iBurst USB Modem and Linux

Right, so I need to make it work. Right now. And as per usual half the instructions are so distro-specific it’s not even funny. So here is my attempt at providing some distro-neutral (influenced by my Gentoo background) and some pointers to the pitfalls…

Firstly, if you’re using Linux, save yourself some trouble and get the desktop modem if you can. It’s bulky to move around though, but it’s much simpler. You simply attach it to a network card and configure a PPPoE connection as you would do for xDSL. Simple. Fast. Effective. Well tested. Stable.

For the rest, here follows some quick instructions and pointers.

Step one is to download the drivers from sourceforge, you’re looking for the ibdriver files (http://sourceforge.net/projects/ibdriver – click on Download), current stable seems to be 1.2.9 but I’ve already downloaded 1.3.2 onto my laptop, so I’ll be using that, a 1.3.3-beta has been released a while back already. As with out-of-kernel modules, if you’re running a too new (or too old) kernel you’re going to have issues. As it stands I’m using the ibdriver-1.3.2-linux-2.6.24 drivers against my 2.6.26 kernel.

After downloading it you need to extract and compile it (You need your distro’s kernel development package, kernel-devel on most rpm based binary distro’s, Gentoo has no problems and I can’t remember what debian and derivatives use):

$ tar xzf ibdriver-1.3.2-linux-2.6.24.tar.gz
$ make -C ibdriver-1.3.2-linux-2.6.24

And to install it (assuming you have sudo configured):

$ sudo make -C ibdriver-1.3.2-linux-2.6.24 install

NOTE: This will copy stuff into /lib/modules/$(uname -r)/kernel/drivers/net – WHENEVER YOU UPDATE YOUR KERNEL YOU NEED TO RE-COMPILE THE ibdriver AND RE-INSTALL. This is because it isn’t properly package managed.

Depending on the exact interface you now need to load the ibdriver, ib-usb in my case:

$ sudo modprobe ib-usb

dmesg should now show something like:

usbcore: registered new interface driver iburst

Now when I run ip ad sh I see something like this:

5: ib0: <BROADCAST,NOARP,DYNAMIC> mtu 1500 qdisc noop qlen 1000
link/ether 02:c0:ee:0d:64:c3 brd ff:ff:ff:ff:ff:ff

Now you can proceed and configure a PPPoE connection on this. On Gentoo (Other distro’s has other mechanisms, please follow the instructions for your distribution or you’re going to end up with problems) this is like falling out of a tree, simply add a line like the following to /etc/ppp/chap-secrets:

username@iburst.co.za ppp3 password

Where username is your username and password your password, ppp3 needs to match the ppp device we’re going to use just now. You can also use a * but I like keeping it specific.

Now in /etc/conf.d/net add this:

pppd_ppp3=”defaultroute usepeerdns lcp-echo-failure 3 lcp-echo-interval 20″

Time to create the service and to start it:

$ sudo ln -s net.lo /etc/init.d/net.ppp3
$ sudo /etc/init.d/net.ppp3 start

If all went well “ip ad sh dev ppp3” will show something like this:

6: ppp3: <POINTOPOINT,MULTICAST,NOARP,UP,LOWER_UP> mtu 1392 qdisc pfifo_fast qlen 3
inet peer scope global ppp3

All in all that wasn’t so hard. All working, life goes on.

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One Response to “iBurst USB Modem and Linux”

  1. […] iBurst USB Modem and Linux « jkroonSep 9, 2008 … iBurst USB Modem and Linux. Right, so I need to make it work. Right now. And as per usual half the instructions are so distro-specific it’s not … […]