I have a USB 3G modem, which connects to the Greek GSM provider CosmOTE.

Its software runs under Windows; thankfully my kernel seems to understand it is a modem, since it creates a couple /dev/ttyUSB? devices, so it is not a “ZeroCD” modem needing the usb-modeswitch command or it is but the kernel switches it on connection.

How do I connect to the Internet with it?

(Note: I've solved this problem; however I couldn't find any reference in SU, and I feel so grateful I've found an answer I had to add this question :)

  • superuser.com is not wikipedia – harrymc Jul 20 '10 at 10:20
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    @harrymc: agreed, SU is not wikipedia, although it can be operated much like Wikipedia, as the site about-page says. But the wikipedia-or-not issue is irrelevant here; I'd like you to elaborate on what you really meant. Did you mean that a self-answered question is inappropriate, perhaps? If yes, the FAQ has the issue covered. Also, I'm not a rep-hunter, as you can easily see (it can be seen more easily on stackoverflow, where I'm more active than here). – tzot Jul 20 '10 at 12:24
  • @harrymc - Answering your own question is encouraged, as well as asking a question you know the answer to. The ultimate goal is to have a base of knowledge, useful to people. Sharing a solution to a "hard to find" problem is very good, in my opinion. @TZ - I recommend you to write already the answer, in such case, to post it directly and avoid a "floating" moment when people do'nt know what to think of your question. – Gnoupi Jul 20 '10 at 19:16
  • @Gnoupi: thanks for editing the question; it didn't occur to me that appending the note at the end would make it more straightforward, I just relied on the parentheses. The suggestion about as-concurrent-as-possible question and answer sounds logical, too. – tzot Jul 21 '10 at 8:07

Thanks to a fellow Linux user, there is the sakis3g script that seems to be a magic wand automating everything for the connection.

It can run as an interactive console command, or even provide a text or graphical interface. In my case, if run without any options (and no configuration file), it needs some help: it asks through an X dialog which of the connected USB devices is the modem (the 1bbb:0000 device I have has the obvious product name “USBModem Configuration”, so it's a no-brainer), then it asks about the modem PIN number, and it connects. That's it.

I understand the script includes a version of the usb_modeswitch (or usb-modeswitch, depending on your distribution) tool, so it works even in the cases where the kernel does not automagically switch the device to modem operation. It also has presets for many providers around the world, obviously because lots of other people have found the sakis3g tool useful too, and have contributed to its ever increasing database.


I don't get the question. You say you solved it, yet you ask something so it isn't solved at all. Well.. whatever. You have to check what kind of modem is it. Usually ZeroCD stuff is Opticon. Opticon needs an external 3rd party connection utility. HSOconnect.

Check this page for more information. You can find all the utility you'll ever need for this 3G mazochist stuff under Linux.

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    Thanks for your input :) The question stands on its own; it was a valid question till I solved it, but it most probably is an issue other Linux users have too. I contributed it to SU for the benefit of others, knowing that this is valid and acceptable as long as it is in the form of a question. The answer I provide, for me and many others, seems to remove the “mazochist” part of the Linux 3G specification. – tzot Jul 20 '10 at 10:13
  • Okay okay I didn't really get what you want. First you say you solved it, second you ask. And THEN you posted an answer. This makes the picture complete. | The mazochist part... I used some distro, and its always a pain when you get a new stick. It works .. or not. You just need a good luck I guess. :) – Apache Jul 20 '10 at 10:15
  • I'm most active in StackOverflow, so it's possible the rules here are different; I just checked the local FAQ, and the relevant clause exists here too: “It's also perfectly fine to ask and answer your own question, as long as you pretend you're on Jeopardy: phrase it in the form of a question.” – tzot Jul 20 '10 at 10:18
  • Ah, ok. I wrote my latest comment before I saw your latest comment. Thanks for taking the time to offer an answer. – tzot Jul 20 '10 at 10:20

NetworkManager does a pretty good job of handling 3g modems, though it's not perfect.

  • In my case, NetworkManager has the annoying flaw to randomly lose the wireless connection (and set&report my Broadcom wifi card as physically disabled, forcing me to reboot), so I've switched to wicd; the latter doesn't handle 3G modems. – tzot Jul 21 '10 at 8:16

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