How to Set Up a USB Modem in Linux

Setting up and using a USB modem in Windows is easy. You simply plug in the modem, and it will prompt you to install the necessary drivers. After which it can be used to connect to the Internet. However, this is not the case for Linux. Most USB modems don’t come with a Linux driver, so it doesn’t work right out of the box. The good thing is Linux systems already have drivers for most USB modems and you just need to manually set up the Internet connection to get it working. In this article we will show you how to set up your USB modem on a Linux system.

Setting up a Network Connection

1. Start by plugging the USB modem into the computer’s USB port. The computer should detect the USB device and show a “New Mobile Broadband Connection” notification. Click on the network (WiFi) icon on the system tray. A dropdown menu that has “Edit Connections” among the menu items will show up.


2. Click on the “Edit Connections” option. This opens a window showing you all the existing connections you have on the machine. On the right side of the window, click the “Add” button. This allows you to add a new connection.


3. Select “Mobile Broadband” in the dropdown field, followed by the “Create” button.


4. Select your USB modem, which should be detected at this point, on the next screen and click the “Continue” button.


5. The next screen prompts you to select your country and region. Do this and click the “Continue” button once again.


6. The next screen shows you a number of Internet service providers available in your region. Make sure to select the correct Internet service provider you are using with your modem and click the “Continue” button.


7. After selecting your plan, click on the “Continue” button and save your connection.

If the provider you are using is not among those in the list, you can manually type it in and then click on the “Continue” button. You will be prompted to select your plan which sets the APN automatically.


On the number field enter *99#, make sure to enter the correct APN and then leave both the password and the username fields blank.

At this point you will now be able to see a new connection created when you click on the network icon on the system tray. Clicking on this new connection will connect you to the network via the USB modem.

It is fairly easy to follow these steps and get connected to the Internet using your USB modem on a Linux machine. The Internet speeds will be determined by your plan and your Internet service provider. Let us know if this works for you.

Jackson Mwendwa
Jackson Mwendwa

I am an intelligent and presentable individual with a degree in Computer Science and over four years experience in Management, Software Development, Information Technology Support and Tech article/tutorial writing. I possess a fresh, modern approach to the industry, employing creative and enthusiastic methods to problem-solving and would like to realize my full potential through practice, effectiveness, and innovation.

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