The Huawei E397u-53 dongle is a low cost dongle which is available on Amazon for around $20. It is possible to get it working on startup on a Raspberry PI, and there is some very good documentation which I will mention in the credits of this post. Even with the documntation I was able to find, I still hit a decent number of roadblocks during setup.
First up, I am going to summarize the actual steps I used, which are mostly the same as the one from the first blog post. I opted to use the NDISDUP method since WvDial is slower and harder to reliably bring up on startup.
Also as a note, most blog posts mention needing to mess with usb_modeswitch. As of the time of this posting, with Raspbian 9 (Stretch) on a Raspberry PI 3 Model B version 1.2 this was not necessary since the device already showed up on
- Install screen using
sudo apt-get install screenand then run
- This will put you in a console that will look hung. If you type
ATand hit enter you should get a response of OK back.
- In the new console, type
AT^NDISDUP=1,1,"<APN>"where <APN> is the APN for your carrier. In my case it was
- You will now need to install libqmi-utils. Unfortunately this is where I ran into the biggest issue. The current version of libqmi-utils in Rasbian has a bug (see 2nd link in credits) where you will get an error stating:
sudo APN=fast.metropcs.com /usr/bin/qmi-network /dev/cdc-wdm0 start Loading profile at /etc/qmi-network.conf... APN: fast.metropcs.com APN user: unset APN password: unset qmi-proxy: no Checking data format with 'qmicli -d /dev/cdc-wdm0 --wda-get-data-format '... error: couldn't create client for the 'wda' service: QMI protocol error (31): 'InvalidServiceType' Device link layer protocol not retrieved: WDA unsupported Starting network with 'qmicli -d /dev/cdc-wdm0 --wds-start-network=apn='fast.metropcs.com' --client-no-release-cid '... error: couldn't start network: QMI protocol error (64): '(null)' Saving state at /tmp/qmi-network-state-cdc-wdm0... (CID: 1) error: network start failed, no packet data handle Clearing state at /tmp/qmi-network-state-cdc-wdm0...
- In order to workaround this, I first removed the version of libqmi-utils I installed by running
sudo apt remove libqmi-utilsand then reinstalled it from source by running
wget http://www.freedesktop.org/software/libqmi/libqmi-1.16.0.tar.xz tar -vxf libqmi-1.16.0.tar.xz cd libqmi-1.16.0 sudo apt-get install glib-networking libmbim-glib-dev libgudev-1.0-dev ./configure --prefix=/usr --disable-static make && sudo make install sudo qmi-network /dev/cdc-wdm0 start
- Once I was able to verify that
sudo qmi-network /dev/cdc-wdm0 startworked, I went ahead and rebooted the machine. From there I then edited
/etc/network/interfaces.d/wwan0, replacing <APN> with my APN settings and added
allow-hotplug wwan0 iface wwan0 inet dhcp pre-up for _ in $(seq 1 10); do /usr/bin/test -c /dev/cdc-wdm0 && break; /bin/sleep 1; done pre-up for _ in $(seq 1 10); do /usr/bin/qmicli -d /dev/cdc-wdm0 --nas-get-signal-strength && break; /bin/sleep 1; done pre-up APN=<APN> /usr/bin/qmi-network /dev/cdc-wdm0 start post-down /usr/bin/qmi-network /dev/cdc-wdm0 stop
- I was then able to reboot the PI and the networking came up successfully.
- At this point everything was working, however I did not have any DNS resolution. In order to fix this I had to edit
#OpenDns Servers nameserver 184.108.40.206 nameserver 220.127.116.11
- https://robpol86.com/raspberry_pi_project_fi.html This article got me about 90% there, the biggest issue being the current version of libqmi-utils being broken.
- https://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=845979 This bug report tipped me off to roll the libqmi-utils version back to before 1.16.2.