud
ttyS0<*1>: ATQ0 V1 E1 — failed with 9600 baud, next try: 115200 baud
ttyS0<*1>: ATQ0 V1 E1 — and failed too at 115200, giving up.
Modem Port Scan<*1>: S1 S2 S3

Sorry, no modem was detected! Is it in use by another program?
Did you configure it properly with setserial?


2. Still in terminal, type the following command:

> lsusb

This command will display the whole devices attached to USB port. You will get output like this:

The is the list of all USB devices attached to USB ports. One of the lines is your modem.

3. You need to identify which one is your modem on the USB devices list above. Remove your modem from USB port and retype the lsusb command. There will be a removed line in the output, and that is your modem.

4. Reattach your modem into USB port, retype lsusb command, and in the output look at the removed line in step 3 (your modem). Please notice the numbers after "ID".

5. Still in terminal, type the following command:

> sudo modprobe -r usbserial

6. Referring to the example above, type the following command:

> sudo modprobe usbserial vendor=0x19d2 product=0x0102

in which the 19d2 and 0102 are the numbers after "ID" displayed in the line identified as your modem above. Change the numbers according to numbers displayed in your screen.

7. Now edit your /etc/wvdial.conf file and adjust the "Modem" parameter to /dev/ttyUSB1. Don't forget to adjust the other parameters too according to your Internet provider details.

After editing your connection parameter, just type sudo wvdial to get connected.

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    • profile image

      nrji99 3 years ago

      my problem is exactly same. as you said i used 'sudo modprobe -r usbserial'. i got this- 'modprobe:FATAL:Module usbserial is in use'.

      please advice.

      modem is shown in /dev/ttyUSB0 and USB1.

      lsusb -- modem and id is shown

    • profile image

      gsgops@gmail.com 3 years ago

      lsusb gives Bus 005 Device 003: ID 12d1:1446 Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd. E1552/E1800 (HSPA modem)

      i have edited wvdial.conf

      sudo wvdial gives

      WvDial: Internet dialer version 1.61

      Cannot open /dev/ttyUSB4: No such file or directory

      Cannot open /dev/ttyUSB4: No such file or directory

      Cannot open /dev/ttyUSB4: No such file or directory

      what to do???

      thnx in advance

    • profile image

      Kumpoter 4 years ago

      thx :D

    • bernard.sinai profile image

      Bernard Sinai 4 years ago from Papua New Guinea

      Great hub. It just provided me with the information I was looking for. :-)

    • profile image

      raxi 4 years ago

      its show me Error inserting Usbserial(/lib/modules .............):invalid auguments.

      Plz help me how to cope with this error?

    • profile image

      Joseph Myalla 4 years ago

      Great, the instructions worked fine, great Job real great

    • profile image

      JSX 4 years ago

      Thanks, u saved my life!!!

    • profile image

      aguyfromtheinternet 5 years ago

      FFFFFUUUU , It Didn't Work , i don't know What Wrong with My Modem Or wvdial , Sometimes it's detected in ttyUSB0 sometimes it doesn't :( :(