How to configure Huawei LTE (4G) dongle in Linux

So let me guess, you brought a 4G dongle without checking the compatibility with Linux or thought you could get it working somehow. But unfortunately, the driver folder that came with the dongle is not getting installed due to errors and you realized that your distro is not supported by the driver package. Don’t get frustrated, it’s pretty easy to get your dongle working, in fact, its kind of plug and play. So let’s see how it’s done.

The distro I am using is Linux Mint 19.1 with KDE as the desktop environment. The 4G service is from Airtel who is a leading telecom company in India. The dongle Airtel provides is manufactured by Huawei and model number is E3372H. Even though the steps in this article is based on KDE it should be similar with minor changes on other desktop environments. Even these steps might work for other dongles and also for other telecom operators like Vodafone, Reliance Jio, BSNL, etc.

  1. First, make sure your dongle is connected and it’s detected by the system. You can check that using the command lsusb. This should show an entry Huawei in the result. Also, your dongle will have a blinking LED at this point.
  2. Next open Network connection configuration dialog. This can be accessed by right-clicking on the network icon on the system tray and selecting “Configure Network Connection” option or you can search for network connection in the menu. This should open a dialog similar to the one below: Network configure dialog
  3. Now click on to the ‘+’ sign which will open the “Choose connection type” dialog. Select “Mobile Broadband” from it and click on to “Create” button.Choose Connection type
  4. In the next dialog, you should see your dongle device detected and listed in the drop down. If you have more than one listed select the one we are configuring now. At times I have even noticed that it takes a few seconds to show the device in the drop down. So wait for a few seconds until the device is listed. Once selected click on to the next button.Device Selection screen
  5. Next step is country selection. Select ‘India’ from the list. If you are from a different country select your country. Then click Next.
  6. Once the country is selected, the next dialog will list all the telecom providers of your country. Since our current article is regarding Airtel 4G, we will select Airtel from the list and click Next again.Choose your provider
  7. Next screen is regarding the billing plan, you can just skip it with the “Default” as the option and click on to Next button.Select Billing Plan
  8. Now you will be shown a final summary screen with the selected settings. You can review it and click on to Finish button.Final summary screen
  9. Well once you click on to the Finish button, you will be shown the Edit connection dialog with “Mobile Broadband” tab opened by default. Here you can change the connection name to Airtel. You don’t need to make any other changes on this tab.Mobile Broadband Edit Tab
  10. Now click on to “PPP” tab, and uncheck all the “Authentication” options which are selected by default and click on to Save button. The end result of this tab should look like the image below:PPP Tab
  11. Once saved, the network will be automatically connected and dongle led light which was blinking before will be stable now, which means the dongle is connected to the network. Now you should be able to browse any sites using Airtel 4G connection.

As mentioned at the beginning of this article, configuring Airtel 4G dongle is pretty straight forward and easy on any Linux operating system. Even if you are using distros like Ubuntu, Manjaro etc the above steps should work with a very little modification. If you are using a different 4G provider, you may have to adjust the PPP settings. A google search for your provider’s 4G APN information should help you with this configuration. Rest of the steps should be almost the same. Enjoy browsing web with your new 4G dongle on Linux.

Swaroop Shankar V

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