Huawei E173s and Ubuntu

I had big issues with my Huawei E173s and mobile Internet using Ubuntu. This USB stick saves me many times when I’m at some Coffice and if there is a problem with Internet connection or the coffee doesn’t have wireless at all. The strange thing is that with my old laptop with Ubuntu 12.04 I haven’t those problems, but in 13.04 (most likely) they broke something. Anyway, I did some research and I found the solution.

Firstly plug the USB device and in the terminal type lsusb I got this result:

Bus 003 Device 006: ID 12d1:1c0b Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd. E173s 3G broadband stick (modem off)

Now we have several steps to do:

1) create file /etc/usb_modeswitch.d/12d1:1c0b:

sudo gedit /etc/usb_modeswitch.d/12d1:1c0b

and paste this:

# Huawei E173s

DefaultVendor= 0x12d1
DefaultProduct= 0x1c0b

TargetVendor= 0x12d1
TargetProduct= 0x1c05


MessageEndpoint= 0x0f
MessageContent= "55534243123456780000000000000011062000000100000000000000000000"

2) add corresponding lines to /lib/udev/rules.d/40-usb_modeswitch.rules

sudo gedit /lib/udev/rules.d/40-usb_modeswitch.rules
# Huawei E173s
ATTRS{idVendor}=="12d1", ATTRS{idProduct}=="1c0b", RUN+="/usr/sbin/usb_modeswitch -c /etc/usb_modeswitch.d/12d1:1c0b"

After that:

gksudo gedit /etc/modules

Add this:

# add by metodiew
usbserial vendor=0x12d1 product=0x1c0b

Unplug and plug the USB device again and in terminal type lsusb. Not you should have similar result:

Bus 003 Device 008: ID 12d1:1c05 Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd. E173s 3G broadband stick (modem on)

Now you should have properly working Huawei E173s on your Ubuntu.

If you are like me, at this point it wasn’t ready yet 😀
For some reason I couldn’t connect to the Internet even though I followed all of those steps. I assume the problem was because of my Wireless card and the problems with it, but cant tell for sure.

I continued to research and I found the solution here:

If you haven’t Synaptic Package Manager, you have to install it. In terminal:

sudo apt-get install synaptic

I assume you already downloaded modemmanager deb file. If yes, follow those instructions:

Open Synaptic Package Manager type in your password when required, search for the package named modemmanager when you find it, hit the right click on it and hit on Mark for complete removal and close the Synaptic Package Manager.

Look for the file you downloaded before and execute it (it will may be open on the Ubuntu Software Center), install it and close the Ubuntu Software Center.

Now open one more time the Synaptic Package Manager and search for the package named modemmanager again, when you find it click on it and go to the upper menu option Package, hit on Lock Version until you see a checkmark next to that option and a locker next to the package name.

Restart your system and let us now if that worked.

Here is the link from my Public Dropbox folder, from where you can download: modemmanager_0.5.2.0-0ubuntu2_amd64.deb

Now, if everything went well, when you plug-in your Huawei device, after that you should have been asked for PIN (in case the device has this option) and after that you have to adjust your Network provider settings. If everything went well you should have a properly working Internet connection 🙂


This should be working and tested on Ubuntu 13.04, Ubuntu 14.40, Ubuntu 15.04 and Ubuntu 16.04

Stanko Metodiev is a WordPress veteran and the CTO of DevriX. For the past 12 years Stanko has been developing complex SaaS platforms, multisite solutions, migrating various systems to WordPress, managing a team of developers and leading a few key international projects in the company. In the past years, Stanko is the lead organizer of the WordPress Sofia User Group (WPBGUG) and has been a part of the organization of WordCamp Sofia and WordCamp Bulgaria. In his portfolio, you can find free themes and plugins on, and badges of his membership in the WordPress support, polyglots, theme reviews teams. Stanko is a fan of Real Madrid and often watches football games in shisha bars with friends and with his family at home. Also an avid fan of Counter-Strike and an active member of the remote work culture worldwide.

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Posted in Linux, Tips and Tricks
3 Comments » for Huawei E173s and Ubuntu
  1. Thanks for helpful tutorial… I can see my modem on for a while, but after plug in system crashes, and i can’t do anything, I need to do hard reset…
    Do you have any ideas/advices?
    Ubuntu Gnome 14.04

    • Ah, I remember I had the very same problem and it was super annoying. From what I remember, I waited for a while, then I’ve updated the kernel and the problem was fixed with some of the new version of the kernel. Sorry but I don’t have a specific “way” to fix this, I just waited for a bit…

  2. Alexandra Vilcan says:

    It finally worked for me, i also have a Lenovo and I had the same problem with Wireless Card!Very helpful! Thank you!

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