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Debian/GNU Linux Lenny 64bit on the IBM/Lenovo ThinkPad T61 NC216GE UMTS Laptop

This is a short HOWTO about getting the UMTS modem to work which is build into certain ThinkPad T61 models (e.g. the NC216GE). The sierra module has to be changed and the usbserial module has to be loaded with special options.

lsusb: Bus 004 Device 002: ID 1199:6813 Sierra Wireless, Inc.

You have to change the sources of the file /usr/src/linux-`uname -r`/drivers/usb/serial/sierra.c.

{ USB_DEVICE(0x1199, 0x6812) }, /* Sierra Wireless MC8775 */
{ USB_DEVICE(0x1199, 0x6813) }, /* Sierra Wireless T61 NC216GE */

Compile the module, copy it to into the kernel modules directory and do a depmod:

make modules
cd /lib/modules/`uname -r`/kernel/drivers/usb/serial
cp sierra.ko sierra.ko.old
cp /usr/src/linux-`uname -r`/drivers/usb/serial/sierra.ko .
depmod -ae

Check the loading of the module:

modprobe usbserial vendor=3D0x1199 product=3D0x6813
modprobe sierra

Now you see three new devices.

ls -l /dev/ttyUSB{0,1,2}

Now you can make this configuration permanent. Just create a new file in /etc/modprobe.d:

echo 'options usbserial vendor=3D0x1199 product=3D0x6813' >/etc/modprobe.d/ibm_t61_sierra.modprobe

and add the module "sierra" to /etc/modules:

echo 'sierra' >> /etc/modules

You can use wvdial or another PPP configuration utility to make the rest of the configuration.

Tip: If you don't get a /dev/ttyUSB0 device make sure to check out /proc/acpi/ibm/wan and load the module thinkpad_acpi with option experimental enabled, i.e:

modprobe -r thinkpad_acpi
modprobe thinkpad_acpi experimental=1
echo disable > /proc/acpi/ibm/wan
echo enable > /proc/acpi/ibm/wan

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This guide is done with pleasure for TuxMobil by Lutz Willek <lutz.willek_at_belug.de>. Remarks are welcome-

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© Werner Heuser 1997-2015 · http://tuxmobil.org/ibm_lenovo_thinkpad_t61_nc216ge_umts_linux.html · last change Mon Jan 7 2008