Gobi loader and mobile broadband providers

I don't know how many of you have 3G hardware built into your netbooks, but as you can probably guess its not always straightforward. Frankly, it took me months to figure out what I was doing and get it working consistently. Then while I was running 11.4 I decided to give Mandriva a try (which had some critical flaws) and so I reinstalled openSUSE. Now all of a sudden the process I had figured out so well, didn't work as it should have. I was tired of reinstalling and trying to figure it out, so I figured I would just wait until 12.1 came out and pray that the fresh install of it would fix my problem.

So now I have installed 12.1RC2. And at first it looked encouraging, though the hardware wasn't accesible quite I could however go into the NetworkManager Mobile Broadband tab to set up a connection and it would show me Verizon as selectable. That is what the crucial problem I have been having is about; Verizon is not selectable for some odd reason. Maybe, just maybe I somehow did get the firware mixed up but I severely doubt it since I remember having to go through this process a few times.

Here you can see that Verizon is not in the list.

So now what do I do? Well, I'll first double check my firmware to make sure I have the right stuff and am not somehow (I think its unlikely) botching it myself. Stay tuned to see if I can ever get this resolved.

***For those looking for how to get their broadband to work***

Generally its a pretty straightforward process. First to understand is this is only for the Gobi chipset by Qualcomm. This uses the 'qcserial' driver.


  1. First, make sure you are indeed using the right hardware. And then that you have the correct driver. If you are using openSUSE the driver should be present.
    1. Run 'lsusb | grep Gobi' to see if you have the Gobi hardware. Capitalization is important.
    2. Now run 'lsmod | grep qcserial' to make sure the qcserial driver is present.
  2. Having confirmed the above, you must now get the firmware. 
    1. First you must make sure you have the correct firmware since the installer or directory will contain firmware for a large number of carriers.
      Dir Carrier Image MD5 message digest Revision Internal UQCN name
      0 Vodafone amss.mbn
      apps.mbn
      UQCN.mbn
      691a4da480076e239e8bfcfcd817d0de
      661249ddae2b63e2eaac93594a21e409
      cbae9a769f459b77910c2bbdf8a8c464
      D1025-STUTABFD-3604 02-umts_vod-01024-014
      1 Verizon amss.mbn
      apps.mbn
      UQCN.mbn
      06f76ed398458dad7b91c2d99a85a0a7
      88a60ed745d75fb1b92c539574ecc972
      e4d8d4dbd0a10d17f01f7f3bbd2ea734
      D1055-STUTDSVD-3580
      D1055-STUTDSVD-3580
      D1055-UQCNDSVD-2021
      02-c2k_vzw-00256-021
      2 AT&T UQCN.mbn 19eaec6cea1dc9b702b429dcb6032aa4 D1025-UQCNASDD-2016 02-umts_att-00768-016
      3 Sprint amss.mbn
      apps.mbn
      UQCN.mbn
      d25f247cbe0fa481378d9f92c65c3e5e
      46fcb2423c31fd96e4645a90956264d2
      025293e44bd7f6a7800aa7eec9a00dad
      D1055-STUTCSFD-3710
      D1055-STUTCSFD-3710
      D1055-UQCNCSFD-2025
      02-c2k_sprint-00512-025
      4 T-Mobile UQCN.mbn b186fe81731e17e59ca16b92cb2069b6 D1025-UQCNABLD-2011 02-umts_tmo-01280-011
      6 Generic UMTS UQCN.mbn bdf27325ebb63251c1310cd3a8f7bab6 D1025-STUTABGD-3600 02-umts_gen-02304-018
      7 Telefónica UQCN.mbn 0e38dc59f7b3891b3605d9120a0ab149 D1025-UQCNABHD-2012 02-umts_tellfon-03072-012
      8 Telecom Italia UQCN.mbn 0300af5e51c387d64c48db71169b5b23 D1025-UQCNABID-2011 02-umts_telital-03584-011
      9 Orange amss.mbn
      apps.mbn
      UQCN.mbn
      00c612a8a827dbef746f514e939fa77d
      7d12b38ec6851bef5039b74bffffd423
      735db64a57802e252ca4ff05d06b2f10
      D1025-STUTABOD-3601
      D1025-STUTABOD-3601
      D1025-STUTABOD-3601
      02-umts_orange-02816-012
      12 DoCoMo amss.mbn
      apps.mbn
      UQCN.mbn
      4d6203bf9fe8ae1af439d4d163e91596
      385a22740f80c0d00f8acdd9ad637032
      e868df00bfa88596d588a52f872ff703
      D1025-STUTABED-3587
      D1025-STUTABED-3587
      D1025-UQCNABED-2009
      02-umts_doco-03328-009
      UMTS Default Firmware amss.mbn
      apps.mbn
      80fcfbb41a7d4331d4b7145972f5f3c4
      00cbd411048cdadc3e4caf0d89d14fca
      D1025-STUTABGD-3600
      D1025-STUTABGD-3600
    2. So now that you know which is the right firmware you must extract it.
      1. You may extract it from an already existing Windows installation that has already had the firmware etc. installed. This is usually contained in 'C:\Program Files\Qualcomm\Images\Lenovo' or some similar directory depending on your particular hardware vendor.
      2. Using Wine, you can execute the driver and software installer downloaded from your hardware vendors website. Since this varies, I can't tell you exactly what to do here. If you ever had to get a driver from a vendors site before you'll know the drill. This extracts the real installer called 'GobiInstaller.msi', from which you can extract the firmware using a command line argument found here or with an extraction utility like Fileroller.
      3. Now take the firmware (assuring its the right one based on the table above) and put it somewhere safe like '/Downloads' using whatever means you like... its just a file copying after all.
    3. Now we must install the gobi-loader software. Gobi-loader injects the firmware into your hardware and activates it.
      1. If you can find an RPM in OBS, then use that if you like.
      2. You may also install it from source. This is much simpler than you may imagine. I tend to prefer it over adding yet another repository.
    4. Now we place the firmware into the correct directory. As the directory requires root privileges you will need to act appropriately. If you know how to get around on the command-line or how to get Dolphin or Nautilus to run as root, then you only need to know '/lib/firmware/gobi' is where to put the firmware. You will need to create the 'gobi' directory.
    5. Your hardware will not be immediately available. Generally it is said you should reboot. A trick I stumbled on was simply to suspend by closing the lid, then wake it back up and the hardware would then be working.

And that should be that. If you are still having trouble I'm afraid I'm not skilled enough to help you. Special thanks go out to SeaPhor for leading me to this resource. And of course a special thanks to the ThinkWiki team for creating that resource in the first place.

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