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4G USB modem with Armbian

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Not much of a tutorial, but it is something that often needs some googling and head scratching.  This is how I got my particular modem working, your mileage may vary.


Step 1)  Get a modem that will work.  I got a Huawei E397u LTE/UMTS/GSM modem.  It's Cricket branded, but I'm on Google Fi, it will work with my data SIM.

Step 2) Plug it in and see that it doesn't work. ;)

Step 3a) apt update

Step 3b) apt upgrade

Step 4) Install usb-modeswitcher

Step 4, optional part 2) install modem-manager, modem-manager-gui  (for general playing around)

Step 5)  unplug/replug the USB modem, see that it should magically have a different VID:PID when you type lsusb.  You should also have some ttyUSB's, and you can check out modem details in the modem-manager-gui

Step 6) set up network connection via the network dropdown at the top right of the desktop.  You will need APN information for your carrier.


I put in modem-manager so I could debug.  It will cause issues if you do certain things with it while connected.


My modem was $15, Ebay has them. https://www.ebay.com/itm/BRAND-NEW-Unlocked-Cricket-Huawei-E397-E397u-53-4G-LTE-Mobile-Broadband-Modem/262898110276

So does amazon.




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