This is the first in what will be a short series of posts of what I’ve had to do to get Debian (Lenny – currently the ‘testing’ distro) working fully and smoothly on my new T61p.
The key options in my T61p package:
39T4822 VBB WWAN
42V9332 SBB WAN:VERIZONSIERRACDMA2000
42V8603 SBB INT.WWAN ANTENNA 15.4"
42V8659 SBB CL.PLATE T61P WL WWAN
42W7002 SBB FCC-ID/LABEL FOR WWAN
42V8675 SBB VERIZON OPTION
That all translates to a slickly built-in Verizon card and antenna:
$ sudo lsusb -v | grep Sierra
Bus 006 Device 002: ID 1199:0220 Sierra Wireless, Inc.
idVendor 0x1199 Sierra Wireless, Inc.
iManufacturer 1 Sierra Wireless, Incorporated
iProduct 2 Sierra Wireless MC5725 Modem
Here is the only officially unofficial official public documentation I could find for that card on Linux.
Before setting this up with Debian, I’d recommend getting it working with Windows if you haven’t reformatted over it yet. The card and connection pretty much ‘just works’ on Lenovo’s preinstalled Windows. This will mostly eliminate Verizon as the source of the problem if things don’t go right with Debian.
A default Debian install provides a number of tools you can use to configure and automate your connection. I like gnome-ppp (essentially a GUI frontend on wvdial) best. I’ve also set it up with gnome’s network-admin applet (System->Administration->Network), but it doesn’t provide good user feedback on the connection process or status. And by ‘good’, I mean ‘any’. Perhaps future versions will have better integration of dial-out connections, now that they’re coming back into style with EVDO and 3G networks. In any case, I will provide instructions for both these two tools here. (Note this is an either/or. There is no reason to bother setting this up with both tools, other than to test out the GUI’s.)
First, GUI configuration. Here’s your key points:
- Username: YOURPHONENUMBER@vzw3g.com
- Password: vzw
- Phone number to dial: #777
For gnome-ppp, you want to:
- Use the ‘Detect’ mechanism. It worked perfect for me. Try it.
- Under Options, enable ’stupid mode’ to speed up the connection process substantially. You’re also calling Verizon stupid, in a extremely passive aggressive manner… ummm, feels so good…. stupid stupid stupid.
- Set the Modem port to /dev/ttyUSB0.
- Check the ‘Set modem as default route to Internet’ option or your machine will just drop your outbound packets on the floor.
- No remote authentication. In the file /etc/ppp/peers/ppp0, add a line ‘noauth’ to disable your authentication of the verizon servers. This means that if someone successfully hijacks Verizon’s ‘#777′ number, you will have no way of knowing, and they will have complete control over your traffic. (gnome-ppp does this ‘noauth’ for you automatically, for better or for worse.)
- Do not set the modem volume. In the file /etc/chatscripts/ppp0, comment out the line that has a command like ‘AT&FH0XX’ where XX are wildcards depending on your GUI settings. Issuing this command causes the modem error out, reporting ‘NO CARRIER’ on the ensuing ATDT (dial) command.
And that’s it! For debugging, your friends are tail, /var/log/syslog, /var/log/messages, gnome-ppp’s GUI log display, cat, echo, /dev/ttyUSB0, minicom and or course, good old google.