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I am currently trying to find ways to tether a Nokia E62 cellphone to a Dell notebook running Fedora 11. In Windows world, I would download the Nokia PC Suite applications, one of which is the standard "use your phone as a network interface" app. It's not clear if there is anything that parallels it in the Linux world.

NOTE: I am interested in solutions to my specific problem as well a general guidelines for the rest of our hardware as we move more and more of our notebooks to Linux.

Another NOTE: This isn't a single-workstation question. We're building a pool of Linux notebooks and we need a general plan for tethering across multiple phone types and notebooks. I'm using the specific example as the starting point for a discussion.

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4 Answers 4

up vote 3 down vote accepted

I would recommend investing in a bluetooth dongle. Linux supports bluetooth quite well, and I always link my Samsung NP-Q45 to my phone via bluetooth even though it works with the cable (storage).

Then you can use the bluetooth tools such as the Obex setup and the various sync managers.

Good luck

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Thanks for the tip on syncing but, just to be clear, will this make the phone available as a network connection? If so, very good tip. –  Bob Cross Jul 16 '09 at 21:48
    
You can do that over bluetooth if both ends support it. Never done it myself, but you can if the stacks have the capability. –  Aiden Bell Jul 16 '09 at 21:56

In my googling around, I have noticed that the best shot at a general solution to tethering phones appears to be bluetooth. So, the phone has to support a dial-up network profile or a wireless iAP profile. Without using bluetooth, it will be less general purpose. Most of the newer phones attach using USB but if yours doesn't, you'll need the fancy special purpose cable.

Under bluetooth:

  • If the phone supports the Wireless internet Access Point profile, then I'm not entirely sure how it will show up in linux under bluetooth. Under Windows or Mac, its as simple as selecting the Bluetooth icon and connecting to a personal network. Apparently, as of Fedora 11, it isn't just as simple as connecting to a personal network. It feels close though.

  • If the phone supports the dial-up network profile, then you have to set it up as a modem using PPP.

No bluetooth: (These options have the least chance of linux success.)

  • Modem like: If the phone connects and attaches drivers that make it look like a modem then you can use it as such. My older samsung phone looked like a modem to the computer so I could just set up PPP using the same set of instructions as for the dial-up network profile for bluetooth.

  • Network adapter like: If the phone connects and attaches drivers that make it look like a network card, this seems to be the easiest thing. There is nearly nothing you need to do to make the connection go once it is connected. The headache here is that you need the special driver for the phone to make that work and so far it seems like each phone that can do this has its own driver. The iPhone 3G works this way and if you have iTunes installed or a Mac, then you have the driver already, but on linux, there is no driver as of right now.

Using WiFi:

  • Basic goal is to set up your phone as a wireless access point using Wifi. I'm not sure how many phones can even do this. I'm sure that it requires a smartphone of some sort because the phone will obviously need Wifi have this work. Most of the old "tether iphone" posts online involve doing this in some fashion. The downside is that they all require jail-breaking the phone first. Since I don't have a windows mobile smartphone, I can't verify, but I've heard that you can do something similar with them.
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I've had success with Bluetooth tethering using Gnome PPP (very crude, but it works). You need to pair the laptop to the phone, then bind a serial port using rfcomm and then use Gnome PPP to dial out- the phone acts like a modem (AT commands and the like).

The upcoming NetworkManager should manage this stuff much more easily than it's now. I believe it will be coming to Fedora first...

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Really? Fedora 12 or is it already in 11? –  Bob Cross Jul 16 '09 at 21:47
1  

I used a Nokia 6165i in this way - as well as a Nokia 6265i. The idea is to use a bluetooth connection with PPP to dial out, and connect that way. The general number seems to be #777 (four characters), and the username/password varies (if it matters). Both of my Nokia phones were flawless in this regard, although depending on your technology it may not be very fast: 1xRTT connections are slow - about 10% faster than dial-up.

Using my newer LG phone, it doesn't work: the LG phone appears to work but then gives "NO CARRIER". It may have to do with the fact that it is a BREW phone instead of a phone that uses Java or Symbian (such as the Nokia phones) - either that or something related to it.

Note that you may not have reception in all places where there is voice reception (different technologies, different antennas...). Realize too, that you may have a strong signal that is too noisy to be useful, or you may have a weak signal - and none of this is reported.

Good luck and enjoy!

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Just for clarity, is this using the phone as a modem or as a network connection? Does it use the subscriber's data plan? –  Bob Cross Jul 17 '09 at 0:55
    
That #777 depends on the carrier. –  Jay R. Jul 17 '09 at 14:02
    
Jay is right. Also, this was using the phone as a modem with the standard plan. I now have a cellular modem and a data plan - which works even better. However, the problems are the same: no reliable reporting of signal strength or quality. –  Mei Jul 17 '09 at 17:43

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