[ubuntu-za] How to get the iBurst USB modem (iBurst Kyocera UTU03-178D-ZA-A) to work on the Internet

Peter Nel fourdots at gmail.com
Thu May 10 14:25:26 UTC 2012

On Thu, May 10, 2012 at 2:42 PM, Peter Nel <fourdots at gmail.com> wrote:

> Nico Michael wrote:
>> Hi there
>> My ISP (iBurst) gave me an iBurst USB modem (iBurst Kyocera
>> UTU03-178D-ZA-A) which I want to use to connect my laptop to the
>> Internet when I am out of the office and at work or home to still be
>> able to use wifi.
>> Is there any one here who has done this successfully?
>> I am afraid of untested solutions, as I know Ubuntu has become very
>> brittle and can't afford to break my Ubuntu
>> --
>> Kind regards
>> Nico Michael
>> (Sent from ptaisp.co.za)
> Nico,
> I've done this a couple of times in previous versions of Ubuntu. It was
> stable after I actually got it right, though it doesn't integrate with your
> nice networking icons etc.
> My modem is UTU03-1785D-ZA-A (note the '5', perhaps you left it out?)
> You have to build the driver source, linux old school style :-) I think
> the build script loads the driver afterwards too.
> /*
> FYI: Like all linux drivers it is a 'kernel module' (once compiled) that
> get's loaded into the kernel. The module is associated with the
> vendor/product numbers of the device.
> The kernel processes the "plug in" signal that it receives when you plug
> in your USB device. The kernel then reads the vendor/product code from the
> device, and hands off communication over that usb channel to the
> driver-module that matches the vendor/product. So if nothing matches, no
> driver gets loaded or is given control.
> From that respect it's quite safe... worst case you load a driver that
> does nothing. Building the files also just compiles source code into a
> binary module - just files that otherwise lay there on the hard drive.
> */
> Note that the ibdriver on sourceforge is for kernel 2.6.36. Ubuntu is
> currently on 3.2.0-24.
> This did cause some problems with the build, and you have to change a line
> of code in one or two files. Basically copy-paste.
> I also think you have to rebuild the driver every time the kernel is
> updated.
> I don't have the details right now. You'll have to search the web, or wait
> for me to post back here, because I actually also have to do this setup on
> a netbook... wife's been asking me for over a month now. Guess now's a good
> time to finally do it.
> Regards
> --
> Péter Nel
Good news someone has created a PPA that builds and installs everything,
and also keeps the driver up to date as kernels and ubuntu releases change.

I got it to work without rp-pppoe client or any further effort! Just
install the ppa, and run pppoeconf to setup connection as explained.

I am struggling with the modem sometimes not picking up signal... trying to
replug it, reboot, etc. until I see some pattern.

TIPS (commands):
dmesg | tail - shows system picking up a usb device and assigning driver
when you plug it in
lsusb - list usb devices including the ib modem
iwconfig - list wireless devices, should show signal info for 'ib0' if
driver picked it up
pon dsl-provider, poff, plog - pppoe commands to connect, disconnect, and
show setting up of connection with ISP
ifconfig - shows network connections & IP adresses, iburst connection
should give 'ppp0' details
route - shows if you have a default route via the iburst connection (wifi
or ethernet connections may interfere here, e.g. when going down they leave
no default route. Reconnecting iburst should reset it)

This useful combo command enables you to continuously view activity:
watch 'iwconfig ib0 && plog && ifconfig ppp0'

Péter Nel
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