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This specification aims to make the use of USB ADSL modems with Ubuntu a painless procedure. Such modems usually require the use of non-free firmware. We will attempt to make the firmware installation and modem operation as easy as possible.


Because people like their stuff to work without resorting to the command line :).

Use cases

  • USB Adsl modems are quite common in Europe. I know for one thing that Speedtouch and Accessrunners are popular in Spain, Greece and Poland. Many variants of these modems exist.
  • If you have to go through an ISP signup process (1. temporary username/password; 2. visit isp webpage to enter some details etc.; 3. get proper username/password from isp webpage and configure them) you must use the livecd.

Work items

Contingency plans

It is possible that not all of the functionality can be completely implemented and/or sufficiently debugged for feisty. In this case, subsets of the new functionality will be disabled, as follows:

Subsets which might reasonably be disabled:

  • network-admin glue (remove the relevant UI elements); if this is removed, then the other parts may be left functional or semi-functional for users who set it up via the command line
  • network admin glue for KDE (as above)
  • support for any particular modem (for each unsupported modem, disable the udev rules and the mapping/discovery for the firmware extractor)
  • ubiquity proper copying of config and/or firmware (user can work around by redoing the network setup)

In general, we want each modem to either be supported properly via the UI or not at all, so that we don't leave the user with what looks like a half-baked answer.


NetworkManager on a machine with a DSL connection is a bad idea, probably. (Eg, it might try roaming between your DSL and some wireless.)

  • NetworkManager 0.7 will deal with this, allowing to have multiple connections at once.

Some additional useful notes from Warbo regarding the Eagle USB are at https://help.ubuntu.com/community/UsbAdslModem/EagleUsb and https://help.ubuntu.com/community/UsbAdslModem/ueagle-atm.

Sagem Fast 800 with Wanadoo from Spain and Dapper Flight 7, howto in Spanish: http://www.ubuntu-es.org/node/17125

Firmware extraction is at least obviously entirely moral if not distributed; we don't anticipate legal problems here.

Warbo: StevenHarper2 has added some useful info to the IdeaPool page about SpeedTouch modems (apparently the info is from http://www.linux-usb.org ). I have commented on it, linking back to here too.

Comment from Marcolinuxx:

I think it is very important including Eagle-Usb drivers into the kernel. In fact many people have a modem needing these drivers; in Ubuntu forums it is possible to find how to install them, but unfortunately it is difficult, so that some people go back to other operative systems. I think it is very easy including these drivers, giving a great help to many first time users.

I hope you will excuse me for my English... I am Italian.

Greetings from Italy to all of you.

Comment from lee.eden@centrum.cz:

This is a hugely important project. Almost everyone I know connects to the internet via USB modems (so explaining that "USB is far from the ideal medium for network access" is just not good enough). I have tried for several days and failed to get my AccessRunner modem working in Ubuntu. So this is the main barrier to me starting to use Ubuntu seriously (not having access to the internet takes me back a decade in my computer usage). I don't think I'm alone in this: EasyUsbAdsl will do more to spread use of Ubuntu than anything else I've seen. (If anyone who has successfully connected with an AccessRunner modem could somehow navigate me through it, I'd be happy to spend some hours drafting decent beginner-proof documentation for it, at least as a temporary solution until EasyUsbAdsl is up and running.) Hi Pandisv: when do you think the "connect via USB modem" icon will be ready to click?

I think it should be resolved as quick as possible. I understand that usb modems are not the best medium to deliver broadband connections but ubuntu should make it as easy as possible to install these modems. Right now even if user gets the proper firmware and puts it in the right place he/she has to create custom scripts for pppd and init. When recognized, there should appear a new modem in network preferences waiting for firmware. User should type the password in the gui and choose the vpi and vci numbers from the list of countries/isps (it's not too long) or type them by himself. Now you have to alter some files in console in sudo what is definitely not convenient. If the problem with firmware extraction cannot be resolved, we should concentrate on making easier to setup the driver with firmware.

There is a new spec that will supersede this spec: DialUpSupport -- AzraelNightwalker 2007-10-31 23:12:35

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HardwareSupport/Components/Modem/EasyUsbAdsl (last edited 2009-12-03 09:01:50 by pentacomp)